Baulking Uffington Neighbourhood Plan
                    Baulking    Uffington                                                                                                                                             Neighbourhood Plan

Housing

21 June 2017 - DRAFT Policies for comment

The DRAFT Housing policies discussed at the recent Community Event are listed below. If you wish to comment or suggest changes to any of these policies, please let us know by 15 July 2017 using the comments form here or by email to communications@ubw.net  .

Policy 1 – Number and Type of Houses

 

H1A – The number of houses that will be permitted within the Plan area will be a minimum of 19.

H1B – Different housing types will be permitted with a strong preference for smaller 1-2 bed and 3-4 bed homes suitable for young people/families and the elderly consisting of semi- detached houses and bungalows.

 

What is the Point of the Policy?

This policy lies at the heart of the NP.  It specifies the numbers and types of housing that should be built in the Plan area.  There are 2 main drivers influencing these:

Vale Local Plan. Originally the Steering Group was expecting to be given an allocation of houses to site by the Vale which is in the process of producing its own Local Plan for the whole district.  Part 1 of the Vale plan identified the larger, strategic, sites of more than 200 houses. There were none in our plan area.  Part 2 of the Local Plan was released for public consultation on 9 March and again there were no potential sites identified in our area. Although the Local Plan didn’t identify any specific sites, 240 houses still need to be sited in the Western Vale area and any built in our area will contribute to this total.

Housing Needs Analysis. In the absence of an allocation from the VOWH, a HNA was used to identify the number and type of housing needed.

1.    How Many?  The Housing Needs Assessment analysed the expected population growth and housing needs based on statistical information and the extrapolation of the 2011 census data to cover the Neighbourhood Plan period (2011 - 2031). It then subtracted the number of houses build from 2011 (Plan start period) to date. This analysis provided the number of houses needed (19).

 

2.    What Type?  The Housing Needs survey of all Neighbourhood Plan area residents (to which 42% responded) identified the types and sizes of housing wanted (number of bedrooms, detached/semi-detached, bungalows, etc.).

 

Are there any alternatives or options to this policy?

 

1.    We could remove it completely and just allow the normal Planning Application process to operate without any lower limit.

 

2.    It would be very helpful to know what factors might cause us to permit breaching the 19 target.  If we do permit this to be breached, what do you think might constitute a suggested upper limit?  This may become increasingly important if the VOWH is unable to meet its planned numbers and seeks to make up the total from more than the current 240 ‘allocated’ to the Wetern Vale area.

 

3.    What control factors should be placed on planning applications for houses if the minimum 19 have been approved/built?  It may be tha the other policies and potential sites will suffice.

 

 

Policy 2 – Building within the Conservation Areas

 

 

H2A -  New building on a site within or adjacent to a Conservation Area will be permitted for sites with one dwelling per site provided it is no more than 2 storeys in height.

 

H2B -  Dwellings of 2.5 storeys will be approved elsewhere only within developments of 10 houses or more and each such dwelling will be offset, within the site, by at least 8 dwellings of no more than 2 storeys.

 

H2C -  All new buildings in the setting of listed buildings will be subordinate to those listed buildings and will not cause harm to the character or significance of any heritage asset. 

 

 

What is the point of this policy?  

 

Designation of both conservation areas by the District Council (in the 1970s) was a fundamental acceptance of their status as the most historic areas of their respective villages; they have provided a protection over the years which has been continued in the National Planning Policy Framework and in VOWH Local Plan 2031.  The NPPF requires any development in a conservation area ‘to enhance or benefit’ the conservation area. We will be working with the District Council to develop Appraisals to support our conservation areas. In order to maintain the historically significant environment identied in the last listed building assessment (1970) we want to ensure that its value is not devalued by inappropriate or dominating newer buildings either in terms of size, number or location.

 

 

Are there any alternatives or options to this policy? If you would like to see the boundaries of the conservation areas re-drawn, please indicate how and why on the maps provided.

 

1.    We could remove it completely and simply allow the normal Planning Application process to operate which includes input from the Conservation Officer.

2.    We could attempt to change the Conservation Area when it is next evaluated (VOWH has a programme of re-assessment due to start shortly).

3.    Policy 2B may be too complex and could be removed as this situation is unlikely to occur.

 

Policy 3 – Building within the Village Envelope

(outside Conservation Areas)

 

H3A – Building within the village envelopes will be permitted provided it is for sites of no more than 2 houses on an infill basis.

H3B - Building along the arterial roads (ribbon development) will only be permitted within the existing village envelope.

 

What is the point of this policy?  

 

In order to maintain a ‘core’ area to each village we have defined an area called the ‘village envelope’.  From the Community Led Plan and other community consultations we know that residents want to be able to walk or cycle to the local amenities such as the shop, village halls, churches and school (Uffington only).  We also want to ensure that vilages maintain their own character and do not become too linear by sporadic or contiguous building along the arterial roads. Designation of both conservation areas by the District Council (in the 1970s) was a fundamental acceptance of their status as the most historic areas of their respective villages; they have provided a protection over the years which has been continued in the National Planning Policy Framework and in VOWHDC Local Plan 2031.  The NPPF requires any development in a conservation area ‘to enhance or benefit’ the conservation area. We will be working with the District Council to develop Appraisals to support our conservation areas.        

 

Are there any alternatives or options to this policy?

 

1.    We need to define the village envelopes.  The maps show the Uffington envelope, proposed in the 1970 Uffington Village Plan and 2 alternative areas which reflect the new building since 1970 (see map) and, potentially, the buildings along the arterial roads. The Baulking map shows only a single possible area but this may be changed. We would welcome comments on the definition of the ‘village envelopes’.

 

2.    By infill we mean filling gaps between existing buildings.  Should this policy also apply to developments in the grounds of existing buildings but not strictly between other buildings or could we allow a higher number?

 

3.    We could remove this policy completely and simply allow the normal Planning Application process to operate. We do not believe this is sensible as it could allow the villages to become ‘crowded’ with too many houses crammed into small spaces.

 

4.    The ‘arterial roads’ policy depends on whether these areas are included in the ‘village envelope’ or not.

 

5.    We could increase the numbers of infill houses permitted.

 

 

Policy 4 – Building outside the Village Envelope

 

H4A - Building outside the village envelopes will be permitted only on sites that are adjacent to the village envelopes.

H4B - Building adjacent to the village envelopes will be permitted only on sites with a maximum of 12 houses.

 

What is the point of this policy? 

 

In order to maintain a ‘core’ area to each village we have defined an area called the ‘village envelope’.  From the Community Led Plan and other community consultations we want to ensure that vilages maintain their own character and do not spread out into the open countryside which surrounds the village envelopes. We also know that residents want to be able to walk or cycle to the local amenities such as the shop, village halls, churches and school (Uffington only) and limiting the distance from these amenities facilitates this. Without such a policy villages could grow . If a large estae was to be build ‘detached’ from the envelope it would have the potential to become another ‘centre’ with its own amenities etc (as is happening in Shrivenham and elsewhere).

 

 

Are there any alternatives or options to this policy?

1.    We could remove it completely and simply allow the normal Planning Application process to operate.

 

2.    We need to define the village envelopes.  Unless we can do this it will be impossible to implement this policy.  We could use the 1970 definition but this is rather meaningless given the amount of development since 1970. The maps show the Uffington envelope, proposed in the 1970 Uffington Village Plan and 2 alternative areas which reflect the new building since 1970 (see map) and, potentially, the buildings along the arterial roads. The Baulking map shows only a single possible area but this may be changed (possibly into 2 separate areas). We would welcome comments on the definition of the ‘village envelope’ for both villages.

 

3.    We could remove this policy completely but we do not believe this is sensible as it would allow the villages to become ‘uncontrolled sprawls’ with poor access to village facilities

 

4.    The numbers of houses proposed in H4B need to be agreed or changed.  The CLP and HNS both expressed a preference for smaller (1-5 houses) developments and the HNA survey identified a need for small (<4 bedroom houses). Should we have different policies for differing numbers of houses e.g. for 2, 5, 10, 15 houses?

 

5.    Social Housing.  Local and National policy requires that a certain proportion of social housing be build for developments of over 11 houses.  If all developments were under this limit, it is unlikely that a developer would voluntarily build any social housing.

 

 

Policy 5 – Building in Open Countryside

 

H5A – Building inside the AONB will be permitted only in exceptional cases  (eg Rural Exception) and as allowed by National AONB policy.

 

H5B – Building outside the AONB but in the Open Countryside will be permitted  but limited to occasional single houses in appropriate places, barn conversions and re-development of redundant farm buildings, subject to prevailing change of use regulations.

 

What is the point of this policy?  

We believe that it follows directly from the Vision for the Plan area: ‘Our vision is that in 2031 the community, comprising the villages of Uffington and Baulking, will still sit in a peaceful rural setting, dominated by two of the most famous landmarks in the country: the White Horse Hill and the Ridgeway’, and also from Objective 5: To preserve the high quality and accessible countryside setting of Uffington and Baulking within the open landscape of the Vale and White Horse Hill and to protect the valued green spaces within and around our villages.’

 

Most of the Plan area is open countryside and distinclt different from the village envelope areas. Because of this we have defined separate two policies to cover these large areas – in and outside the AONB. To support this policy, we have developed the concept of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Impact Line. This is as illustrated and is a continuation of the precedent established by the refusal of consent in 2015 for the development of 42 houses (subsequently reduced to 30) on land to the south of Fawler Road - the ‘Gladman’ application. Secondly, there is currently no agreed definition of the boundaries of Uffington and Baulking, and so we also believe that they should be recognised – see illustrations – so that building in the open country in future outside these village boundaries is very strictly controlled.

 

 

Are there any alternatives or options to this policy?

 

  1. Other than removing it completely, we do not believe there are, but we would welcome comment on this, on the siting of the AONB Impact Line and the proposed village boundaries.
     
  2. We need to decide what might constitute ‘appropriate places’ which would be acceptable.

 

Policy 6 – Building in farmyards

 

H6 – Building within the current limits of the farmyards with a maximum of 5 dwellings will be permitted.

 

What is the point of this policy?  

The Plan area includes a number of isolated farms which, based solely on locations outside the Village Envelopes.  Normally these locations would be not support sustainable development, however some of these farms have redundant and/or derelict buildings which could be used as sites for housing/unobtrusive small scale commerical development. By permitting development on these sites we will encourage and enable the rural economy.

 

Are there any alternatives or options to this policy?

 

  1. We could remove it completely and not permit any building in farmyards due to the lack of sustainability associated with these such sites.  It may also be covered by Policy 5B.
  2. VOWH LPPt.1 & 2 both push hard that in working/existing farm yards the preferred option is to encourage agricultural diversity/development rather than allowing yards to become housing developments (Note: this is covered by E&E Policy No.2). We may need to resolve this policy conflict with the VOWH. 
  3. We could limit farmyard building to only that for accommodation for onsite workers.

 

Supporting diagrams/maps

Uffington - 1970 village envelope
U_CA_LB_Env_1970_A3p.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.1 MB]
Uffington - Possible village envelope
U_CA_LB_OptA_A3l.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.3 MB]
Uffington - Possible village envelope
U_CA_LB_OptB_A3l.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.4 MB]
Uffington - Possible village envelopes - superimposed
U_CA_LB_Env_All_Opts_A3l.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1'016.8 KB]
Baulking - Possible village envelope
B_CA_LB_Env1_A3p.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.2 MB]
Uffington - major house build dates
Map showing development of Uffington
U_Village_Housing_Dates_A3L.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [972.0 KB]

Housing Needs Analysis

The latest output from the Housing Group is the Housing Needs Assessment (HNA) which was produced by a consultant during the period January - May 2017.  The final publication was delayed to enable the study to factor-in information from the draft Vale Local Plan Part 2 which was released on 8 March.

 

The HNA seeks to determine the right number of new housing and that the size, type and tenure of housing matches the needs of existing and future residents. It provides an insight using available data to assess future housing need. In accordance with the National Planning Practice Framework (NPPF), environmental constraints and issues related to congestion and local infrastructure have not influenced this assessment, yet these remain important factors which will impact on housing development and have been raised in the report.

 

Two documents were produced:

 

       1.  The Uffington and Baulking HNA.

 

       2.   A summary of the Housing Survey results from questionnaires completed by residents of Uffington and Baulking.

 

Both documents can be downloaded from the links below.

Uffington and Baulking HNA
20170522 HNA_Final.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.3 MB]
Uffington and Baulking Housing Needs Survey Results
20170301 Housing Needs Survey U B - FIN[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [1.4 MB]
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© Text Uffington Parish Council. Artwork:created by Bronwen Thomas, © Millikin/Parsons. Photos © Oldnall/Parsons/Lindo/Kavanagh