Aylesbury Vale Area

VALP Proposed Submission

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VALP Proposed Submission

E10 Silverstone Circuit

Representation ID: 838

Received: 14/12/2017

Respondent: National Trust

Representation Summary:

The National Trust welcome's AVDC's recognition of the sensitivities of adjacent Stowe Landscape Gardens in relation to development at Silverstone as there are considerable implications for our interests relating to the integrity of the Stowe landscape, its setting and key views, which includes our ownership and the wider ownership of the internationally Grade I Historic Park and Garden.

We urge that any forthcoming master plans, applications, or development briefs to carefully consider the height, design, positioning and scale of any proposed building or structure and that regard is had to formal landscape assessments and setting studies.

Full text:

The National Trust, established over 115 years ago, is a leading conservation charity with over 4 million members. We have a statutory duty under the National Trust Acts 'to promote the permanent preservation of places of historic interest and natural beauty, and their enjoyment by the public, for benefit of the nation, forever, for everyone'. To achieve this aim, we manage over a quarter of a million hectares of land, more than 700 miles of unspoilt coastline and estuary, several hundred historic houses, gardens and parks, and 6 World Heritage Sites. We therefore take an active interest in development beyond our boundaries, particularly in instances where it could adversely impact the land and properties within our care. We are also strong supporters of spatial planning that takes a holistic approach to the environment and its resources, including safeguarding landscapes and the historic environment.

It is for the above reason that the Trust has long been engaged with plans for development at Silverstone, with our interest relating to the integrity of the Stowe landscape, its setting and key views - which includes our ownership and the wider ownership of the internationally significant Grade I Historic Park and Garden. We view both Stowe and Silverstone as distinct part of our nation's cultural heritage and note that Silverstone developed out of the northern section of the Stowe landscape as extended in the early 19th century, as the new entrance to Stowe created by the Marquess of Buckingham crossed what is now the racetrack.

We were pleased to have been part of the pre-application consultation for the previously approved Silverstone Master Plan outline application (refs 11/01785/AOP and S/2011/1051/MAO) and welcomed our participation in meetings with the relevant landscape architects and EIA consultants. We were also party to the development of the Aylesbury Vale Core Strategy during its 2010 public examination, and commented on the SNC and AVDC approved Silverstone Circuit Masterplan Development Brief as well as previous applications for development at/near Silverstone. We have also provided representations on more recent applications.

The likelihood of significant development at Silverstone was one of the instigators for the Trust to commission our own study in 2009 of the wider setting of Stowe, with work undertaken by Land Use Consultants (LUC). Our representations for the previously approved Master Plan used the content of this document to support the observations and comments made at that time. The Trust is aware that the application site's planning history, particularly the Master Plan planning permission, to a large degree provides an already accepted framework in which Silverstone Park is to develop over the next 15-20 years.

In this regard, of particular interest to the National Trust is how the appearance of the completed development may affect key views and the wider historic setting of Stowe as, demonstrated in our Setting Study, as much of this site falls within setting of Stowe Historic Park and Garden. As such, we believe there are potentially major implications for Stowe in terms of the height of the new buildings, particularly those closest to the Stowe Historic Park and Garden boundary itself.

The Trust therefore welcome AVDC's policy recognition of "The need to protect the rural and visual character of the countryside adjacent to the Circuit with particular attention to the Stowe Area of Attractive Landscape", but we also wish to make the following points about new development:

* Consideration must be given to screening provided by the existing tree line and any proposed planting, although any new planting must be historically appropriate and not interfere with historic view out from Stowe.

* Tall buildings could impinge on wider views from the RPG, the historic landscape of Stowe Ridings, and the surroundings and views from Great Ridings and the Wolfe Obelisk.

* The Trust's Stowe Settings Study (2009), which is with AVDC, and it is urged that this professionally produced document is considered in both the assessment of this application and to guide any future implementation, including reserved matters.

* Any opportunity taken to improve/restore part of the lost historic landscape within the application site is encouraged.

The National Trust is grateful for the opportunity to advance our views via these comments.

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