Aylesbury Vale Area

VALP Proposed Submission

Ended on the 14 December 2017
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3 Strategic

Sustainable development of Aylesbury Vale

Sustainable development at the heart of decision making

3.1 This section sets out the overall strategy for sustainable development, the identified growth requirements, and how this growth will be delivered spatially in Aylesbury Vale.

3.2 The principles of sustainable development are central to the planning system, as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) paragraphs 11-16. All development has to fit with the NPPF and the central presumption in favour of  sustainable development. The framework recognises that sustainable development is about change for the better and it defines sustainable as 'meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.'

(24) 3.3 Sustainable development is about positive growth making economic, environmental and social progress for current and future generations. To achieve this, economic, social and environmental gains should be sought jointly as they are mutually dependent.  The planning system performs a number of roles in this respect:

  • An economic role – contributing to building a strong, responsive and competitive economy, by ensuring that sufficient land of the right type is available in the right places to support growth and innovation, including infrastructure provision
  • A social role – supporting strong, vibrant and healthy communities by providing housing (including affordable housing), and by creating a high quality built environment with accessible local services 
  • An environmental role – contributing to protecting and enhancing the natural, historic and built environment, and as part of this, helping to improve biodiversity, use natural resources prudently, minimise waste and pollution, and mitigate and adapt to climate change

3.4 In line with this, the Council has adopted a positive approach to development and the VALP provides a clear framework of policies to guide development that creates positive and sustainable growth. Policy S1 therefore seeks to ensure that all development is sustainable and follows the presumption in favour of sustainable development. This policy will be at the heart of decision making when assessing planning applications.

(62) S1 Sustainable development  for Aylesbury Vale

All development must comply with the principles of sustainable development set out in the NPPF. In the local context of Aylesbury Vale this means that development proposals and neighbourhood planning documents should:

Contribute positively to meeting the vision and strategic objectives for the district set out above, and fit with the intentions and policies of the VALP (and policies within neighbourhood plans where relevant). Proposals that are in accordance with the development plan will be approved without delay, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. The Council will work proactively with applicants to find solutions so  that proposals can be approved wherever possible, and to secure development that improves the economic, social and environmental conditions in the area. 

  1. Where there are no policies relevant to the application then the Council will grant permission unless material considerations indicate otherwise – taking into account whether:
  • any adverse impacts of granting permission would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in the National Planning Policy Framework taken as a whole, or
  • specific policies in the NPPF indicate that development should be restricted.

In assessing development proposals, consideration will be given to:

  1. providing a mix of uses, especially employment, to facilitate flexible working practices so minimising the need to travel
  2. delivering strategic infrastructure and other community needs to both new and existing communities
  3. giving priority to the reuse of vacant or underused brownfield land.
  4. minimising impacts on local communities
  5. building integrated communities with existing populations
  6. minimising impacts on heritage assets, sensitive landscapes and biodiversity
  7. providing high-quality accessibility through the implementation of sustainable modes of travel including public transport, walking and cycling
  8. providing access to facilities including healthcare, education, employment, retail and community facilities
  9. meeting the effects of climate change and flooding.

Sustainable strategy for growth and its distribution

(1) 3.5 The development strategy seeks to deliver the Local Plan's vision and objectives to meet the wider needs of places and communities within the district. 

(5) 3.6 The Local Plan strategy and its vision, objectives and policies have been shaped by a number of factors including:

  • the identification of the strategic housing market area and functional economic market area within which Aylesbury Vale sits
  • the identification of employment, housing and retail needs for the district
  • infrastructure capacity and constraints, in particular wastewater, roads and transport
  • environmental constraints – to avoid flood risk areas, protecting environmental assets, landscape quality, contaminated land and pollution, the historic environment and settlement character
  • the availability of potential housing sites and their deliverability and phasing
  • public consultation and the sustainability appraisals of options and policies.

3.7 Policy S2 sets out the magnitude of growth and the spatial strategy for the district. AVDC is working actively to meet the Government's objective of significantly boosting supply and increasing the affordability of new housing. The spatial strategy and policy S2 meets the existing and future housing needs of people in the district, whilst also meeting some unmet needs originating from neighbouring authorities.

3.8 The VALP seeks to ensure that development is located in the most sustainable locations as set out in Policy S1.

Housing and economic needs

(1) 3.9 The NPPF requires Local Planning authorities to:

'Ensure that their Local Plan meets the full, objectively-assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the housing market area' and  'identify the scale and mix of housing and the range of tenures that the local population is likely to need over the plan period which meets household and population projections, taking account of migration and demographic change'. Paragraphs 47 and 159

(1) 3.10 The NPPF also identifies that:

'Local Planning authorities should have a clear understanding of business needs within the economic markets operating in and across their area' and establish 'a robust evidence base to understand both existing business needs and likely changes in the market.' Paragraph 160.

3.11 In accordance with requirements set out in the NPPF, the Council, alongside other Buckinghamshire authorities, commissioned a series of reports to identify the Buckinghamshire housing market and functional economic areas, as well as a Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment (HEDNA).

3.12 The reports (produced by consultants ORS) identify that Aylesbury Vale sits within a best-fit housing market area that includes Wycombe, Chiltern and South Bucks districts. There was a  recognition that Aylesbury town sat within its own area but within a wider strategic housing market area. Aylesbury Vale also has links with housing markets in neighbouring areas, such as Milton Keynes.

(5) 3.13 For the VALP to be considered sound in terms of housing provision, it was necessary to identify the full, objectively-assessed needs for the whole housing market area. The Buckinghamshire Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment (HEDNA)[[1]] is the most up-to-date assessment of local housing needs, which identifies the needs for new jobs and homes up to 2033. The HEDNA starts by considering the Government's population projections, determines whether they need to be varied to reflect local circumstances and concludes that the number of new dwellings required across the 'best fit' housing market area is 46,200, with 19,400 required in Aylesbury Vale. Wycombe and Chiltern/South Bucks District Councils have carried out comprehensive capacity assessments, and cannot accommodate all of their housing need in their own districts. As a result there is a significant element of unmet need to be accommodated in Aylesbury Vale. Wycombe District's unmet need figure is 2,250 and Chiltern/South Bucks Districts' unmet need figure is 5,750. This gives a total of 27,400 dwellings to be accommodated in Aylesbury Vale between 2013 and 2033. The HEDNA also considered the level of employment land for offices, manufacturing and warehousing that should be provided for in the Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA). This has involved evaluating two employment forecasts, determining which of them is the most appropriate for the economic area and taking into account current circumstances in the commercial property market which indicate a growth of 7,240 employees in B Class employment. Based on this, the identified need is for 27 hectares (ha) of new employment land in Aylesbury Vale. The Council currently has an oversupply of over 100ha of employment land, but this surplus will play a crucial role in helping to make up the shortfall elsewhere in the economic market area as well as providing for flexibility in the longer term.

(5) 3.14 The VALP focuses the majority of growth in Aylesbury Buckingham, Winslow, Wendover and Haddenham and adjacent to Milton Keynes. Development at these strategic settlements will maintain and enhance their respective roles in the Vale's settlement hierarchy (Policy S3), minimising the need to travel, and optimising sustainable modes of travel. It will also help to deliver facilities and services needed and enable an integrated and balanced approach to the provision of homes, jobs and leisure.

(38) 3.15 A new settlement had been proposed to be part of the strategy for VALP in order to help deliver the housing requirement.  As a result of the reduction in our housing figures, a new settlement is no longer part of this plan.  However, we fully anticipate the need to carry out an early review of VALP to take into account newly emerging issues such as the Government's changed methodology on calculating housing need, as well as the impacts of major strategic schemes such as the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, the London Plan and the expansion of Heathrow, and we expect a new settlement to form part of that Local Plan review.

(1) 3.16 In addition to growth at the strategic settlements, further growth will also take place at the larger, medium and smaller villages reflecting the capacity of these settlements to accommodate development. This will allow these settlements to have growth to sustain their communities and meet their local needs for housing, employment and community facilities.

(5) 3.17 In total, the development allocated in this plan, alongside existing commitments and completions totals 28,830, which represents a 5.2% buffer on top of the requirement to meet the district's own objectively assessed need and the unmet need from the other authorities (27,400).  This gives sufficient flexibility in case sites do not come forward at the rate or density anticipated in the Plan.

3.18 It is recognised that Aylesbury Vale does not exist in isolation and the Council will continue to work closely with surrounding authorities with relation to cross-boundary issues such as strategic infrastructure projects including highways and transportation.

(152) S2 Spatial strategy for growth

The Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan will make provision for the delivery of the following in the period to 2033:

  • A total of 27,400 new homes in accordance with the spatial distribution set out below and in Table 1.  This is made up of:
  • 19,400 homes to meet the needs of Aylesbury Vale District
  • 2,250 homes to meet the needs of Wycombe District
  • 5,750 homes to meet the needs of Chiltern/South Bucks Districts
  • Provision for the identified need of 27 hectares of employment land and additional provision of some employment land to contribute to the employment needs of the wider economic market area.
  • Retail convenience floor space of 7,337 sqm[2]and comparison floor space of 29,289 sqm[3].
  • Associated infrastructure to support the above.

The primary focus of strategic levels of growth and investment will be at Aylesbury, and development at Buckingham, Winslow, Wendover and Haddenham supported by growth at other larger, medium and smaller villages. The strategy also allocates growth at a site adjacent to Milton Keynes which reflects its status as a strategic settlement immediately adjacent to Aylesbury Vale District. The spatial distribution will be as set out below.

Strategic growth and investment will be concentrated in sustainable locations as follows:

  1. Aylesbury Garden Town (comprising Aylesbury town and adjacent parts of surrounding parishes), will grow by 16,398 new homes.  It will be planned and developed drawing on Garden City principles which are set out in the Aylesbury Garden Town section, with high quality place-making and urban design principles at the core. This development will seek to support the revitalisation of the town centre. New housing will be delivered through existing commitments, including Berryfields and Kingsbrook, and complemented by other sustainable extensions and smaller scale development within the existing urban area.  New homes to support economic growth will be accommodated through the effective use of previously developed land or sustainable greenfield urban fringe sites. These sites will provide or support delivery of identified strategic infrastructure requirements, and sustainable transport enhancements and make connections to strategic green infrastructure and the Vale's enterprise zones.
  2. Buckingham will accommodate growth of 2,359 new homes. This, growth will enhance the town centre and its function as a market town, and will support sustainable economic growth in the north of the district. 
  3. Haddenham will accommodate growth of 1,051 new homes.  This will be supported by infrastructure and recognise the important role of Haddenham and Thame railway station.
  4. Winslow will accommodate growth of 1,166 new homes, linked with the development of East-West Rail and the new railway station in Winslow.
  5. Wendover will accommodate around 1,128 new homes with 1,000 new homes at Halton Camp which is now confirmed to be closing in 2022 recognising the sustainability of Wendover and the railway station.  No further growth is allocated at Wendover reflecting the environmental constraints of the surrounding AONB and Green Belt land.
  6. Land within Aylesbury Vale  adjacent to Milton Keynes will make provision for 2,212 homes on a number of sites.
  7. At larger villages, listed in Policy S3, housing growth of 1,963 will be at a scale in keeping with the local character. This will help meet identified needs for investment in housing and improve the range and type of employment opportunities across the district.
  8. At medium villages, listed in Policy S3, there will be housing growth of 1,095 at a scale in keeping with the local character and setting. This growth will be encouraged to help meet local housing and employment needs and to support the provision of services to the wider area.
  9. At smaller villages, listed in Policy S3, there will be more limited housing  growth coming forward through either 'windfall' applications or neighbourhood plan allocations rather than allocations in this Plan.
  10. Elsewhere in rural areas, housing development will be strictly limited.  This is likely to be incremental infill development and should be principally in line with Policy D4 and other relevant policies in the Plan.

Development that does not fit with the scale, distribution or requirements of this policy will not be permitted unless bought forward through neighbourhood planning.

(13) Table 1 Spatial strategy for growth in Aylesbury Vale



Completions 2013 - 2017

Commitments as at March 2017

Completions and Commitments 2013-2017[4]

Allocations in this plan

Total development

Strategic settlements



















Wendover / Halton Camp












Land adjacent to Milton Keynes






Larger villages







Medium villages







Smaller villages and other settlements





No allocations made at these locations













Settlement hierarchy and cohesive development

(1) 3.19 The strategy for development generally reflects the size and character of different settlements and seeks to deliver a sustainable level of development that will support their different roles and functions. In order to ensure that new development takes place in locations that have the best access to a wide range of services, facilities and employment opportunities, the Council has developed a settlement hierarchy which ranks all settlements (with a population of over 100), in order of their sustainability. The settlement hierarchy forms the basis for the distribution of growth outlined in the strategy in that it identifies the most sustainable locations for growth, and therefore where housing allocations should be made. It may also assist providers of community facilities and services in their investment decisions.

(7) 3.20 The settlement hierarchy is based on an assessment of population size, settlement connectivity, and the availability of employment and other services and facilities. A draft settlement hierarchy has been consulted on, and a number of changes have been made to the conclusions as a result of comments received.  A report has been produced setting out how the settlement hierarchy was established[6] which is available on the Council's website.  The proposed settlement hierarchy is set out in Table 2, along with the amount of housing to be accommodated at each settlement.  The allocations for each settlement are based on the capacity of the settlement to accommodate housing growth, rather than a blanket percentage increase on existing housing stock as was previously proposed in the draft Plan

(29) Table 2 Proposed settlement hierarchy and housing development




Amount of housing development


Made up of

Strategic settlements

The most sustainable towns and villages in the district and the focus for the majority of development.  These settlements act as service centres for other villages around them.  The plan will allocate sites at strategic settlements




Wendover/Halton Camp







(TOTAL 22,102)

8,588 completions/commitments, 7,810 allocated

1,509 completions/commitments, 850 allocated

736 completions/commitments, 315 allocated

128 completions/commitments, 1,000 allocated

581 completions/commitments, 585 allocated

Land adjacent to Milton Keynes

Allocation of land adjoining Milton Keynes that falls within Aylesbury Vale district, specifically within the parishes of Newton Longville and Stoke Hammond

Edge of Milton Keynes


357 completions/commitments, 1,855 allocated

Larger villages

Larger, more sustainable villages that have at least reasonable access to facilities and services and public transport, making them sustainable locations for development. The plan allocates sites at some of the larger villages

Aston Clinton



Long Crendon


Steeple Claydon

Stoke Mandeville

Stone (including Hartwell)

Waddesdon (including Fleet Marston)
















(TOTAL 1,963)

627 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

176 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

18 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

100 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

199 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

98 completions/commitments, 118 allocated

128 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

26 completions/commitments, 10 allocated

166 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

41 completions/commitments, 22 allocated

125 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

109 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

Medium villages

Medium villages have some provision key services and facilities, making them moderately sustainable locations for development.  The plan allocates some sites at medium villages

Bierton (including Broughton)





Great Horwood

Grendon Underwood


Maids Moreton

Marsh Gibbon


Newton Longville

North Marston




Stoke Hammond


Weston Turville




















(TOTAL 1,095)

23 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

6 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

107 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

4 completions/commitments, 21 allocated

8 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

74 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

42 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

3 completions/commitments, 20 allocated

1 completion/commitment, 170 allocated

38 completions/commitments, 9 allocated

15 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

31 completions/commitments, 17 allocated

8 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

48 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

22 completions/commitments, 37 allocated

101 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

149 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

105 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

36 completions/commitments, no allocated sites

Smaller villages

Smaller, less sustainable villages which have relatively poor access to services and facilities.  It is expected that some small scale development could be accommodated at smaller villages without causing unreasonable harm.  This level of development is also likely to help maintain existing communities.  Sites at smaller villages will come forward either through neighbourhood plans or by individual 'windfall' planning applications, no site allocations are made at smaller villages




Aston Abbotts




Calvert Green








Drayton Parslow

East Claydon



Great Brickhill



Ivinghoe Aston

Little Horwood


Mentmore and Ledburn





Oving (including Pitchcott)

Preston Bissett




Stowe and Dadford










To come forward through neighbourhood plans or through the development management process considered against relevant policies in the Plan

Other settlements

The remainder of settlements in the district which are not sustainable locations for development and are places where it is likely that any development would cause harm to the local environment.  Some very limited development could take place in accordance with the policies in this plan, but no allocations for housing will be made 

All remaining settlements (listed in the settlement hierarchy document)

To come forward through neighbourhood plans or through the development management process considered against relevant policies in the Plan

(1) 3.21 Specific policies for each of the settlement hierarchy categories are set out in the Strategic Delivery section (policies D1 – D4).

(41) 3.22 The Council will seek to preserve the character and identities of neighbouring settlements or communities. The Council will resist development that would compromise the open character of the countryside between settlements, especially where the gaps between them are already small.

(4) 3.23 It is acknowledged that in some cases, whilst neighbouring communities may still have separate characters or identities, the built-up areas of those settlements are already linked in part. The Council will resist further development that would result in the consolidation of such linkage that threatens what remains of the separate character or identity of the settlement or communities.

(2) 3.24 In addition to the general control of coalescence[8], there is a need for more specific protection in locations that are, or will be, experiencing the strongest pressures for development.

(55) S3 Settlement hierarchy and cohesive development

The scale and distribution of development should accord with the settlement hierarchy set out in Table 2 and the site allocation policies that arise from it. Other than for specific proposals and land allocations in the Plan, new development in the countryside should be avoided, especially where it would:

  1. compromise the character of the countryside between settlements, and
  2. result in a negative impact on the identities of neighbouring settlements or communities leading to their coalescence[9].

In considering applications for building in the countryside the Council will have regard to maintaining the individual identity of villages and avoiding extensions to built-up areas that might lead to coalescence between settlements.

Green Belt

3.25 A relatively small part of the London Metropolitan Green Belt falls within the district, as shown on the Policies Map. The Green Belt in Buckinghamshire was originally designated in 1954 through the Buckinghamshire County Development Plan. It has since been expanded and in 1979 was extended to include the approximately 48 square kilometres of Green Belt land that is now in the district. The northern boundary of the Green Belt was broadly established in line with the Chiltern escarpment excluding the settlement of Wendover.

3.26 The purposes of the Green Belt are to restrain the outward sprawl of London, to prevent the merging of towns, and so safeguarding the countryside from encroachment, checking unrestricted sprawl, to preserve the setting and character of historic towns and assisting in urban regeneration. The Green Belt partly surrounds the strategic settlement of Wendover and small parts of the villages of Aston Clinton and Ivinghoe. The villages of Halton and Dagnall are within the Green Belt. To the south of the district the Green Belt joins the Green Belt within Wycombe, Chiltern and Dacorum. To the east the district borders the Green Belt in Central Bedfordshire although this does not cross into the district. The Green Belt in these areas has helped shape the towns and villages.

3.27 Nationally, the Government places great importance on the Green Belt which has a range of important functions. The most important attributes of Green Belts are their 'openness' and 'permanence' and their general extent should only be altered in exceptional circumstances and when a Local Plan is being prepared or reviewed.

(1) 3.28 A Green Belt assessment has been undertaken jointly by the Buckinghamshire authorities. This is in the context of a significant level of need being identified across the Housing Market Area (HMA) which as a whole contains a large amount of land within the Green Belt (88% of Chiltern District, 87% of South Bucks District and 48% of Wycombe District is within the Green Belt). The housing requirements for Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe District Council cannot be met on the land outside of the Green Belt within their district boundaries leaving a large unmet need requirement. Therefore exceptional circumstances are considered to exist across the districts in Buckinghamshire to justify removing specific sites from the Green Belt to help meet need closest to where it arises.

(1) 3.29 Part 1 of the assessment (published in March 2016) identified parcels of land covering all of the Green Belt within Buckinghamshire as well as some adjoining land and assessed these against the purposes of the Green Belt as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  The assessment concluded that all areas of the Green Belt met the NPPF purposes to some extent, but identified parcels across all four districts that performed weaker or had areas within them which were likely to perform weaker if assessed on their own.

3.30 Part 2 of the assessment (published in June 2016) gave further consideration to the areas of land identified in Part 1. They were assessed for the suitability of development, whether there were exceptional circumstances for removing sites from the Green Belt, and whether further land should be designated as Green Belt.

3.31 Following this assessment, there is an area of land to the west of Leighton Linslade that is proposed for inclusion within the Green Belt. This can be justified by the exceptional circumstances of the construction of the A4146 in this area, which opened in September 2007, since the original designation of Green Belt. Amending the boundary will provide a more recognisable and permanent boundary that would be more in line with what the NPPF requires than is used currently. The additional area of Green Belt will  help to balance the loss of Green Belt land in other areas (including land removed from the Green Belt around Leighton Buzzard) and will complete the Green Belt protection on all sides of Leighton Linslade as well as the parcel performing strongly against the purposes of the Green Belt as defined in the NPPF.

(7) 3.32 At the draft plan stage the Council had also proposed two potential revisions to the boundary of the Green Belt to the north of Wendover. One revision was to provide a site for approximately 800 dwellings to the north of Wendover with the Green Belt removal potentially justified on the basis that there was very little capacity identified without this and another to remove part of RAF Halton as it is built up and has an urbanising effect within the Green Belt. Since then there has been an announcement that RAF Halton is to close by 2022 and an estimation for the amount of housing this site could deliver has been included in this plan in Policy D-HAL003. Because of the proximity of RAF Halton to Wendover it is considered that the justification for the site north of Wendover to provide 800 dwellings no longer exists as the capacity for housing in the area has significantly increased. Whilst the arguments for releasing the RAF Halton site still remain, because of the change in circumstances and the future work to be done around how the site is developed after its closure, it is considered premature to define the boundary of the site to be released from the Green Belt.  This boundary will be defined in a future Local Plan review.

(1) 3.33 The new Green Belt boundary around Leighton Buzzard is defined on the Policies Map. The Green Belt within the district will be protected for the long term, and opportunities which enhance the Green Belt particularly in terms of public accessibility will be supported.  The majority of the Green Belt within the district also lies within the Chilterns AONB, therefore Policy NE5 also applies.

3.34 Housing may come forward within the Green Belt through the conversion of existing buildings, the reuse of previously developed sites or through limited infilling within villages, where the openness of the Green Belt is maintained. The limited infilling should be within the existing developed footprint which is defined as the continuous built form of the village, and excludes individual buildings and groups of dispersed buildings. This includes former agricultural barns that have been converted, agricultural buildings and associated land on the edge of the village and gardens, paddocks and other undeveloped land within the curtilage of buildings on the edge of the settlement where the land relates more to the surrounding countryside than to the built-up area of the village.

3.35 The replacement of existing buildings and extensions will where appropriate also be supported. When working out volume increase calculations the term 'original building' means the house as it was first built or stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date) excluding sheds and outbuildings.

(19) S4 Green Belt

Within the Green Belt (as defined on the Policies Map), land will be protected from inappropriate development in accordance with national policy. Small-scale development as set out below will be supported providing that their provision preserves the openness of the Green Belt, and does not conflict with the purposes of including land within it:

  1. for the purposes of agriculture, forestry, appropriate facilities for outdoor sport and outdoor recreation or cemeteries
  2. if within the existing built-up area of settlements within the Green Belt, residential infilling of small gaps in developed frontages with one or two dwellings will be permitted if it is in keeping with the scale and spacing of nearby dwellings and the character of the surroundings
  3. for the re-use of buildings of permanent and substantial construction where there is no greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt and the form, bulk and design of any conversion is in keeping with the surroundings and does not involve major or complete reconstruction. Permission for the re-use of such buildings may include conditions regulating further building extensions, and the use of land associated with the building
  4. replacement of existing buildings in the Green Belt by new buildings that are not significantly larger in volume, normally by no more than 25-30% of the original building  (as measured externally)
  5. extensions and alterations to buildings in the Green Belt that are not out of proportion with the original building, normally no more than 25-30% volume increase of the original building
  6. the redevelopment of previously developed sites where the gross floorspace of the new building(s) is not out of proportion to the original building(s), normally by no more than 25-30% increase of the original building  (as measured externally), and the buildings are positioned on land previously built on.

Measures to improve public access to the Green Belt areas will be encouraged.


(7) 3.36 The VALP aims to ensure that there is sufficient and appropriate infrastructure to meet future needs. In order to identify the required infrastructure an Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) has been produced. The IDP identifies the necessary and critical infrastructure required to deliver the Council's growth aspirations and requirements to 2033. It has also identified desirable infrastructure requirements which support the sustainability objectives of the Local Plan but can be prioritised according to funding availability and overall net benefit. 

3.37 Although the production of the IDP is an iterative process as infrastructure is continually being delivered through the development management process, it is crucial that items of infrastructure are identified as early as possible in the process to better plan for the required growth to be delivered over the Local Plan period.

(1) 3.38 The term infrastructure covers a wide variety of services and facilities provided by private and public bodies including:

  • transport infrastructure– rail, roads, cycle routes, buses, footpaths/pedestrian links, parking and management systems
  • utilities and flood management infrastructure – water supply and treatment, sewerage, flood prevention and drainage, waste disposal, energy
  • telecommunications infrastructure including high-speed broadband provision across the district
  • community infrastructure – schools, sport, cultural and recreation facilities, healthcare, public transport, emergency services, social care facilities, community buildings, places of worship and associated facilities, and community recycling facilities
  • green infrastructure – a network of high quality, multi‐functional green spaces which improve connectivity of towns and villages and the wider countryside. It also delivers ecological enhancements, and economic and social quality of life benefits for local communities at both the local and strategic level. It can include green corridors, such as hedgerows or transport routes, and open green spaces, such as parks, allotments, and country parks.

(2) 3.39 The Council will continue to co-operate with key delivery partners to secure the funding and delivery of key infrastructure projects including East‐West Rail and the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway to minimise the impacts of the projects both during construction and operation phases. The HS2 scheme should co-ordinate with local projects and not delay the provision of necessary infrastructure at Aylesbury or the delivery of East-West Rail. We will also seek to secure funding and delivery of key transport, utility, and other improvements where major infrastructure improvements are needed to achieve sustainable development. We will urge Government, and support Buckinghamshire County Council, the local economic partnerships (LEPs) and other partners.

3.40 Some of the infrastructure identified above is essential to ensure that the needs of new and existing residents are met. Some relate more to quality of life or environmental provisions.

(6) 3.41 Infrastructure should be delivered in a timely manner and integrated alongside new development, with the specific phasing to be determined in agreement with the local planning authority.

(1) 3.42 Infrastructure should be provided on-site as part of the development wherever possible, especially on larger developments, to contribute towards creating sustainable development and ensuring that new developments are attractive places to live.

3.43 While infrastructure associated with water supply and sewers can be provided and funded by developers, upgrades to wastewater treatment works (WwTWs) can only be provided by water and wastewater utility companies. Within the district, this work is dependent on Thames Water and Anglian Water's funding programmes (asset management plans), which works in five-year cycles.

(1) 3.44 The Aylesbury Vale Water Cycle Study has been prepared. It has identified which  WwTWs are currently at capacity. It has also identified if increases in flow through parts of the sewerage network are likely to cause an increase in the frequency of diluted but untreated discharges from the system. If these discharges increase this may have an effect on the waterways they discharge into. The discharges must meet the requirements of the Water Framework Directive and Habitats Directive.

3.45 Aylesbury Vale District Council is working with Buckinghamshire County Council  (the minerals and waste local planning authority), in developing a policy approach for the management of waste water treatment works.

(3) 3.46 Development proposals that would result in the VALP growth targets being significantly exceeded must ensure, in consultation with Thames Water and Anglian Water, that the objectives of the Water Framework Directive are not compromised. There must be adequate capacity in foul waste infrastructure to accommodate the proposed development in order to prevent the deterioration in current water quality standards.

Community infrastructure levy and developer contributions

3.47 The IDP identifies a number of different ways infrastructure can be funded and provided for, some of which can be made via a financial contribution, in kind or in lieu, from a developer, through Government capital funds, district or county capital funds and a myriad of funding streams open to organisations like DCLG, Homes England and the Department for Transport (DfT). Another avenue of funding is through the implementation of a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). The Government consulted on CIL reforms in summer 2016 and a review of this consultation has now been made available in relation to the consultation on the Housing White Paper. The CIL review set out several recommendations which the Government may choose to accept or reject. The Council remains committed to the implementation of CIL based on the reviews recommendations set out in summary below:

  • Replace CIL with a Local Infrastructure Tariff (LIT)
  • Continue to seek Section 106 (S106) agreements on more strategic sites
  • Seek LIT on some types of infrastructure identified in existing CIL regulations
  • Pooling of up to five s106 agreements to be revoked
  • Standardised CIL rate set between 1.75-2.5% above GDV (Gross Development Value)
  • Limited exceptions from Tariff
  • Small development of 10 and under should pay LIT and no other obligations.

3.48 Work to establish a CIL or LIT is currently at an early stage. The IDP will set out what infrastructure is in place, what is needed through the VALP period, and whether it is needed in the short or medium/longer term in order to deliver development identified in the VALP plus existing commitments.

(30) S5 Infrastructure

All new development must provide appropriate on- and off‐site infrastructure (in accordance with the Infrastructure Delivery Plan) in order to:

  1. avoid placing additional burden on the existing community
  2. avoid or mitigate adverse social, economic and environmental impacts and
  3. make good the loss or damage of social, economic and environmental assets.

In planning for new development, appropriate regard will be given to existing deficiencies in services and infrastructure provision. Development proposals must demonstrate that these have been taken into account when determining the infrastructure requirements for the new development.

The provision of infrastructure should be linked directly to the phasing of development to ensure that infrastructure is provided in a timely and comprehensive manner to support new development.

Where an applicant advises that a proposal is unviable in light of the infrastructure requirement(s), open book calculations will need to be provided by the applicant and then verified by an independent consultant verified by the Council at the expense of the applicant and be submitted to the Council for its consideration.

A Community Infrastructure Levy or Local Infrastructure Tariff  for Aylesbury Vale will be developed to secure funding for infrastructure. A supplementary planning document will be produced regarding the delivery and use of Section 106 planning obligation agreements.

Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople provision

(1) 3.49 Gypsies and Travellers are amongst the most socially excluded groups in society and research has consistently confirmed the link between the lack of good quality sites for Gypsies and Travellers and poor health and education. The Government and the Council acknowledge that these issues must be addressed, but it is important to ensure that the planning system is not misused and that development is located in the most appropriate locations.

(1) 3.50 Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers form an ethnic minority group and are legally protected from discrimination under the Equalities Act 2010, the Children and Families Act 2014 and the Human Rights Act 1998. Government guidance sets out that councils should assess and meet Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople's accommodation needs in the same way as other accommodation needs, including the identification of land for sites. The Government guidance on this is specifically set out in the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (PPTS). This was first published in March 2012 and updated in August 2015.

(1) 3.51 For the purposes of planning policy, Gypsies and Travellers are defined in the PPTS (2015 update) as being:

Persons of nomadic habit of life whatever their race or origin, including such persons who on grounds only of their own or their family's or dependants' educational or health needs or old age have ceased to travel temporarily, but excluding members of an organised group of Travelling Showpeople or circus people travelling together as such.

3.52 In determining whether persons are "Gypsies and Travellers" for the purposes of the PPTS, consideration should be given to the following issues amongst other relevant matters:

  • whether they previously led a nomadic habit of life
  • the reasons for ceasing their nomadic habit of life
  • whether there is an intention of living a nomadic habit of life in the future, and if so, how soon and in what circumstances.

(1) 3.53 The Council is required to set pitch targets for Gypsies and Travellers and plot targets for Travelling Showpeople, which address the likely permanent and transit site accommodation needs. It is required to identify and annually update a five-year supply of deliverable Traveller sites and to identify a supply of specific, developable sites or broad locations for growth, for six to 10 years and, where possible, for 11 to 15 years.

(1) 3.54 A joint Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Needs Assessment (GTAA) was produced with Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe District Councils in 2013, updated in 2014 and updated again with a 2017 report to take into account the latest Government definition of Gypsy and Travellers. The 2017 study includes an assessment of existing provision, any current needs and forecasts of what the future need is in each district.

(1) 3.55 Aylesbury Vale district has, as of May 2017, 92 permanent Gypsy and Traveller pitches, 27 temporary (or temporary permission that has lapsed) and two tolerated unauthorised pitches, totalling 121 altogether. The need figure is made up of concealed households (two families doubled up on one pitch), older teenagers in need of their own pitch and existing households on unauthorised pitches, existing households on temporary sites and growth in household numbers due to household formation. The 2017 assessment sets out the future net requirement for the district as eight Gypsy and Traveller pitches from those who are known to meet the new definition and up to 76 pitches from those who are not known whether they meet the new definition.

(1) 3.56 No need has been identified for transit sites as there is little evidence of travelling through the area.

Table 3 Pitch provision required in the district to accommodate Gypsies  and Travellers





Requirement for those meeting the definition





Requirement from unknowns





(1) 3.57 The allocations set out in Table 6 below are sufficient to meet the need for knowns and unknowns for the first 10 years i.e. 69 pitches. There was a very high level of non-responses to the survey work carried out by consultants ORS. Further survey work will be undertaken to establish whether the unknowns meet the definition or not. Longer term need will need to be addressed when the Local Plan is reviewed as there is still uncertainty over whether unknowns will be confirmed through further survey work to establish whether those unknowns meet the definition or not. Nevertheless the allocations set out below will allow all of the first 10 years unknowns to be catered for should they meet the definition.

(1) 3.58 As well as identifying the accommodation need figures the original joint Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Showpeople  Accommodation Needs Assessment published in 2013 recommended the following on how to approach the provision of Traveller sites:

  • existing sites should be safeguarded, to ensure that needs continue to be met in perpetuity
  • the identification of additional pitch provision should take into account where the need arises
  • the Councils should be reasonably flexible about the location of small private sites
  • the Councils should investigate the potential for existing sites to achieve additional pitches/plots either through increasing the capacity within existing boundaries or through site extension onto adjoining land, and
  • the Councils should also undertake site assessment work to identify new sites to meet identified future Gypsy and Traveller needs.

(1) 3.59 Policy D10 provides a sequential and criteria-based approach for identifying suitable locations for new sites.

(1) 3.60 The site assessment process has looked at finding suitable and available sites to meet the need for Gypsy and Traveller accommodation that the GTAA set out, as above. Sites with temporary permission were considered initially, followed by the consideration of the intensification/expansion of existing sites. Sites promoted for Gypsy and Traveller pitches were also considered as well as if there were opportunities for the effective use of previously developed (brownfield), untidy or derelict land. These did not give sufficient supply to meet the needs in the district. Therefore, consideration was then given to other sites that have been identified as available for development, including securing pitches alongside traditional housing provision on strategic sites on the urban periphery. Including provision on these sites will help ensure that the needs of Gypsies and Travellers are met and that sites can remain small-scale. The precise location and design of the new sites would be guided by the relevant site master plans.

(2) Table 4 Allocations to meet the needs for Gypsies and Travellers


Current pitches


Potential number of pitches to be allocated

Willows Park, (Green Acres) Slapton

10 permanent

3 temporary

The temporary pitches have been given permanent permission since the latest GTAA (Feb 2017)


Marroway, Weston Turville

7 permanent

Large plot sizes where some sub division has already happened


Dun Roaming Park, Biddlesdon

11 permanent

10 temporary

The temporary pitches have been given permanent permission since the latest GTAA (Feb 2017)


Oakhaven Park, Gawcott

21 permanent

3 pitches have recently been granted permission. There is another existing unauthorised pitch


Oaksview Park, Boarstall

13 temporary (lapsed)


Land at Swan Edge, Wendover

2 approved subject to S106


Land opposite Causter Farm, Nash

11 temporary

The temporary pitches have been given permanent permission since the latest GTAA (Feb 2017)


South and South West Aylesbury MDAs


To be included within housing allocations


Vacant pitches at Baghill,


Pitches available for occupation


Vacant pitches Dun Roaming Park


Pitches available for occupation




(1) 3.61 Travelling Showpeople are defined by the PPTS as being:

(1) 3.62 Members of a group organised for the purposes of holding fairs, circuses or shows (whether or not travelling together as such). This includes such persons who on the grounds of their own or their family's or dependants' more localised pattern of trading, educational or health needs or old age have ceased to travel temporarily, but excludes Gypsies and Travellers as defined above.

Table 5 Plot provision required in the district to accommodate Travelling Showpeople





Requirement those meeting the definition





Requirement from unknowns





(1) 3.63 There is currently an unauthorised Travelling Showpeople's plot in the district which would meet the needs shown above.

Table 6 Potential allocations to meet the needs for Travelling Showpeople


Current pitches


Potential number of pitches to be allocated

Fairview, Stoke Hammond

3 unauthorised




(15) S6 Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople provision

The Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Needs Assessment (2017) identifies the potential need for permanent pitches and plots for the period 2016-2033 as:

a.     84 (net) additional pitches for travelling or unknown Gypsies and Travellers

b.    Two (net) additional plots for travelling or unknown Showpeople

In order to meet these requirements, and  to provide and maintain a five-year supply of deliverable sites allocations will be made as set out in Tables 4 and 6 above.

Existing Traveller sites will be safeguarded for Traveller use.

Previously developed land

3.64 Previously developed (or 'brownfield') land is defined in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and refers to land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land and any associated fixed surface infrastructure. The definition excludes land uses such as private residential gardens and agricultural or forestry buildings.

3.65 The full definition according to the NPPF glossary is:

'Land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land (although it should not be assumed that the whole of the curtilage should be developed) and any associated fixed surface infrastructure. This excludes: land that is or has been occupied by agricultural or forestry buildings; land that has been developed for minerals extraction or waste disposal by landfill purposes where provision for restoration has been made through development control procedures; land in built-up areas such as private residential gardens, parks, recreation grounds and allotments; and land that was previously-developed but where the remains of the permanent structure or fixed surface have blended into the landscape in the process of time.'

3.66 One of the core planning principles of the NPPF is to encourage the effective use of land by reusing previously developed land, provided it is not of high environmental value.   

3.67 The Government announced a new initiative in July 2015 that could see automatic planning permission being granted on previously developed sites in an attempt to raise the productivity of the economy.  The Government intends to introduce a new zonal system which will effectively give automatic planning permission on suitable brownfield sites.  A number of Local Planning authorities are taking part in a pilot scheme to trial this initiative.

(15) S7 Previously developed land

Development in Aylesbury Vale will be expected to make efficient and effective use of land.  We will encourage the reuse of previously developed (brownfield) land in sustainable locations, subject to site-specific considerations including environmental value and the impact on local character, and subject to other policies in the Local Plan.

Delivering through neighbourhood planning

(1) 3.68 Neighbourhood development plans, neighbourhood development orders and community right to build orders have the potential to allow communities to develop a shared vision to shape their neighbourhoods and to work with landowners, developers and service providers to deliver new development and facilities.

3.69 The Local Plan provides a framework within which people can decide how to shape their local neighbourhoods through community-led planning documents. Many communities have already embraced this opportunity and have prepared or are setting out to prepare their own neighbourhood plans. At the time of writing there are 11  'made' neighbourhood plans in the district and a further 21 neighbourhood areas approved.

3.70 A neighbourhood plan provides a mechanism for communities to bring forward development and for the community to have a say in its location and specification, and to plan positively to support local development in meeting the strategic needs of the Local Plan. Neighbourhood plans must adhere to the strategic policies within the Local Plan.

3.71 The involvement of the community goes to the heart of successful planning for and implementing sustainable and inclusive growth and change. The Local Plan sets out the strategic policies to provide the framework for delivery of homes, jobs and infrastructure in the district.  A neighbourhood plan and its policies will work alongside, and where appropriate replace, the non-strategic policies in the Local Plan where they overlap. The policies within a neighbourhood plan will only apply to the specific area covered by that neighbourhood plan or order.

(2) 3.72 'Made' neighbourhood plans will not replace the Local Plan but will sit alongside it, with their policies applying ahead of similar policies in the Local Plan, e.g. in relation to parking requirements . The Council will work with local communities to deliver growth through neighbourhood plans and good communication between the Council and local communities will be essential.

3.73 Whilst it is possible for a parish or town to prepare a neighbourhood plan prior to the adoption of the Local Plan, and many in this district have done so, the risks of this have been highlighted. The Council is required to demonstrate delivery of housing numbers, employment, retail and Gypsy and Traveller sites, all of which are required by Government planning policies in its Local Plan. It could mean that a higher amount of development is now required. AVDC has and will continue to take an active role in advising and supporting the neighbourhood planning process by sharing evidence and information and ensuring the neighbourhood plan fits with its strategic policies and national policy.

3.74 Neighbourhood development orders and community right to build orders can give permitted development rights to the types of development specified in that order, allowing development that is consistent with the Local Plan to proceed without unnecessary delay.

(22) S8 Neighbourhood plans

The preparation and production of neighbourhood plans will be supported.  Neighbourhood plans should:

  1. show how they are contributing towards the strategic policies of the Local Plan and be in general conformity with its strategic approach
  2. clearly set out how they will promote sustainable development at the same level or above that which would be delivered through the Local Plan, and have regard to information on local need for new homes, jobs and facilities, for their plan area.

Monitoring and review

(1) 3.75 Effective monitoring is essential to ensuring that the policies in the Local Plan (and associated documents including the Infrastructure Delivery Plan) are achieving their aims.  The Council prepares a yearly monitoring report which will measure and report on the effectiveness of the Local Plan policies.  A monitoring framework will be established against which performance will be measured.  Actions will be identified where policies are not achieving their aims and the Council will consider whether policies need adjusting or replacing either  because they are not working as intended, or they need changing to reflect changes in national policy or local circumstances.

(1) 3.76 As required by the duty to co-operate, due consideration will be given (including through a review of the Plan where appropriate) to the housing needs of other local planning authorities in circumstances when it has been clearly established through the Local Plan process that those needs must be met through provision in Aylesbury Vale.

(2) 3.77 On the basis of current available evidence,  it is envisaged that the Plan will need to be reviewed soon after adoption.  Regional, national and international connectivity schemes such as the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway and Heathrow expansion will potentially have a significant impact on the district in the future, and therefore will inevitably influence future planning.  Other circumstances that would trigger either a review of the plan, or alternative sustainable sites to be brought forward, include:

  • site allocations not coming forward at the rate anticipated in the housing trajectory, leading to development not being delivered at the rate expected in the plan
  • evidence established through another Local Planning authority's Local Plan process show that its unmet need can only be accommodated in Aylesbury Vale
  • changes to travel-to-work patterns
  • changes in national planning policy and guidance that mean one or more of the policies in the Plan are not up to date, or
  • evidence in the monitoring report shows that one or more of the policies in the Plan are not achieving the Plan's objectives or is working contrary to effective planning in the district.

Monitoring the five-year housing land supply

(4) 3.78 A housing trajectory accompanying the Plan shows how sites are envisaged to deliver housing over the Plan period, based on discussions with developers, infrastructure providers and looking at previous delivery rates as well as other relevant factors. This illustrates that  the Council will deliver the overall housing requirement and also maintain a five-year housing land supply. It will be kept up to date and monitored to ensure that the projected housing delivery is achieved. The trajectory sets out when delivery can reasonably be expected but does not prevent earlier or accelerated delivery.

(4) 3.79 Annualising the overall housing requirement results in a yearly need to build 1,370 homes. However there have already been four years of the Plan period with another one likely to have passed before the Plan is adopted. The delivery in these years, whilst significantly higher than delivery rates previously, has cumulatively fallen short of this target:

(4) Table 7 Housing delivery in the plan period






Annual requirement











1,289 (projected)

Cumulative shortfall






(8) 3.80 To address this shortfall and provide the 5% buffer on top of the housing need required by the NPPF (it would increase to a 20% buffer in the event of persistent under-delivery), there needs to be an annual rate of delivery higher than 1,370 dwellings to ensure a five-year housing land supply. This will be achieved by delivery from the existing commitments, including two Major Development Areas (Berryfields and Kingsbrook at Aylesbury) along with various medium and smaller sites delivering in the shorter term. In the later parts of the plan period the large allocations in the Plan will then start to provide housing delivery. Achieving this level of housing delivery is ambitious and will be a significant increase on past rates.

Calculating projected supply from windfall sites

3.81 Housing supply will also come forward through windfall sites[10]. The NPPF allows for a windfall allowance  if there is "compelling evidence that such sites have consistently become available in the local area and will continue to provide a reliable source of supply" (para 48). Any allowance must be realistic and should not include residential garden land. It is anticipated that additional small and large windfall sites will continue to come forward (as they have done historically) and contribute towards meeting the additional housing requirement to be planned for in the future.

(1) 3.82 Based on the NPPF requirements, the Council has put together evidence for windfall projections for sites of four or fewer dwellings which has been accepted by inspectors[11].  This evidence has taken into account historic delivery rates and expected future trends and does not include residential gardens in accordance with the NPPF definition. Aylesbury Vale is a large rural district and therefore the majority of windfall sites are greenfield.

(1) 3.83 Windfall projections are based on the average dwelling completions for small sites (four or fewer dwellings) over the last ten years (2007 – 2017) (the windfall allowance is based on completions, therefore a non-implementation allowance is not needed).  There has been a consistent and reliable supply of windfall sites as follows:

Table 8 Historic windfall completion rates on sites with fewer than five dwellings


Completions on small windfall sites (fewer than five dwellings) net (excluding residential gardens)





















3.84 The average number of homes delivered on windfall sites over the last 10  years (1 April 2007 – 31 March 2017) is 74 per annum. The windfall allowance is not applied to the next three years as sites under five dwellings are coming forward in this time period are likely to already have planning permission and therefore are counted as commitments. This gives a total windfall allowance of 962 dwellings for the last 13 years of the Plan period, 2020-2033.

(21) S9 Monitoring and review

The policies in the Plan will be monitored at least annually to ascertain whether or not they are fulfilling their aims. 

The Plan will be reviewed, or proposals for alternative sustainable sites considered favourably (subject to compliance with other policies in the Plan), in any of the following circumstances:

a. Site allocations are not coming forward at the rate anticipated in the housing trajectory, leading to development not being delivered at the rate expected in the Plan

b. Evidence established through another local planning authority's Local Plan process show that its unmet need can only be accommodated in Aylesbury Vale

c. Changes in national planning policy and guidance that mean one or more of the policies in the Plan are not up to date, or

d. Evidence in the monitoring report shows that one or more of the policies in the plan are not achieving the Plan's objectives or is working contrary to effective planning in the district.

Irrespective of the above criteria, the Plan will be reviewed within five years.

[1] The full report including executive summary is available to download from the following page https://www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/section/supporting-evidence

[2] Made up of 6,980 sqm at Aylesbury town centre, 29 sqm at Wendover and 328 sqm at Winslow

[3] District-wide provision

[4] Including commitments from neighbourhood plans that have been made (Edlesborough and Long Crendon) or passed referendum (Waddesdon)

[5] This represents a 5.2% buffer on top of the total housing requirement made up of Aylesbury Vale's objectively assessed need and the unmet need from other authorities (27,400).

[6] Settlement Hierarchy for the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan June 2017

[7] This includes figures for Stoke Mandeville, Bierton and Weston Turville parishes.

7& [8]&[9] Coalescence is the merging or coming together of separate settlements to form a single entity

[10] Defined in NPPF as sites which have not been specifically identified as available in the Local Plan process. They normally comprise previously-developed sites that have unexpectedly become available.

[11] APP/J0450/A/14/2213924 paragraph 166 and APP/J0405/A/13/2210864 paragraph 66

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