Aylesbury Vale Area

VALP Proposed Submission

Ended on the 14 December 2017
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11 Detailed Infrastructure

Green infrastructure

(1) 11.1 Green infrastructure is a strategically planned network of high quality multi-functional green spaces in both urban and rural areas as well as associated features such as trees, hedgerows, ponds, waterways, green roofs and green walls. It is designed, developed and managed to meet the environmental, social and economic needs of communities and wildlife. The term includes open green spaces such as parks and gardens, country parks, allotments, cemeteries, green corridors (potentially including cycleways and rights of way), village greens and trees. It also includes informal amenity green spaces and accessible countryside such as river and canal corridors, woodland, natural grassland, wetlands, lakes and nature reserves.

11.2 Well-planned multi-functional green infrastructure is an important component of achieving sustainable communities. Green infrastructure helps to deliver conservation and enhancement of biodiversity, create a sense of place and appreciation of valuable landscapes and cultural heritage, increase recreational opportunities and support healthy living, improve water resources and flood management as part of environmentally sustainable design. It also positively contributes to; combating climate change through adaptation and mitigation of impacts and production of food, natural fibre and fuel. It helps deliver NHS initiatives around improving people's health and tackling obesity. The district's high quality green infrastructure is a vital asset and an important element in ensuring that the district is somewhere people choose to live and locate their businesses. Policy I1 below will be used to ensure a green infrastructure network is provided across the district with  enhancements to replace existing green infrastructure deficiencies. 

11.3 The character of the district is defined by a wide variety of green infrastructure assets such as the Grand Union Canal (including its arms) and reservoirs, former royal hunting forests such as Whaddon Chase and Bernwood Forest, the valleys of the River Great Ouse and the River Thame, the urban fringe Aylesbury and Buckingham riverside walks, and the Chilterns AONB including Wendover Woods which is the largest area of publicly accessible green space in the district. These features should be recognised, enhanced and connected where possible, such as improving pedestrian and cycle links to existing natural trails in the Chilterns AONB.

11.4 The Aylesbury Vale Green Infrastructure Strategy[45] was undertaken in 2011 and covers the period 2011-2026, giving more detail following on from the 2009 Buckinghamshire Green Infrastructure Strategy[46]. These strategies identify a deficiency in green infrastructure in the district. 69% of dwellings in the district meet none of Natural England's Accessible Natural Green space standards (ANGst). Two priority areas were also identified in the district, North Aylesbury Vale and Aylesbury Environs. The detailed deficiencies in these areas are set out in the Aylesbury Vale Green Infrastructure Strategy. Following this work, a Buckinghamshire Green Infrastructure Delivery Plan (2013)[47]was produced which sets out two specific proposals in Aylesbury Vale, Aylesbury linear park and Whaddon Chase. Part of the Aylesbury Linear Park proposals are delivered through Berryfields Major Development Area (MDA) which is currently under construction, the approved MDA site to the east of Aylesbury (Kingsbrook) will also provide approximately 100ha of wetlands park. Further development sites around Aylesbury should deliver green infrastructure in line with the delivery plan.

11.5 The Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Natural Environment Partnership (the NEP), which include the local planning authorities on the board, has produced a Vision and Principles for the Improvement of Green Infrastructure in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes (2016)[48] document  which updated this part of the Buckinghamshire Green Infrastructure Strategy. Further work is intended to be undertaken by AVDC to update the rest of the Green Infrastructure Strategy for Aylesbury Vale to be in line with future needs and used to deliver strategic green infrastructure. Further work will be undertaken on what potential there is to remedy existing deficiencies in accordance with the ANGst standards. Currently the Sport and Leisure Facilities SPG and Companion Document: Ready Reckoner is used to provide details on what developments should provide. The detail in these will be updated.

11.6 Development proposals, particularly on larger sites, can offer the opportunity to improve the green infrastructure network (as demonstrated through the Berryfields and Aylesbury East MDAs), Policy I1 looks to achieve this. Green infrastructure will be delivered through development proposals and will be obligated either on site or off site through the CIL regime, S106 contributions or conditions to the planning permission as appropriate. HS2 mitigation works will also deliver some green infrastructure. All green infrastructure proposals should include details of management and maintenance to ensure these areas are permanently protected.

(1) 11.7 Policy T6 ensures development connects to existing pedestrian and cycle networks and provides new facilities, Policy NE2 secures biodiversity enhancements and Policy I2 sets out what is required in terms of sport and recreation provision. Development proposals will be expected to identify, retain and enhance existing green infrastructure assets, including corridors and ensure new links are provided between existing green spaces. Local green space designations, which are a fairly new concept, will mean protection for those areas, as outlined in Policy NE6. Green infrastructure should ensure permeability for wildlife through development and provide sufficient beneficial habitat to support target species, independent of its connective function. The incorporation of sustainable drainage systems can contribute to green infrastructure provision as well as helping alleviate flooding and bringing biodiversity benefits. New landscaping areas are important and will be required in larger development schemes to assimilate development into the landscape and assist in the transition between the urban and rural boundary. The size and location of green infrastructure is expected to be suitable for the function it is intended to fulfil.

11.8 There are areas of the green infrastructure network in the district which are not in the Council's ownership or control, so partnership working is required to plan, provide and manage the network to achieve the objectives of the policy.

Principles for Aylesbury Vale

(1) 11.9 The Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Natural Environment Partnership sets out the nine principles below that should be followed to achieve its Green Infrastructure Vision by 2030 of a well-designed, well-connected multi-functional network of green spaces across Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes. The vision states that specific landscape and green infrastructure features and benefits are identified in advance of development, and are protected, enhanced, connected, extended and extended to provide multiple benefits into the long term for the growing population of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes. To achieve this, the principles should be applied at all scales, from strategic, county-and district-levels through to individual developments, and look across immediate planning, development and administrative boundaries so that green infrastructure and its upkeep is sufficiently planned for, and well-designed for, so that the benefits from green infrastructure for can be maximised and maintained into the long-term.   The principles are:

  1. Green infrastructure is as important and necessary as grey (man-made, constructed) infrastructure and social infrastructure for the health and wellbeing of Buckinghamshire's economy, environment and society
  2. Green infrastructure, its value and benefits are considered and planned for early and strategically at all spatial scales of development
  3. Green infrastructure across Buckinghamshire should be planned to provide a range of benefits, or 'ecosystem services'
  4. (Related to 3, above) green infrastructure creation and improvement is planned to contribute to the delivery of objectives and targets, good practice actions and activities for Buckinghamshire's environment, health and economy
  5. Green infrastructure is managed into the long-term
  6. Connected networks of green infrastructure are necessary – at both the landscape and local scale – to maximise the benefits
  7. Green infrastructure creation and improvement is coordinated with activities cross-border
  8. Green infrastructure improvement and provision is prioritised in locations where it can deliver most benefits
  9. It is linked and relevant to, informed by and co-ordinated with, other policy areas, strategies, activities and reviews

11.10 The Aylesbury Vale Green Infrastructure Strategy states that accessible natural greenspace standards (ANGst) is a national benchmark. ANGst emphasises the importance of communities in towns and cities having easy access to different sizes of natural and semi-natural greenspaces close to where they live. The standards can be divided into quantitative standards (sizes of green space provision) and accessibility standards (representing the zone of influence of a provision and the distance people are prepared to travel).

(9) I1 Green infrastructure

The Council will work with partners to ensure that existing and new green infrastructure is identified, planned, delivered, enhanced and managed in a strategic way as an integral part of supporting sustainable communities and sustainable growth. The Council will implement the most up-to-date green infrastructure strategies. Green infrastructure networks whether existing or potential are expected to be a key part of site masterplanning as required in the VALP.

AVDC seeks to realise the potential of green infrastructure to assist communities with mitigating and adapting to climate change as well as meeting health initiatives. It seeks to deliver high quality, multi-functional, accessible, and connected open spaces that are integral to new and existing development. It will do this at a landscape, district and local scale, looking beyond boundaries, to maximise opportunities arising from green infrastructure.  

As part of this, development proposals must demonstrate that the green infrastructure network would be maintained and, where appropriate, enhanced within the site and beyond development boundaries where possible as follows:

  1. Biodiversity mitigation, where warranted, should result in a net gain in biodiversity on greenfield sites and on other sites no net loss and a net gain where possible (linked with Policy NE2). Where possible green infrastructure is expected to positively contribute to the conservation, restoration, re-creation and enhancement of networks of biodiversity on a landscape scale
  2. Flood and water resource should be managed and where possible improved (linked with Policy I4)
  3. Green corridors and public rights of way to link with the wider green infrastructure network, providing walking, cycling and other exercise opportunities and avoiding habitat or linear network fragmentation
  4. New green infrastructure should demonstrate a range of types of green space such as the creation of living roofs and walls, native woodland, local nature reserves  and community forests where possible
  5. Public open space within housing developments may include, but is not limited to: children's play areas, informal green space, wildlife areas and recreation areas, street trees, community orchards, woodland and parkland, in appropriate proportions, with safe and convenient access for people of all abilities
  6. Formal sports areas as part of housing developments including playing pitches and pavilions should be provided where appropriate in addition to, and separate from, public open space areas
  7. Where appropriate a landscaping scheme should be provided which deals positively with the transition between development and any adjoining open land and link to existing Green infrastructure and Green Infrastructure features
  8. Protect, create, and improve recreation, play, and local food cultivation opportunities for communities
  9. Secure details of on-going management and maintenance of green infrastructure assets for at least 30 years past completion and during this time secure a mechanism to manage sites into perpetuity, and
  10. Protect and enhance the integrity, multi-functionality, quality and connectivity of the green infrastructure network.

Green infrastructure and habitat creation should be monitored to ensure that it develops in accordance with its stated intention. If it is not achieving satisfactory condition within stipulated timeframes, remedial measures will be required. Mechanisms to achieve this should be put forward in development proposals.

Development proposals must demonstrate that green infrastructure is maintained and where possible enhanced to the accessibility and quantitative standards as set out in the Assessment of Open Space, Sports and Recreation Needs for Aylesbury Vale (2017) or replacement documents. 

Sport and recreation

11.11 Participation in sport and recreation activities has many physical and health benefits while promoting community cohesion.  Facilities that allow for this participation help deliver NHS initiatives around improving peoples health and tackling obesity.  Aylesbury Vale has a wide range of sports and recreation facilities which provide for a variety of recreational sporting needs. There are important leisure centres in Aylesbury and Buckingham. Stoke Mandeville receives global recognition as the birthplace of the Paralympic Games and Stoke Mandeville Stadium provides a venue for community participation alongside disabled athletes from across the world. Building on this the ambition is for the Vale to become a national leader in accessibility for disabled people to sport and recreation facilities. Within the Vale there is also Silverstone racing circuit which has established itself as a premier motor sport venue. 

(1) 11.12 Policy I1 on green infrastructure provides guidance on the provision of open space which includes parks, recreation grounds and amenity spaces. There is a cross over between this and facilities which fall under the category of sports and recreation.  Where appropriate open spaces provided as part of new developments should include access to formal and informal recreational areas, including sports, playing pitches and children's play areas.

11.13 A number of bodies are responsible for delivering and managing sport and recreation facilities, including Buckinghamshire County Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council, town and parish councils, Sport England, developers, and private sports clubs and associations. Therefore effective partnership working is required to maintain and enhance the provision in the district.

(2) 11.14 A large part of Aylesbury Vale has a rural nature, which can mean that access to sport and recreation facilities can be difficult, however current provision across the district is generally sufficient. New housing development are likely to create additional need for sport and recreation facilities. The 2017 Assessment of Leisure and Cultural Facilities for Aylesbury Vale[49]identifies the existing provision of sports and recreation facilities, and identifies deficiencies and opportunities for future provision. Chapter 5 of the assessment sets out what the need for new provision is based on the draft Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan levels of growth. As the levels of growth proposed in the VALP are now lower overall and the distribution different, these needs should be amended according to the recommended standards set out in Chapter 6. The minimum threshold for provision is intended as a guide to developers; however the composition of provision will be dependent on the proposal and location of the site.

11.15 Currently, the 'Sport and Leisure Facilities SPG Companion Document: Ready Reckoner' is used to provide details on what developments should provide. The detail in this will be updated to reflect the latest information and support the growth set out in this Plan.   In addition, an Aylesbury Vale Sports Facilities Strategy is being prepared and will provide information relating to locations for new sports facilities.

(4) I2 Sports and recreation

The council will encourage partnership working to ensure that sufficient quantity and quality of, and convenient access to, sport and recreation provision is secured through the following measures:

  1. To protect existing sites and facilities, planning permission will not normally be granted where this would result in the loss of sport and recreational facilities. When dealing with applications which involve this the Council will consider its recreational and amenity value, existing  provision compared to need in the local area and if equivalent or better quantity and quality replacement provision are provided.
  2. Proposals for new facilities or those that expand/enhance existing provision to address existing deficiencies will be supported subject to compliance with other relevant planning policies. Facilities should be easily accessible by public transport and with safe pedestrian and cycle access for people of all abilities.
  3. Proposals for new development should include sufficient sport and recreation provision commensurate to the need generated by the proposals. Housing schemes designed for family occupation should where necessary make suitable provision for equipped play areas for children's use, located safely and with due regard for residential amenity.  Consideration should be given to the ongoing management and maintenance of facilities and their cost and viability. Where new facilities are provided they will be encouraged to go beyond the current accessibility standards.

Where on-site provision is not achievable, a financial contribution will be sought for improvement of provision as close as possible elsewhere. If development proposals are considered to be unviable when complying with the above requirements, open book financial analysis of proposed developments will be expected.

Community facilities

(2) 11.16 The National Planning Policy Framework promotes healthy inclusive communities where residents have opportunities to meet through safe and accessible environments. Community facilities and services include public halls, schools, shops, post offices, public houses, places of worship, libraries, museums, crèches, day centres and doctors surgeries. They make a vital contribution to the social and economic life of the community, particularly in rural areas, and are especially important for elderly and disabled people and for those who do not have easy access to private or public transport. 

11.17 The Council will refuse proposals that would result in the erosion of community facilities and services, unless it can be clearly demonstrated that there is no long-term requirement for their retention. In the case of a commercial venture, the applicant will need to satisfy the Council that the existing use is no longer commercially viable and, prove that a genuine attempt has been made to market the enterprise as a going concern.

11.18 Similarly, new development creates an additional need for community facilities. The type of facilities needed depends on existing facilities in the locality, and the type of development proposed.

11.19 An asset of community value (ACV) is land or property of importance to a local community which is subject to additional protection from development under the Localism Act 2011. Voluntary and community organisations can nominate an asset to be included on their local authority's register of assets of community value. ACV status is a material consideration when dealing with planning applications that affect an asset.

(4) I3 Community facilities and assets of community value

The Council will resist proposals for the change of use of community buildings and facilities for which there is a demonstrable local need, unless the loss resulting from the proposed development would be replaced by equivalent or better provision in terms of quantity and quality in a suitable location. In considering applications for alternative development or uses, the Council will consider the viability of the existing use, that the site/use has been marketed for a minimum period of 12 months at a price commensurate with its use together with proof there has been no viable interest, marketing of the building or facility at a price commensurate with its use, the presence of alternative local facilities and the community benefits of the proposed use. Where permission includes converting the use of a building, conditions will be imposed to ensure later resumption of a community use is not excluded.

In considering applications for residential development, the Council will consider the need for new community facilities arising from the proposal. Conditions will be imposed on permissions, or planning obligations sought in order to secure appropriate community facilities, or financial contributions towards community facilities, reasonably related to the scale and kind of development proposed.


11.20 Climate change is expected to increase instances of extreme weather, causing: greater flooding, coastal erosion, crop failures/agricultural decline, species and habitats decline, human health risks from extreme temperatures, more limited drinking water resources, heavy rainfall and more frequent and severe storms, increased average sea levels and warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers. The 2009 UK Climate Projections (UKCP09) set out projections of climate change. These include increases in summer mean temperatures, particularly in southern England, decreases in summer precipitation, again particularly in southern England, and increases in winter precipitation in southern England. Climate change allowances are set out in National Planning Practice Guidance for use in assessing flood risk. These set a range of allowances for peak river flows for areas which rise every 30 years. For example in the South East in the 2080s peak river flows will be between 35% to 105% higher than they are now.

11.21 Changes as small as a 2°C global temperature rise will have serious impacts: rising sea levels, extreme events such as droughts and heavy rainfall, leading to disruption to natural and man-made habitats. Communities across the UK may struggle to cope with the effects of warmer summers and wetter winters. As a consequence of climate change, parts of the district will be at increased risk from groundwater, fluvial and/or tidal flooding. It might not be possible to maintain hard defences in the long term. Development therefore need to be strongly restricted in areas at risk to flooding, whilst ensuring that existing towns and villages are protected by sustainable means that make space for water in suitable areas.

(2) 11.22 Inevitably, there are serious concerns amongst residents about the impacts of flooding, both in respect of current properties at risk but also the long-term management of the area. These issues are therefore key factors in determining the scale and location of development. Development should protect and enhance the natural environment by directing development away from sensitive areas that cannot accommodate change. Any development in the district must therefore have regard to flood and erosion risk, by way of location-specific measures such as additional flood alleviation, to protect people, properties and vulnerable habitats from flooding.

(1) 11.23 It is important that inappropriate development is avoided in areas currently at risk from flooding, or likely to be at risk as a result of climate change, or in areas where development is likely to increase flooding elsewhere. Development will generally be directed away from areas where there is likely to be significant risk of flooding. Where development is needed and harm cannot be avoided, appropriate mitigation to offset any adverse impact will be required. Any risk must be assessed using the Environment Agency flood maps and the Council's strategic flood risk assessment (SFRA). The Plan takes a sequential risk-based approach to ensure that development does not take place in areas at high risk of flooding, when appropriate areas of lower risk are reasonably available.

Strategic flood risk assessment

(1) 11.24 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires that Local Plans should be supported by a strategic flood risk assessment (SFRA), which identifies areas that may flood taking into account all potential sources of flooding. It is used to inform planning policies and assist Local Planning authorities in directing new development to areas of lower flood risk, and ensure that new development helps to manage flood risk. A new SFRA has been prepared to support this Plan.  Stage 1 of the SFRA assesses flood risk from all forms of flooding and gauges the impact (including cumulative impact) that land use changes and development will have on flood risk and the opportunities to reduce flood risk to existing communities and developments. Any areas of significant risk where development may occur are then subject to a more detailed Stage 2 assessment where required including the new climate change allowances.  The SFRA has provided the basis for a sequential test of locations selected for development in Flood Zones 2 and 3.  It also sets out measures that need to be taken into account when planning for new development in relation to flooding in these locations.

(1) 11.25 Site-specific flood risk assessment (FRAs) will be required in accordance with the NPPF and NPPG (National Planning Policy Guidelines). An FRA should identify and assess the risks of all forms of flooding to and from the development, and demonstrate how these flood risks will be managed, taking climate change into account. Fluvial (river) flood events up to and including the 1 in 100 year event with an allowance for climate change should be considered. For major developments in Flood Zone 1, the FRA should identify opportunities to reduce the probability and consequences of flooding. The FRA should also prioritise the use of sustainable drainage systems.

11.26 We will work actively with the Environment Agency, Buckinghamshire County Council (BCC) as local lead flood authority, other operating authorities and relevant stakeholders to ensure that best use is made of their expertise. We will ensure that spatial planning supports existing flood risk management policies and plans, management plans and emergency planning.

Flood risk

11.27 Flooding occurs adjacent to rivers and other watercourses, but it can also occur elsewhere, such as groundwater flooding, or where buildings or other structures affect the natural drainage of the land. Flooding also occurs from surface water, canals and reservoirs.  Some areas are at risk from fluvial flooding, or have the potential to exacerbate flooding elsewhere through surface water runoff and overland flow. The Council wishes to avoid danger to life and damage to property wherever flood risk may exist. The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 assigns BCC with responsibility for managing flood risk as lead local flood authority. The probability of flooding can be reduced through the management of land, river systems and flood defences, and the impact reduced through influencing the type of development located in flood risk areas.

(5) 11.28 Through the Local Plan the Council will manage and reduce flood risk in the district by undertaking a strategic flood risk assessment, together with a sequential approach to development, locating vulnerable developments in areas at lower risk of flooding. Development proposals will be assessed through flood risk assessments where appropriate, a sequential approach to site appraisal and where necessary the exceptions test as set out in the NPPF and NPPG. Tables within the NPPG set out the relative vulnerabilities of types of development to flooding relative to the flood zones. Development will only be permitted in areas of flood risk when there are no reasonably available sites in areas of lower flood risk and the benefits of the development outweigh the risks from flooding. Defended areas should be sequentially tested as though the defences are not there.

11.29 In addition to safeguarding floodplains from development, opportunities will be sought to restore natural river flows and floodplains, increasing their amenity and biodiversity value. Building over or culverting of watercourses should be avoided, and the removal of existing culverts will be encouraged. The Council is in the process of bringing in a watercourse advice note covering watercourse corridors for biodiversity, recreational and amenity benefits. Existing flood defences will be protected from damaging development, and where development is considered appropriate in areas protected by such defences it must allow for the maintenance and management of the defences and be designed to be resilient to flooding. Site-specific flood risk assessments will be required to accompany development proposals in the following situations:

  • all development proposals located in Flood Zones 2 or 3
  • development proposals of 1ha or more located in Flood Zone 1
  • development sites located in an area known to have experienced flooding problems, and
  • development sites located within 9m of any watercourses (8m in the Environment Agency's Anglian Region[50])

(1) 11.30 Flood risk assessments should assess all sources of flood risk and demonstrate that:

  • there will be no increase in surface water discharge rates or volumes during storm events up to and including the 1 in 100 year storm event, with an allowance for climate change (the design storm event)
  • developments will not flood from surface water up to and including the design storm event, or any surface water flooding beyond the 1 in 30 year storm event, up to and including the design storm event will be safely contained on site.

11.31 Development should be safe and remain operational (where necessary). Proposals should demonstrate that surface water will be managed effectively on site and that the development will not increase flood risk elsewhere, including sewer flooding. Applications will also be assessed against the Environment Agency's standing advice on flood risk. Account will also need to be taken of the Buckinghamshire Local Flood Risk Management Strategy (LFRMS) produced by BCC and the catchment flood management plans published by the Environment Agency for the Thames and Ouse catchments. Wherever a watercourse will be altered or diverted as a result of development land drainage consent will be required under Section 23 of the Land Drainage Act 1991.

(7) I4 Flooding

Management of flood risk

In order to minimise the impacts of and from all forms of flood risk the following is required:

  1. Site-specific flood risk assessments (FRAs), informed by the latest version of the SFRA, where  the development proposal is over 1ha in size and is in Flood Zone 1, or the development proposal includes land in Flood Zones 2 and 3 (as defined by the latest Environment Agency mapping). A site-specific FRA will also be required where a development proposal affects land in Flood Zone 1 where evidence, in particular the SFRA, indicates there are records of historic flooding or other sources of flooding, e.g. due to critical drainage problems, including from ordinary watercourses
  2. Other than sites allocated in the VALP, all development proposals must clearly demonstrate that the flood risk sequential test and sequential approach, as set out in the latest version of the SFRA, has been passed, and
  3. If the sequential test has been satisfied, development proposals, other than those allocated in this Plan, must also satisfy the exception test in all applicable situations as set out in the latest version of the SFRA.

Flood risk assessments

All development proposals must adhere to the advice in the latest version of the SFRA and will:

  1. provide level-for-level floodplain compensation and volume-for-volume compensation unless a justified reason has been submitted and agreed which may  justify other forms of compensation
  2. ensure no increase in flood risk on site or harm to third parties
  3. explore opportunities to reduce flood risk overall, including financial contributions from the developer where appropriate
  4. ensure development is safe from flooding for its lifetime including an assessment of climate change impacts
  5. ensure development is appropriately flood resistant, resilient and safe
  6. take into account all sources and forms of flooding
  7. ensure safe access and exits are available for development in accordance with Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) guidance[51]. Access to "safe refuges" or "dry islands" are unlikely to be considered safe as this will further burden the Emergency Service in times of flood
  8. provide an assessment of residual flood risk
  9. provide satisfactory Evacuation Management Plans, where necessary, including consultation with the Emergency Services and Emergency Planners

Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS)

  1. Ensure development layouts are informed by drainage strategies incorporating SuDS
  2. All development will be required to design and use sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) for the management of surface water run-off, as part of the submitted planning application. All development  should adopt exemplar source control SuDS techniques to reduce the risk of flooding due to post-development runoff. SuDS design should follow current best practice  (CIRIA Manual 2015 or as replaced) and Buckinghamshire County Council guidance on runoff rates and volumes to deliver wider environmental benefits
  3. Where site-specific FRAs are required in association with development proposals, they should be used to determine how SuDS can be used on particular sites and to design appropriate systems
  4. In considering SuDS solutions, the need to protect groundwater quality must be taken into account, especially where infiltration techniques are proposed in considering a response to the presence of any contaminated land. The Environment Agency need to be consulted where infiltration is proposed in contaminated land. SuDS should seek to reduce flood risk, reduce pollution and provide landscape and wildlife benefits. Opportunities will be sought to enhance natural river flows and floodplains, increasing their amenity and biodiversity value and a watercourse advice note is being prepared for further guidance
  5. Applicants will be required to provide a management plan to maintain SuDS in new developments, and a contribution will be required  for maintenance of  the scheme/SuDS
  6. Onsite attenuation options should be tested to ensure that changing the timing of peak flows does not exacerbate flooding downstream, and
  7. Only in exceptional circumstances will surface water connections to the combined or surface water system be permitted. Applicants will need to demonstrate in consultation with the sewerage undertaker that there is no feasible alternative and that there will be no detriment to existing users.

Applicants will be required to liaise with the lead local flood authority, Internal Drainage Boards, and the Environment Agency on any known flood issues, and identify issues from the outset via discussions with statutory bodies.

Climate change

  1. Climate change modelling should be undertaken  using the relevant allowances (February 2016) for the type of development and level of risk
  2. Safe access and egress should be demonstrated in the 1 in 100 plus climate change event, and
  3. Compensation flood storage would need to be provided for any land-raising within the 1 in 100 plus appropriate climate change flood event

Water resources

(1) 11.32 Water resources need to be safeguarded from the potentially negative impacts of development. The Council will therefore require sustainable construction, sustainable flood risk management and sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) to reduce the impact of development on the natural environment and water resources. This will assist in contributing to the objectives of the Water Framework Directive which seeks to protect and enhance the quality of water bodies, and indicates that development should not result in any deterioration in the status of surface water bodies. Some development can remediate contaminated land which may be having an adverse impact on controlled water and human health.

(2) 11.33 The Council will seek to maintain water quality, ensure adequate water resources and promote sustainability in water use. Water quality will be maintained and enhanced by avoiding adverse effects of development on the water environment. Development proposals will not be permitted which would adversely affect the water quality of surface or underground water bodies (including rivers, canals, lakes and reservoirs) as a result of attributable factors. Development will only be permitted where adequate water resources exist, or can be provided without detriment to existing uses. Where appropriate, phasing of development will be used to enable the relevant water infrastructure to be put in place.

(2) 11.34 Aylesbury Vale, which has parts of both the Anglian and Thames Water supply regions is in an area of 'water stress' This means it has poor overall water quality and quantity of water resources hindering the achievement of the Good status under the Water Framework Directive (the UK is bound as a member state to achieve 'Good status'). The Water Cycle Study 2017 has assessed all water resources and supply in the district and recommended VALP policy measures to address this.

11.35 The Water Cycle Study 2017 includes an assessment by Anglian and Thames Water of the capacity available to serve the housing growth in VALP, the infrastructure upgrades needed and where constraints exist to serve infrastructure enhancements. The site allocation policies in this Plan and infrastructure delivery plan will set out where wastewater treatment work capacity needs headroom capacity boosting.

(1) 11.36 Thames Water previously  identified the possible need for a major new storage reservoir  partly in the district to the west of Chinnor.  Most of the site is in South Oxfordshire and Wycombe districts. The purpose of the reservoir is  to address long-term water resource management in the Thames Valley.  Thames Water has completed and published the latest Fine Screening Report (April 2017) as part of Water Resource Management Plan 2019 (WRMP19). This Fine Screening Report confirms that the Chinnor reservoir site is no longer a preferred option to be included in the draft WRMP19 and has been screened out. Therefore, the Chinnor reservoir site does not need to be safeguarded in Local Plans.

(14) I5 Water resources

The Council will seek to improve water quality, ensure adequate water resources, promote sustainability in water use and ensure wastewater collection and treatment has sufficient capacity.

The baseline position on water resources, quality and supply infrastructure, wastewater collection and treatment work capacity is set out in the Aylesbury Vale Water Cycle Study 2017. Consultation will be required with either Anglian or Thames Water (whichever is appropriate) at the time a planning application is submitted (and evidence of this must be provided) to understand if the baseline position on water resources and wastewater has changed. Development proposals must meet all the following criteria:

Water quality

a. Water quality will be maintained and enhanced by avoiding adverse effects of development on the water environment. Development proposals will not be permitted which would adversely affect the water quality of surface or underground water bodies(including rivers, canals, lakes, reservoirs, source protection zones and groundwater aquifers) as a result of directly attributable factors.

Water resource availability

b. Development will only be permitted where adequate water resources exist, or can be provided without detriment to existing uses. New homes should be built to not exceed the water consumption standard of 110 litres per person per day .

Wastewater treatment

c. Planning applications must take into account the capacity available at wastewater treatment works. At the Aylesbury, Buckingham, Great Horwood, Ivinghoe and Whaddon Wastewater Treatment Works, any application for an increased flow permit should be accompanied by a flood risk assessment to quantify whether the additional flow poses an increase in flood risk.

Planning obligations

d. Where appropriate, phasing of development will be used to enable the relevant water infrastructure to be put in place and planning obligations will be used to secure contributions to capacity improvements required as a result of development.


11.37 Telecommunications is the general term for the transfer of information over varying distances using technologies such as telephone, television, mobile phones and the internet. High quality communications infrastructure includes the recent advances in broadband and wireless technologies.

11.38 High quality telecommunications are becoming increasingly important for economic growth – attracting new business and allowing existing businesses to remain competitive. Telecommunications also have social benefits – increasing social inclusion through better access to services that are web-based. Superfast broadband can also encourage homeworking and reduce car journeys. Focus on developing networks in urban areas has however led to rural areas being relatively disadvantaged.

11.39 Broadband networks are being developed with the Government's vision for the UK to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe. The Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Growth Deal includes commitments to extend superfast broadband across Buckinghamshire to areas of high business population, and to stimulate growth in Buckinghamshire electronics and telecommunications sectors through early access to 5G technologies.

11.40 The VALP recognises the importance of delivering superfast broadband to rural areas, and development should facilitate where possible the growth of new and existing telecommunications systems to ensure people have a choice of providers and services. At the same time the Council is keen to minimise any adverse impact on the character of the locality and the environment. Nevertheless the Government has given permitted development rights to some telecommunications development and they cannot be addressed by policies in this Plan.

(1) 11.41 A key element of the VALP is that new development should be co-ordinated with the telecommunications infrastructure it requires, and take into account the capacity of existing infrastructure. Delivery of infrastructure will be dependent upon maximising the contribution from the development process, whilst recognising that a contribution from both the public and private sector will be necessary. This includes the Government's role in providing the necessary investment to achieve sustainable growth, including appropriate revenue support to those agencies required to manage or serve such development.

Determining applications

11.42 In determining all applications for telecommunications installations, the Council is required to consider its decisions in the light of site-specific issues, such as siting, design, effect on the street scene and highway safety. The Council is also required to make its decisions in accordance with nationally established policy. National planning policy is included in Section 5 of the NPPF, and provides guidance on planning for telecommunications development - including radio masts, towers and antennas of all kinds.

11.43 In undertaking installations, the telecommunications operators have to comply with the requirements of Part 16 of Schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) 2015 which gives deemed planning permission subject to exclusions and conditions. Changes to telecommunication permitted development rights came into effect in November 2016. Amongst other changes the revisions permit  taller new or replacement masts with heights dependant on whether an area is protected or not without the need for a planning application..

Strategic policy

11.44 The VALP will encourage and facilitate improved access to high speed broadband and new communications technologies across the district. The VALP recognises the importance of delivering superfast broadband to rural areas. Development should facilitate where possible the growth of new and existing telecommunications systems to ensure people have a choice of providers and services. The Council expects high quality communications infrastructure to be incorporated into the design of all new housing and commercial development in the district, ensuring the future-proofing of telecommunications, enabling them to be easily provided and/or upgraded in the future. The Council will therefore expect developers to explore the option of providing on-site infrastructure, including ducting to industry standards in any new residential, employment or commercial development for efficient connection to existing networks. If such measures cannot be delivered, the developer will need to submit evidence to justify the reasons why this is the case, whether it be for viability or technical reasons.

(2) I6 Telecommunications

Telecommunications development will be permitted where:

  1. It is provided as part of high quality communications infrastructure in new housing and commercial development providing it is future-proofed to industry standards
  2. Developers have explored the option of providing on-site infrastructure, including ducting to industry standards in any new residential, employment or commercial development for efficient connection to existing networks. If such measures cannot be delivered, the developer will need to submit evidence to justify the reasons why this is the case, whether it be for viability or technical reasons
  3. It is sited and designed to minimise visual impact and does not have a detrimental visual impact on the character or appearance of the building or the area to which it relates
  4. It has been adequately demonstrated that the use of alternative sites involving mast sharing and other buildings or structures that provide a less visual impact have been considered, together with any technical considerations and limitations
  5. It can be clearly demonstrated that the benefits of high masts and large telecommunication structures within the Green Belt, designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, other areas of landscape importance, areas of ecological interest, conservation areas, listed buildings or other designated heritage assets including within their settings outweighs the harm, and all reasonable alternatives to avoid or mitigate impacts have been considered
  6. Proposals are, where necessary, to be supported by an appropriate landscaping scheme and appropriate means of camouflage, and
  7. Where mechanisms, such as conditions or planning obligations , will ensure the removal of equipment when it is no longer required.

[50] north of a line from Marsh Gibbon-Whitchurch-Wingrave-Dagnall –  p.35 of the Water Cycle Strategy Phase 1 (2017)

[51] DEFRA 'Flood Risks to People Methodology' (FD2321/TR1 (2006) and 'Framework and Guidance for Assessing and Managing Flood Risk for New Development' (FD2320/TR2'  (2005) (As replaced)

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