Stop plans to build homes on Green Belt at Lye Green Nr Chesham

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Please help protect the Green Belt around Chesham Bucks

2018-12-29 13:05:53

Dear Supporter,

Since you signed our petition nearly 2 years ago, we have created a well organised campaign that has again (through your generousity), raised funds to make some powerful legal & professional representations against the Council's plans to remove land at Chesham from Green Belt status in order to create significant housing development NE of the town at a site over 2.5km from the town centre.

The Council have again delayed the publication of their draft Local Plan but the threat to the Green Belt remains and we now anticipate an announcement early in 2019.  Accordingly, we are writing to you to request your help.  

We are asking you and all our supporters, to undertake another letter writing campaign following our barrister’s advice to “keep the pressure up” on the Council.  As such we need to mobilise as many supporters as possible to write now to Councillor Isobel Darby AND to their local Councillor(s) AND Mr John Cheston (Senior Planning Policy Officer) with the aim of;

  • Reminding them that BNG have not gone away &
  • Highlighting the arguments against removal of Green Belt status to the land at Lye Green &
  • Formally requesting the Council to remove this site from ANY further consideration in the emerging Local Plan.  

The final point is the key message which is emboldened in a  note & example letter below this message.  As ever, letters are the best medium but they can be sent by email too or both!

Thank you,

SAMPLE LETTER & NOTESTO GO BY POST (preferably) TO: Leader of Council Cabinet – Councillor Isobel Darby -  (or by email or both!)

At  Chiltern District Council Offices, King George V Road, Amersham, Bucks HP6 5AW                       

And/or The Relevant Councillor (see - )

And/or Mr John Cheston - Planning Policy and Economic Development Manager -  

Dear Mrs Darby,  

I am writing about the lack of progress with the emerging new Local Plan and specifically the prevailing proposals that threaten Green Belt land North East of Chesham where I understand nearly 60 ha are STILL being considered for removal from Green Belt protection.  

I have heard the local Brown Not Green campaign advancing some very persuasive arguments as to why this land around Chesham is inappropriate for removal from Green Belt designation in order to be safeguarded for future development.   These include;

  • Apparent inconsistency with the revised  NPPF & other guidance to prevent sprawl,
  • The unsustainable nature of the location being too far from the town centre & shops etc,
  • The absence of any exceptional circumstances being provided by the Council for this site despite the passage of yet another year of uncertainty for those living nearby,
  • The effects that development would have on traffic generation, congestion and strain on prevailing infrastructure,
  • expert opinions relating to the adverse effects on air quality and the existing Air Quality Management Area that already prevails in Chesham,
  • Council’s own advisors reporting over a year ago that the site should only accommodate circa 100 homes on approx. 8% of the site yet the Council are still considering removing 100% of the site from Green Belt protection,
  • The effect on local wildlife, flora, fauna & the valued landscape there and adjacent to it. 

However, this matter remains unresolved with all the land still remaining under threat.  

I therefore write to request that the Council now reconsider the flawed proposal NE of Chesham and request that you remove this land from any further consideration of development or the removal of the land’s Green Belt status.  

Thank you.

Phillip Plato

Two Updates for all our Supporters

2018-05-22 14:12:26

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.

Phillip Plato

Just six days of crowdfunding to go!

2018-02-20 17:06:20

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. 

Phillip Plato

Fundraising update - just £3k to go!

2018-02-12 14:50:31

Thank you again for all for support to protect Chesham's Green Belt!  

In addition to funds that have been coming via CrowdJustice (which itself has now raised over 65% of the crowdfunding target), our general fundraising efforts have also seen cash donations arriving too. 

Our total funds are now just over £17k (which is 85% of our overall target).  This means we just need to raise the final £3,000 needed to reach our £20k target.

Phillip Plato, the BNG Chairman and a Chartered Planning Surveyor, has been out and about on speaking engagements in residents' homes and local pubs since late January. The latest stage of his "tour" is at the White Hill Centre, tonight, Monday 12th February at 7.30pm.   

If you haven't had the chance to attend one of our meetings so far, this will be the final chance to hear the latest up-to-date information on  our battle to protect the Green Belt around Chesham and to ease the strain on our Town's aged infrastructure.

This may be the last BNG speaking engagement for a while but this is by no means the end of our fundraising efforts. Although we are getting close to our target of £20k, It should be noted that this is a minimum target to justify retaining a Planning Barrister and our aim should be to exceed it.

To that end can we ask you to remind your neighbours, friends and family that if they haven't donated yet, to ask them to consider helping now to ensure we reach our target.

With the Council's "direction of travel" if we do nothing, Chesham will end up with all this land being removed from Green Belt protection and with only half the site being needed for the 900 houses that the Council proposes what other threats will follow as a consequence if we do not fight this?

PLEASE NOTE: Our Crowdjustice campaign has just 14 days to run by which time it will  then no longer be possible to pledge money via credi card donations on the crowdfunding portal. So if you have been thinking about donating anything further to this campaign but have not yet got around to it, now is the time to do so.

If you would rather donate by cheque or BACS, please visit our Fundraising page on the BNG website for further details.

We will also be able to accept cash / cheque donations at White Hill tonight if you are coming.

Thank you all once again.

Phillip Plato

Chesham Green Belt - fundraising update

2018-02-08 17:13:01

Thank you for supporting the Brown Not Green campaign to protect the Green Belt at Chesham

Donations through our CrowdJustice page have now broken the £4,000 barrier.

Combined with other cash donations, BNG have raised well over £15,000 now and have also had a pledge which is awaited that would then raise totals funds up to £17,000

Our overall target for funding the barrister is £20,000 but the last few thousand pounds is crucial.

We are holding an Open Public Meeting at the White Hill Centre next Monday 12th February at 7.30pm when the Chairman of BNG, Phillip Plato, will give an update on the Council's position and what BNG are doing. 

PLEASE COME ALONG TO THIS MEETING IF YOU CAN or encourage any friends and family to attend too.

The CrowdJustice portal is only "live" for just another 18 days.  If you intend to donate by credit card please do so before Tuesday 27th February at 12.00 noon. The link is

Interestingly, we have had 317 people visit our CrowdJustice site which has generated 72 donors, which suggests some people are saying to themselves, “I will donate later”.  If that is you, PLEASE NOTE THE CROWDJUSTICE SITE WILL CLOSE IN 18 DAYS, after then we can only accept cash, cheques or BACS transfers as per the details on ourwebsite: . 

Either way, BNG need donations NOW as they need to be fully funded by 1st April in order to be assured of funding the barrister to start preparing legal submissions to the final Draft Local Plan that is due to be published around June.

If you have already donated, Thank You.  If not PLEASE do so now and share this info with friends, family neighbours or on your social media network - 

Phillip Plato

Fundraising for Chesham Green Belt fight urgently needs your help!

2018-02-03 11:05:26

Dear Supporter,

If you have already made a donation to the BNG legal fundraising appeal, - Thank You.

We are currently 50% towards our stretched fundraising target

If you have not yet made a donation to our legal fighting fund, WE REALLY NEED TO RAISE FUNDS NOW 

This can be done either in cash/BACs transfer (see detail at  the BNG website ) or via credit card through our crowdfunding portal at CrowdJustice - see

We are now so close to reaching our financial target but the last few thousand pounds is crucial.  If we cannot get fully funded then we cannot retain our barrister through the Public Inquiry who essential in this important fight!

As things stand, we need just 70 people to pledge say £50 each and  we are fully funded.

Please help if you can.  We really need funds NOW before the final draft Local Plan is published later this year.

Thank you.

Phillip Plato

Help the legal fight against the threat to Chesham Green Belt!

2018-01-31 13:11:57

Thank you to all who have donated to our campaign to save the Green Belt in Chesham!  We are astonished by the response. 

Within just 3 days of launching our crowdfunding campaign, donations have exceeded our initial target!

The Brown Not Green crowdfunding campaign now looks like it can reach a stretched target of £7,000 but we need your help to acheive this.

If we reach the stretch target it will mean that combined with cash donations he have already received, Brown Not Green would be fully funded for our legal fight against the Councils plans to build 900 homes on Green Belt NE of Chesham.

So if you have not  yet made a donation by credit card, please visit…/use-brownfield-land-not-gre…/ and then  share our CrowdJustice link on Facebook or any other social media you are connected to.

To stay up to date with us please bookmark

Thank you.

Phillip Plato

URGENT – Chesham Green Belt still under threat!

2018-01-28 11:58:54

Dear Supporter,

We again need your URGENT assistance. The Green Belt NE of Chesham is still under threat.

Our Chesham community group, Brown Not Green, (BNG) urgently need to finish fundraising to pay for a specialist barrister to advise on final legal submissions that need to be made to the new Local Plan AND for that same barrister to appear at the future Local Plan Public Inquiry to argue our case. 

Please click on to donate NOW!

This fundraising is necessary and urgent because despite thousands of people expressing their disapproval of the Council's proposals to build 900 homes on Green Belt, in November 2017, the Council arrogantly published a report asserting that the “direction of travel” was still to remove the Lye Green site NE of Chesham from Green Belt Designation and to “safeguard” the land for future development, possibly as soon as in 5 years time.

This despite the fact the principle landowner is not willing to sell and that numerous concerns that have been expressed about the unsustainability of this location for providing 900 homes. We are told it will take 13 years to build the houses too!

Curiously the Council affirm they only need 43% of the site area to develop these homes yet wish to remove all 60ha of the land from Green Belt protection. 

We are advised we need to raise £20,000.  Brown Not Green have already raised nearly 65% of this but URGENTLY need to reach their target so the barrister can be formally engaged NOW! - We must be assured the barrister can finish this job.

We are now seeking donations via (a crowdfunding portal) where secure credit card donations can be made direct to the BNG lawyer’s client account. 


Any contribution you can make is greatly appreciated to help preserve our environment, wildlife and to prevent consequential harm to the wider town through increased traffic, air pollution, & strain on existing infrastructure, especially drainage.  

We hope this will also discourage other Councils from contemplating Green Belt development elsewhere too.

If you could donate and share the above link to our CrowdJustice portal on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels, that would be most helpful.

Thank you.

Phillip Plato Chairman –

Brown Not Green Chesham Ltd (a not for profit company limited by guarantee -

Phillip Plato

URGENT Please send email to Council before the Joint Meeting on Tues 7 Nov

2017-11-05 19:44:57

Dear Supporter,

We need your URGENT assistance as we need people to quickly email the Head of Chiltern Council, Isobel Darby - THIS NEEDS TO SENT BEFORE THE COUNCIL MEETs ON TUES 7 NOVEMBER

As predicted at our BNG Open Meeting with Cheryl Gillan MP just three weeks ago, Chiltern & South Bucks Joint Council Planning Committee, is due to meet to consider the Green Belt options recommendations from the planning officer this coming Tuesday  at 6.30 pm

In respect of our site in Lye Green NE of Chesham, the recommendation for Lye Green is that the whole site is removed from Green Belt designation & “safeguarded” for future development!   

This is an appalling suggestion given only 26ha (43%) of the whole 60ha site is regarded as developable. Continued Green Belt designation will safeguard it perfectly well as it has done for many decades.

Most importantly, the site is at an unsustainable location  being too far from public transport & places to shop/work and is inappropriate for "safeguarding". 

The recommendation flies in the face of the site's scoring within the Councils own Evidence Base & their Green Belt assessment and therefore the recommendation is contrary to guidance in the NPPF & the recent Housing White Paper. 

It will also expose the hypocisy of the Council’s boasts to always strive for “sustainable development” in the area and it will probably undermine the excellent work currently being done by Chesham CIC Renaissance too.

Given the fact that the main landowner does not want to sell the whole site either, the whole site is clearly not deliverable & the officers recommendation makes no sense and offers a dreadful option of uncertainty in planning terms over the next 20 years.    

Please send an email to Isobel Darby and any other Chiltern Councillors NOW reciting the avove in the hope we can get the elected Councillors to reject this lamentable recommendation being made by an unelected planning officer! 

Thank you. 

Phillip Plato

Important update and video link of recent meeting

2017-10-25 11:31:37

If you could not attend the hugely oversubscribed recent public meeting, this message should help.

The Brown Not Green (BNG) Campaign arranged an Open Meeting at the Chesham Town Hall on Saturday 14 October. The meeting was chaired by the Rt Hon Cheryl Gillan MP. Phillip Plato (Chartered Planning Surveyor) gave a detailed update to the community and explained why the Chesham Green Belt is still under threat and the urgent action that may be necessary.

He explained the enquiries BNG have made with the landowners and how development of Chesham Green Belt will have adverse impacts on everyone living & working in Chesham. His presentation explained why BNG are now urgently raising funds to hire a specialist planning barrister to represent the community at any future Public Inquiry.

To see a video of his presentation with all the slides go to;

Full details are also on the BNG website at

Whilst BNG feel we have a good case, we cannot sit back given the suggestion that Compulsory Purchase Orders may be used to take the land against the main land owners wishes.

Please help raise funds for this campaign by donating to the fundraising (details on BNG website) and sharing this with others.

Thank you.

Phillip Plato

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