THE new steering group overseeing the implementation of the joint Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood plan is playing “catch-up”, says its chairman.
Dieter Hinke, who was elected when the group was formed last month, said it was already behind with its work.
He said: “The formation of this group has come a year too late. It should have been formed as soon as the governance committee, which I was chair of, finished in May 2015.
“We’re a year behind and we’re going to be playing catch-up and that will show when decisions are made on the sites. The problem is we can’t delay the planning process once it has started.”
The plan, which names 11 sites where about 500 new homes should be built by 2027 to meet Government targets, passed a referendum in March, meaning it is a legally binding document.
Mr Hinke, who was a town councillor until he lost his seat during the election in May last year, said he expected most of the applications to come in the next two to three years.
He said: “As the developments come through they will start building quickly. This is a preferable area and I don’t expect them to be sitting around.
“Everywhere developers are trying to find ways round plans and we need to be aware of this before sites start to be developed. We’ve got a bit of firefighting to do.”