Aylesbury Vale Area


VALP Proposed Submission

Representation ID: 1903

Received: 13/12/2017

Respondent: Thornborough Parish Council

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? Not specified

Duty to co-operate? Not specified

Representation Summary:

* Thornborough Parish Council support Nash PC's concerns, given in detail in their submission, about the needs of the Gypsy and Traveller community.

Full text:

Thornborough Parish Council response to the VALP

* The overall numbers of new houses for the Vale is unsustainable without major infrastructure changes and not enough thought has been taken for major infrastructure changes. Thornborough Parish Council are not confident that what has been proposed will cope with the extra people, traffic, demand on services etc.

* Thornborough Parish Council supports allocating development to settlements on a "case by case basis", rather than as generic percentages based on hierarchy classification, but thinks that not enough evidence is presented in the Plan to explain how the actual numbers have been derived.

* Thornborough Parish Council are concerned about current plans that will have an impact on sustainability. There are currently several developments in the north of Buckinghamshire that will not count towards the Aylesbury Vale Housing numbers but will have an impact on local roads leading to more congestion and a worsening living environment. New housing estates should be environmentally sustainable and ecologically rich, for example hard surfacing should be permeable to allow water to permeate to the water-table and not be lost as run-off with the consequent effect of flooding. This needs strong and robust policies to force developers to design well.

* The Government emphasis on denser housing stock will inevitably lead to smaller and smaller amenity space which will impact on health and well-being, this should be addressed. It will also put pressure on smaller sites to take houses in backyards and gardens. This could have an adverse impact on the nature of the historic environment, the local ecology (gardens are often refuges for wildlife and their loss would be detrimental, and the loss of hedgerows which are ecologically significant as highways, a food source and protection. The natural and historic environment also need protection with robust policies.

* Neighbourhood Plans need to be given due weight in Policy. Thornborough Parish Council believes that the Plan lacks clarity on the status of Neighbourhood Plans made already within the District. Section 8 deals only with new NDPs coming forward. There also appears to be a lack of consistency in approach to NDPs throughout. The relationship between the VALP and existing NDPs is not clear and therefore not robust.

* Co-operation between neighbouring districts - There appears to be an assumption that unmet needs identified from other neighbouring districts to the south can be met by housing allocations in the north of the district,, while there also appears to have been little consultation or co-operation with neighbouring district councils to the north - South Oxfordshire District Council; Cherwell District Council; South Northants District Council and Milton Keynes Council.

* Housing - Thornborough Parish Council believe that the figure of 25% Affordable Housing is not enough has not taken into account other evidence such as rising figures in Housing Register. There is also not enough consideration given to housing mix.

* Enforcement Issues. Throughout the VALP there is no mention of enforcement as a topic; the word appears twice, once in relation to listed building, the other relating to work/living spaces. The whole planning policy is merely an ambition unless there is some form of effective enforcement so it is surprising that there is no policy at all relating to it. This has been a continuing issue in Thornborough for many years with notable lack of enforcement at sites with un-approved building.
* In section 11.34 it states that Aylesbury Vale is in a state of Water stress, meaning it has poor overall water quality and quantity of water resources hindering the achievement of the Good status under the Water Framework Directive. This is a major issue that must be addressed and the VALP needs a more definitive plan regarding water stress. There is a considerable concern that even limited development in many older settlements will put strain on drainage and water services, which latter is not fully addressed.

* Employment Opportunities - the lack of new employment opportunities for the increased number of people in the planned dwellings will increase commuting and this congestion and air pollution throughout the Vale. More thought needs to be given to this issue.

* Thornborough Parish Council wishes to see this Plan proceed and meet the deadline of submission to DCLG by 31 March, as failure would mean another 3 years and a new Plan would have to be based on a 55% uplift in housing need; in that time everywhere would continue to be vulnerable to speculative developers

* Thornborough Parish Council note that there is no plan for dealing with the possible impact of the Oxford- Cambridge expressway. We assume that this will necessitate a review of the VALP once the route is known.

* Thornborough Parish Council support Nash PC's concerns, given in detail in their submission, about the needs of the Gypsy and Traveller community.