Council’s response to Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan modifications

Buckingham Town Council submitted the following response to Aylesbury Vale’s District Council’s consultation on the proposed main modifications to the proposed Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan.

The key points made by the Council are:

  • Removal of BUC051 – which is reserve site M in BNDP – the new modelling of traffic congestion is highly selective and does not consider whether similar unacceptable congestion would be created by other allocated sites that remain. This does not justify the removal of this site alone from VALP;
  • Western Relief Road which is part of the Buckingham Transport Strategy [BTS] has not been included in VALP, despite BTS remaining part of the evidence base for VALP.
  • Affordable Homes percentage may be retained in existing BNDP but not any future NDPs, even if there was sufficient evidence to support. Suggestion that future NDPs be included in this policy with the proviso that such a figure would need to be supported with robust evidence.
  • Request that additional evidence on (3), which was not heard at Public Hearings in July 2018, now be included in support.

Lace Hill Sports Pitches and Dog Walking

Keep Dogs Off the Pitches poster

We welcome everyone at Lace Hill Sports Pitches, this is a communal space that we want all residents to be able to enjoy. Buckingham's parks are one of its best assets and the Council works hard to maintain them and to create green spaces that work for everyone, including those exercising and dog walkers.

At the moment the Council is reviewing how best to ensure that everyone can enjoy the Lace Hill playing fields, and below are some of the most common questions that have been raised.

The playing fields at Lace Hill were paid for by section 106 funds, this is money that developers must pay when they build large numbers of houses to improve the infrastructure of an area.

The funding was for two sports pitches associated with the Sports Centre and the school. In the first stages of the housing at Lace Hill being built there may not have been sports teams visibly using the space, but several sports clubs now hire the space to use for training and official match games.

Buckingham Town Council took over the Lace Hill Sports & Community Centre and the playing fields from the developer in 2016. This means that the cost of maintaining the Centre and the Fields comes out the Council Tax paid by everyone in Buckingham and not just members of Lace Hill.

The housing maintenance fee paid separately by Lace Hill residents does not cover the Lace Hill Sports & Community Centre or the pitches.

In 2019, Buckingham United Football Club made an agreement with the Town Council that they would take over the maintenance of the sports pitches themselves. This means that they can maintain them to a higher standard without any extra cost to tax payers. As part of this agreement they also put up fencing around one of the pitches, which will be removed at the end of each season.

Other sports clubs also use the fields for training sessions and official match games, and pay a hire cost which contributes towards the cost of the maintenance of the area.

The playing fields are used by several sports teams for training and official match games, including by children learning how to play football, rugby and other field sports.

There have been repeated incidents where the presence of out of control dogs have put children in danger:

  • Owners have allowed their dogs to foul on the pitches and not cleared it up, which is a significant risk to children as dog poo contains harmful parasites that can make children unwell, and in severe cases can cause blindness.
  • Recently, owners have thrown balls for their dogs into the unfenced pitch area while children are training. This is an obviously unsafe thing to do, causing a serious risk of harm to both the children and dogs.
  • Unsupervised dogs have also run into the children's play area.

The well being of everyone who uses the playing fields is important, and the Council cannot ignore the risk currently being posed to children from dogs whose owners are not keeping their dogs under control.

Yes you can, but dogs must be kept under control and walked responsibly.

  • Always clear up after your dog, even if there is no one around. There are dog poo bins at the playing fields.
  • Keep your dog off the sports pitches.
  • Keep your dog under control, if the pitches are in use your dog should be on a lead.
  • Consider using other park spaces if you want to spend time with your dog off lead.

This is because the unfenced area is still a sports pitch. In fact, this is the pitch most commonly used by children training, who are particularly at risk from out of control dogs.

If there are continued issues with dogs in this area the Council will have to consider firmer action.

Audio version of the Summer 2019 newsletter.

The audio version of the summer 2019 Buckingham Town Matters newsletter is now online. If you would like any more information about anything you have heard or read about in the newsletter, please get in touch with the Town Council Office.

To find a PDF version of this newsletter, and previous editions of the Buckingham Town Matters newsletters since 2010, visit our publications page.

Buckingham Town Council Supports New Development

 
At an Extraordinary Meeting of Buckingham Town Council on Monday 4th February, called because of time restraints on the responses, Councillors considered two proposals for new developments in the town: an outline plan for 420 houses on land south of Osier Way behind Gawcott Fields, and amended plans for the Tingewick Triangle land at the junction of Tingewick Road and the bypass.  The difference between the approaches of the two developers gave a clear example of the best way to develop new housing plans for the town.
Osier Way
The development at Osier Way was opposed by Councillors; the site was not marked for housing in the Buckingham Neighbourhood Plan and fell outside the settlement boundary, separated from the town by the industrial areas and the bypass, and had no community facilities beyond open space and play areas. Councillors are concerned that this proposal would result in a dormitory estate which would be isolated from town life. In addition, the proposal assumed that residents would work locally and walk or cycle to work or school.  However in reality there is little likelihood of taking small children to school in any other way than by car, making the parent-car problems at the primary schools even worse than they are now. Shopping trips to Tesco, Lidl and the town centre would also add to the traffic in and out of the site via Osier Way and the bypass.
Councillors criticised the assumption that 25% Affordable Housing was acceptable, when the currently valid Plan – Buckingham Neighbourhood Plan – requires 35% (a difference of over 40 houses).  It was felt that the figure in force when the plans were submitted should be used, not the proposed figure in the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan which has not yet been accepted by the Examining Officer.
Tingewick Triangle

Plan of houses in the Tingewick triangle area of Buckingham

Plan of houses in the Tingewick triangle area of Buckingham. Large green area is site of St Rumbolds Well and Roman archaeological finds.


In a huge contrast, Councillors welcomed the recent changes made to the detailed plans for Tingewick site in consultation with Design South East; this was a site designated for housing in the Neighbourhood Plan, and the developers had met and consulted with the Town Council at all stages, gradually refining the outline plan to suit Buckingham styles and other consultees’ requirements. Councillors therefore agreed no objections to the revisions, noting that not all consultees had responded yet. They also stipulated that all houses had to have telecoms connections before occupation.
Buckingham Town Council does not make final decisions on planning applications; this is the responsibility of Aylesbury Vale District Council.  However the Town Council are a statutory consultee on all planning applications, and make representations to AVDC where the Town Council opposes an application.
 
Osier Way – application 19/00148/AOP
Tingewick Triangle – 17/04668/ADP