Aylesbury Vale Area

VALP Further Main Modifications

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VALP Further Main Modifications


Representation ID: 3955

Received: 08/02/2021

Respondent: Maids Moreton Conservation Group

Legally compliant? No

Sound? No

Representation Summary:

Fmm072 together with the allocation of site MMO006 is not sound because they are not justified based on incorrect evidence. Maids Moreton is not a medium village having only 4 of the key criteria required in such an assessment. So 170 houses are not justified never mind “ at least 170 houses”

Change suggested by respondent:

The allocation of site MMO006, and all associated modifications including FMM072, must be deleted from the VALP because the allocation is not sound or legally/procedurally compliant in accordance with NPPF para 182.
This representation is made following a meeting of Maids Moreton conservation group which I chair.

Full text:

Officer note: see attachment(s) for formatted text of full representation e.g. bold, underlined and italics text.

1. FMM072, together with the allocation of site MMO006, are NOT SOUND because they are Not Justified (“based on incorrect evidence” - Maids Moreton has been incorrectly classified as a medium village when it is, in fact, a small village)

Examination Document ED200(B) proposes changes to the settlement hierarchy which reduces the number of houses being delivered in Buckingham and surrounding villages in order that further housing can be delivered close to Milton Keynes in line with the Inspector’s Interim Findings. FMM107 increases the number of dwellings in Maids Moreton to 182 new houses, and FMM072 increases the allocation of MMO006 from 170 dwellings to “at least” 170 dwellings on the site despite the overwhelming evidence that Maids Moreton has been incorrectly classified as a ‘medium’ village when it is, in fact, a ‘small’ village.

According to ED191 “The key services available are the main determinant of the final position of a settlement in the hierarchy, not a settlement’s population.” To be a medium village, para 5.15 of CD/MIS/003 (‘Settlement Hierarchy Assessment for the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan to accompany Proposed Submission Plan September 2017’) sets out that between 6 and 7 of the ‘key criteria’ should be met, with at least 6 being the minimum number. The only exception to this is Stewkley which meets only 5 of the key criteria but has a large population of 1,840.

The ‘key criteria’ for assessing the settlement hierarchy are: within 4 miles of a service centre, employment of 20 units or more, food store, pub, post office, GP, village hall, recreation facilities, primary school, hourly or more bus service and train station. Maids Moreton only meets four of these key criteria:-
1. 1.5 miles to a service centre (Buckingham)
2. 1 public house
3. 1 recreation ground/playing field
4. 1 village hall
There is no hourly bus service in Maids Moreton and there is not a primary school in Maids Moreton (only an infant school but an infant school is not stated as a key criteria so cannot be regarded as such).

Para 5.19 of CD/MIS/003 states that none of the smaller settlements have more than five key criteria, and typically only have four of the key criteria. Great Brickhill, a settlement with a comparable population to Maids Moreton, has 5 key criteria but is categorised as a small settlement.

In ED263, para 11 the Council claims that the bus service will be reinstated via a s106 Agreement relating to planning application 16/00151/AOP. Planning permission has not been granted for this application and almost 2 years on from the original Committee Hearing the s106 Agreement has not been signed. The application is highly flawed and remains a contested application so cannot be relied on at this stage to deliver any bus service. Under CD/MIS/003, villages are categorised according to key criteria they currently have, not key criteria they might have in the future. To assess the size of Maids Moreton on key criteria they don’t actually have is a misapplication of the assessment process. Equally, it is simply made up by the Council that an ‘infant school’ is included in the key criteria as a primary school.

Notwithstanding both these points, at best Maids Moreton can be said to have 4½ key criteria (for the infant school). This is still some way short of the 6 criteria very clearly stipulated as a requirement to be a ‘medium’ village.

Maids Moreton still should be reclassified in the Settlement Hierarchy as a ‘small’ village in order to correct the false assertion in CD/MIS/003 that Maids Moreton has 6 key criteria when in fact it only has, at best, 4½. It is a misapplication of the assessment process to include ‘criteria’ that the village simply does not have. Unless this change is made to the Settlement Hierarchy, FMM072 and the allocation of site MMO006 are not justified because the allocation is based on incorrect evidence and is unsound under NPPF 182.

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