An examiner has approved a Neighbourhood Plan created by Beaconsfield Council despite criticism from residents who don’t believe it goes far enough to protect local green spaces.

The plan underwent a period of community engagement last year and a public consultation ended in November.

An independent examiner has now concluded that the plan – which would give the town a say in what happens to its neighbourhoods – meets the required conditions and can proceed to the referendum stage.

Residents in Beaconsfield will be able to have their say on the measures later this year.

Despite the town council’s rosy view of the examiner’s report – which a spokesperson described as a “great” result for the area – some discontented locals are unlikely to feel the same.

Members of the Beaconsfield Society, a civic group dedicated to “celebrating the past, promoting the present and influencing the future” of the historic town, have been vocal in their objection to the neighbourhood plan, which they believe fails to protect Beaconsfield from developments on Greenbelt land and green spaces.

They have pointed to a lack of “firm policy” to discourage large-scale builds on the protected land, with one member standing firm in their belief that, “while some people might say any plan is better than nothing, in this case, nothing is better”.

The plan states that “inappropriate development proposals within the Greenbelt and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) will not be supported”.

Adding: “The focus for new development in the Parish of Beaconsfield will be on reusing brownfield land and realising other suitable development opportunities within the town boundary.”

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The examiner, who made minor modifications to the plan including recommending the deletion of paragraphs negated by national policy, did not take issue with the council’s stated position on Greenbelt development.

They instead concluded that it would succeed in “contributing towards sustainable development” and conform to development plans for the county-wide area.

Adding: “Among the objectives of the town council is the desire to protect the semi-rural environment; conserve and enhance the character of the town; encourage more diverse retail businesses; and support the provision of small homes.

“I consider that the implementation of the policies within the neighbourhood plan when made, will ensure that these objectives are successfully achieved and that the vision for the town as ‘vibrant and thriving’ will be realised.”

Cllr Alastair Pike, former Mayor of Beaconsfield who worked on the plan, said: “This is a really positive report from the examiner and an endorsement of our policies.

“In the absence of a (wider) Local Plan, our Neighbourhood Plan is hugely significant. It is already carrying weight as an Emerging Neighbourhood Plan in preventing planning applications in Greenbelt areas.

“Developers have consistently fought against this plan (because) it supports the continued protection of the Greenbelt.”