VALP Proposed Submission
2 Vision and Strategic Objectives
A Vision for Aylesbury Vale to 2033
2.1 The Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan (VALP) is the cornerstone of planning for the whole district and is critical to delivering national, community and corporate objectives and aspirations. It sets the ambition and direction for the district as a whole, which all relevant strategies and delivery plans of the Council and its delivery partners should support. This includes proposals by development partners and in neighbourhood policy documents that may emerge. It needs to reflect the Council's overall vision which is:
To secure the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the people and businesses in the area
2.2 The vision for Aylesbury Vale is also based on the characteristics of the area and the key issues and challenges it faces. The vision is informed by the evidence base for the Plan, sustainability considerations, and the views of the community and encompasses the approaches set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
2.3 The vision for VALP, together with the ensuing objectives, will guide and drive the delivery of all elements of the Plan. The vision and objectives also form a key element in judging compliance of neighbourhood planning documents and development proposals as they come forward.
2.4 By 2033 Aylesbury Vale will see a sustainable amount and distribution of growth to meet needs and which will contribute to creating a thriving, diverse, safe, vibrant place to live, work and visit where all residents enjoy a high quality of life.
For this to happen:
- Growth will be shaped by strong place-shaping and sustainability principles to create safe, well-designed developments that are sensitive to the district's local character and heritage and well integrated with existing communities, both in terms of scale, land-use and design. People will have a sense of pride in their communities, wherever they live in the district. Environmental, heritage and cultural assets will be protected and, where possible, enhanced. The Green Belt will be strongly defined and protected from inappropriate development.
- New housing will have been provided in sustainable locations to a high standard of design to meet housing needs in the area. This will include the delivery of affordable housing and housing to meet the needs of older people, people with disabilities and those with specialist needs. The needs of the Traveller community will have been met by the provision of suitable sites. Unmet housing need from other areas will have been met where reasonable and sustainable to do so.
- The economy will be more competitive and innovative. Existing commitments, allocations and enterprise zones (at Aylesbury, Silverstone and Westcott), will deliver a diverse and flexible range of land, premises and opportunities for new and existing businesses. The main town centres in Aylesbury and Buckingham will be enhanced to deliver retailing, services, and other activities their communities need. This will create more jobs and high quality facilities, letting residents and visitors work, shop, and spend their leisure time in the local area.
- Growth will be accompanied by the delivery of infrastructure, services, and facilities in the right places at the right time, to bring maximum benefits to new and existing communities. This includes improving transport (to encourage sustainable transport choices), education, health, green and blue infrastructure, community facilities, leisure facilities, communications technology, water and air quality and flood management measures and policing and emergency services infrastructure. Improved links to London and the Thames Valley area, including Oxford and Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge (via East West Rail) and the Oxford-Cambridge expressway, will help to ensure that local businesses continue to thrive and grow and attract new enterprise and inward investment. The environmental impact of infrastructure improvements, such as HS2, will have been suitably mitigated.
- Growth and regeneration will have narrowed the difference in opportunities between the wealthier and the less well-off, with increased opportunities for all residents to participate in local community events celebrating their history, identity and diversity.
- Growth will allow people in the district to have access to excellent education and training, both academically and vocationally, with opportunities for life-long learning accessible to all.
Aylesbury will grow
significantly and will:
- be an inclusive, safe, innovative and forward-looking Garden Town that meets the needs and aspirations of the existing population, new residents and visitors
- be a recognised centre for investment and growth providing new housing, business and enterprise and opportunities for all
- be a key hub for public transportation and interchange offering a diverse choice of travel modes with stronger public transport links to Milton Keynes, Oxford and the Thames Valley, meaning that Aylesbury is an integral part of the national rail network rather than the end of the line
- have had significant transport improvements across the town with new link roads connecting the existing highway network and making provision for alternative routes to and within the town centre around the town which will provide capacity for a comprehensive quality cycling and walking network within the town and extending to the expanded town and surrounding villages
- have seen the regeneration of previously-developed sites, and development of well-designed, connected, healthy, safe and integrated greenfield urban fringe sites. These will help deliver identified strategic infrastructure, without compromising the character of surrounding villages or community cohesion
- have increased the range and quality of services, homes, retail and leisure facilities in Aylesbury town centre by designing and building to high standards and attracting new retailers and leisure operators. This will bring a renaissance to the town that protects and promotes its historic core, whilst adapting to the changing role of town centres. The centre will be vibrant and energetic with plenty for all to do and enjoy throughout the day and into the evening, serving both the urban and rural populations
- have an accessible, sustainable and well-managed network of green and blue infrastructure. This will include improved linkages from the town into surrounding countryside along the Aylesbury Canal corridor and other routes, enhancing watercourses for wildlife and people, protecting and enhancing the biodiversity of the area and supporting a range of recreational activities
- be increasingly seen as a tourist destination and used as a base to explore local tourism attractions such as Waddesdon Manor, Hartwell House, Wendover Woods, the Chilterns AONB and other tranquil and attractive areas, and
- have enhanced its role and reputation as a centre for education, diversity and excellence.
- be an inclusive, safe, innovative and forward-looking market town that meets the needs and aspirations of existing and new residents and visitors
- be a recognised centre for investment and growth providing new housing and opportunities for all
- have seen sustainable regeneration of previously-developed sites and integrated extensions to the town on greenfield urban fringe sites
- be a hub of higher education and skills through growth and enhancement of the University of Buckingham and other facilities which support job training and skills
- have enhanced the town centre creating a vibrant and energetic place with plenty for all to do and enjoy throughout the day and into the evening, serving both the town and rural population, and
- have benefitted from further investment in transport infrastructure with active links within the town (high quality pedestrian and cycle routes) and to the new station at Winslow as part of East West Rail.
- will remain predominantly rural in character, enjoying high-quality landscapes with heritage, cultural and biodiversity assets protected and where possible enhanced
- the economy will have seen continuing economic growth including a mix of strategic sites, expansion of existing sites and local small-scale development, supported by improved communications infrastructure
- transport links will have been improved by the provision of a new station at Winslow on the East West Rail line that will have restored to the northern and central district a local and convenient access to the national rail network, absent since the mid-1960s
- growth will have been proportionate and reflect places' capacity to grow and community aspirations in terms of scale, phasing, type and design of development. Further details will come through neighbourhood plans in most cases
- development will reflect the character of the local circumstances in which growth is delivered
- growth will protect high-quality agricultural land
- there will be a well-managed network of green infrastructure which protects and enhances biodiversity and supports a range of recreational activities, and local services which support sustainable communities, including shops and pubs.
2.5 The objectives flowing from the vision set out above represent the key delivery outcomes the VALP should achieve.
2.6 In order to accommodate growth and deliver development in accordance with the vision: