Government requirement to build news homes: could NIMBYs become PIMBYs?
Government requirements to build more houses are causing great levels of concern, particularly when the green belt is under threat. But in a public consultation to be launched in Chesham on Saturday 4th November for a Chesham Masterplan, new homes could produce greater vitality in the town, more employment opportunities and an improved environment. The launch will be marked by an exhibition at Chesham Town Hall on 4th November, from 10am to 3pm.
When a large number of new homes are planned on a green belt site it usually excites and angers local residents leading to what is often called ‘Nimbyism’. But the Chesham Masterplan suggests that new homes could be built near the centre of the town by replacing existing car parks with multi-storey car parks and replacing or renovating older buildings, both residential and industrial, within the town boundary.
It suggests that the current town centre will be reinvigorated by such a plan, particularly if the existing 4-lane St Mary’s Way which cuts through the centre of the town is replaced by a more pedestrian-friendly road. This could so improve the environment in which the building takes place that the development would be welcomed by residents, turning NIMBYs into PIMBYs (put in my back yard)!
The Masterplan has been produced by a newly formed company Chesham Renaissance CIC whose members include Chesham Town Council, Chiltern District Council and the Environment Agency. In producing the Masterplan plan it has also been consulting with Buckinghamshire County Council.
The company has raised sufficient capital to commission a leading firm of architects and town planners, Allies and Morrison to produce the plan. Chairman of Chesham Renaissance Tony Molesworth said today: “This company sees redevelopment as an exciting opportunity to both accede to government requirements and create a better Chesham in which to live and work. The Masterplan has the ability to dramatically reverse the normal opposition to redevelopment so that residents positively embrace the proposals. This Masterplan will be of interest to many other rural towns currently balancing the need for new homes with the demands to protect the green belt.”