Use brownfield land NOT Green Belt for housing in Chesham!

by Phillip Plato FInstD DipSurv MRICS

Use brownfield land NOT Green Belt for housing in Chesham!

by Phillip Plato FInstD DipSurv MRICS
Phillip Plato FInstD DipSurv MRICS
Phillip is a Chartered Planning & Development Surveyor and is Chairman of BNG Chesham Ltd. He has lived in Chesham for over 18 years and is business is based in the town too..
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pledged of £7,000 stretch target by 118 people
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Phillip Plato FInstD DipSurv MRICS
Phillip is a Chartered Planning & Development Surveyor and is Chairman of BNG Chesham Ltd. He has lived in Chesham for over 18 years and is business is based in the town too..
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: May 22, 2018

Final Draft Local Plan delayed (again!)

We are so grateful for all the support and financial donations and realise many were hoping to have some news of the final draft Local Plan around now.  Unfortunately, South Bucks & Chilte...

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Brown Not Green (BNG) is a not for profit private company recently created by concerned citizens of Chesham in response to proposals effecting the local Green Belt Boundaries in the emerging Local Plan for Chiltern & South Bucks District Councils.

 BNG represents over 1,800 supporters and  some brief background details of those running this campaign can be found at;

BNG are trying to prevent proposed changes to the Local Green Belt boundary NE of Chesham that will result in the construction of over 900 homes and which will result in Chesham sprawling outwards, consuming the hamlet of Lye Green and threatening other village communities nearby too. 

Development at this location is over 2.5km from the station and will compel any new residents to commute by car thereby further worsening local traffic congestion and the already bad air quality in the town. 

This proposed development will place further strain on the aged drainage infrastructure in Chesham with potential for contamination of the local chalk stream water course and will also threaten the wildlife at that location whilst resulting in the loss of good quality agricultural land too..

If the Council’s emerging proposal to build on Green Belt land is adopted in the new Local Plan, it would fly in the face of National Planning Guidance and the more recent assurances given from the Prime Minister, the Chancellor & the Housing Minister about protecting Green Belt which un-elected local planning officers are now choosing to ignore. This is unconscionable.

Nevertheless, Chiltern & South Bucks District Councils  (CSBDC) are  proposing to remove all 60ha of this site from Green Belt designation and  then"safeguard" it for development to be built sometime after the end of the current plan period (2036) for the  creation of 900 homes  plus a gypsy and traveler site  even though only 43% of the site that is to be removed from Green Belt designation is developable and necessary for the proposed development! 

The Chairman of BNG made a lengthy presentation of the issue at a public meeting before a packed Town Hall in October 2017 where he was introduced &  supported by Cheryl Gillan MP who is also Honorary President of CPRE (Bucks).  (For the full video of his presentation see

These proposals are also unnecessary given the emergence of the Chesham Society's  Renaissance Masterplan which has been drawn up by local people seeking to provide more affordable homes in sustainable locations in the town center on existing underused land that would regenerate the town, not see it sprawling outwards onto Green Belt. THERE IS A CREDITABLE ALTERNATIVE THEREFORE - see Chesham Society's vision at

Brown Not Green (BNG) are raising funds for a planning barrister to ensure that like minded  local residents have legal representation at the forthcoming Local Plan Inquiry. We have an overall funding target of £20,000 for this but have already secured nearly 60% in cash donations towards this goal but we still need to raise further funds to meet the overall target to ensure the barrister can see this matter to its conclusion. We believe that the impact of our efforts will have a huge impact in other areas where Green Belt and the local environment is under threat. We need your help in protecting our local green spaces!

Legal advice to date is that Green Belt boundaries can ONLY be changed in "exceptional circumstances" and that demand for housing alone is not sufficient exceptional circumstances to justify what is being proposed.  We are also  learning that Bucks County Council & Chesham Town Council  do NOT support the District Council's proposals in Chesham and therefore BNG  feel it has a case to put before the Planning Inspector .

This requires  funds in order  to engage and retain  a professional planning barrister to advise on any final representations to submit to the Local Planning Authority and if necessary to  appear at the Local Plan Inquiry Examination in Public  in order to highlight to the Inspector the inconsistencies and errors in the Council's arguments that support this flawed proposal in the emerging Local Plan.  

Update 7

Phillip Plato FInstD DipSurv MRICS

May 22, 2018

Final Draft Local Plan delayed (again!)

We are so grateful for all the support and financial donations and realise many were hoping to have some news of the final draft Local Plan around now.  Unfortunately, South Bucks & Chiltern District Council have recently announced  yet another delay to the publication of the final draft Local Plan.

We are told the Local Plan will now not be published for its final consultation until the autumn. 

This in turn has delayed our consultations with our retained barrister as we have no final draft to seek advice upon.  

However, BNG have made representation to Central Govt on the draft revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which we are broadly supportive of and hope this will further strengthen our case.

Whilst writing, to comply with new data protection regulations known as GDPR, the BNG website now includes a link to the BNG Privacy Statement and all supporters are invited to review this to see what data we hold and retain & why. 

Please visit the website at for this and other news updates.

Thank you once again for your continued support.

Update 6

Phillip Plato FInstD DipSurv MRICS

Feb. 26, 2018

We are over 90% of target!

Thanks to your generosity we are have now raised over 90% of our £7,000 crowdfunding target! 

Our CrowdJustice page was due to close at noon on Tuesday 27 February but  the organisers of CrowdJustice have kindly agreed to let our site stay "live" for another 30 days given we are so close to being fully funded.

Thank you all for your generosity to help us fight the Council's flawed proposals for releasing 60ha of land from Green Belt designation which they want "safeguarded for future housing development.  Please continue to share this campaign with friends & family and ask them to donate what they can so we can be assured of being fully funded to retain our planning barrister as the final draft Local Plan emerges in the coming months.

Thank you. 

Update 5

Phillip Plato FInstD DipSurv MRICS

Feb. 22, 2018

We are so close now!

Over 100 people have now donated to help save the Green Belt in Chesham with a similar number making cash donations via the BNG website.

Thanks you all. There are just a few more days of our CrowdJustice campaign remaining so please remind all friends neighbours and family to make a pledge now if they want to do so via credit card on this CrowdJustice site.

Thank you once again for supporting this important issue which could adversely effect the whole town of Chesham.

Update 4

Phillip Plato FInstD DipSurv MRICS

Feb. 20, 2018

Just 6 Days of Crowd Funding left and £1,675 to go!

Dear Green Belt Supporter,

At the time of writing this announcement we only have to raise another £1,675 to reach our crowdfunding target! There are just six days of the CrowdJustice campaign left.

Please help us get there by donating at our CrowdJustice page(Please click here.)

Thanks to all those that have already contributed.  As you probably know, Brown Not Green in Chesham are raising funds to retain a specialist Planning Barrister.  Although we have unearthed a lot of evidence discrediting the Council's flawed proposals to release 60ha of Green Belt land for "safeguarding" in order to develop 900 new homes NE of Chesham, we REALLY need to retain this specialist Planning Barrister to appear as our advocate at the future Local Plan Inquiry to pick apart the Council's weak case for building on the Green Belt.  

Your support is greatly appreciated and if you wish to make a donation via credit card (or to top up an earlier pledge!) please do so via the CrowdJustice site in the next six days.  The crowdfunding campaign will end on Tuesday 27th Feb at noon.

Thereafter we can only accept donations via cash or BACS through the method outlined on the Brown Not Green website .

We have now received donations from some 180 households representing over 400 people together with many encouraging messages of support and everyone in the Brown Not Green Organisations thanks you for your help & hopes you can help us in this final push to be fully funded for the legal fight to come!

Thank you.

Phillip Plato MRICS

Chairman - Brown Not Green Chesham Ltd

A not for profit company limited by guarantee.

Update 3

Phillip Plato FInstD DipSurv MRICS

Feb. 15, 2018

Over 71% of our CrowdJustice Target!

Thank you once again - We have now broken through the £5000 barrier!

This means we are over 71% towards our CrowdJustice Target with less than £2k to raise in the 11 days remaining of our crowdfunding campaign.

We are continuing to receive cash donations too via our website at and we are so grateful.  Please help us raise the final £2,000 and either top up your pledge or share this link to our CrowdJustice page on Facebook, Twitter or with your friends and family.

Thank you. Your support has made a difference!

Update 2

Phillip Plato FInstD DipSurv MRICS

Feb. 8, 2018

We've broken the £4k barrier!

We cannot thank you all enough.

Pledges via Crowdjustice have now broken through the £4,000 barrier!

Combined with cash donations we have also received, Brown Not Green has now secured over 75% of the total funds needed (£20,000) to fund the vital legal representation we need at the forthcoming Local Plan Inquiry.  We are trying to prevent the Council's proposal to take 60 ha of good quality agricultural land out of Green Belt protection and earmark it for development of 900 homes.  

This proposal will have a dreadful impact on the wider town of Chesham with increased traffic congestion, air pollution, impact on wildlife and further strain on Chesham's already overstretched infrastructure, particularly the water supply and drainage. 

Obviously the last few thousand pounds to raise are crucial.  We are aiming to be fully funded by the start of April so that our barrister can be formally engaged in good time.

Please tell your friends, family and neighbours of this cause and share this link on your social media networks or if you can, donate just a little bit more to ensure we reach our target.

Thank you!

Update 1

Phillip Plato FInstD DipSurv MRICS

Feb. 2, 2018

We are half way there!

What an astonishing 5 days! 

We have now secured pledges totalling 50% of our stretch target to ensure we will be fully funded for our legal fight against the Council's proposal to build 900 homes on Chesham Green Belt.

The last few thousand pounds are crucial so please share this campaign with friends and family and post our details on your Facebook page or any other social media you use. Please add a link to our website or to our CrowdJustice page 

Thank you.

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