In line with the principles of sustainability which require that planning and planning policies address environmental, social and economic issues, our proposed policies fall within the following classifications:
1. Trees, hedgerows and woodland
- Wherever possible, development proposals will be expected to retain existing trees and hedgerows of good quality and/or visual significance, or trees and hedgerows that are likely to become significant when a site is developed. Development should not put at risk the future retention of such trees and hedgerows, and during the course of development such trees and hedgerows should be protected.
- The removal of such trees and hedgerows will be permitted if it can be demonstrated through provision of a landscape scheme and management plan that the overall development will gain an equivalent or greater benefit from the provision of alternate and suitable indigenous replacement trees, planted in proportions and locations that maintain the woodland character of the area.
- Wherever possible, development proposals will be expected to avoid the fragmentation and reduction of non-ancient woodland that contributes to the local character of Daws Hill and the surrounding area, or has biodiversity value. In the event that removal of such woodland is necessary an equal area of woodland must be planted on site comprising indigenous species, 20% of which should be non-timber species.
2. Local green space
Development that results in the loss of green and open spaces, or that result in any harm to their character, setting, accessibility, appearance, general quality or amenity value will be permitted only if the community will gain equivalent benefit from the provision of suitable replacement green space or gain significant social, economic or environmental benefits from an alternative facility, preferably within the NA.
The following green spaces have been identified within the NA, with the identified community benefits:-
- St. Michael's School playing fields: providing the only sizeable area for outdoor games and activities, as well as being a valuable educational resource. This area is marked “LGS1” on the plan of the NA;
- The wooded area between the east entrance to Knights Templar Way and the entrance from Daws Hill Lane to Austenwood Close: a significant area and safe place for children to congregate and play while awaiting transport from St. Michael's School. This area is marked “LGS2” on the plan of the NA;
- The green open area alongside The Spinney;
- The green open area at the end of Fair Ridge, bordering on Foxleigh;
- The wooded area between Daws Lea and the Handy Cross site.
3. Backland development
There will be a presumption against development within rear domestic gardens in order to respect and maintain the existing local character of Daws Hill and to protect the biodiversity, amenity, and flood and climate change mitigation value of these private green spaces.
Backland development will only be supported where it can be demonstrated that there will be no adverse impact upon the following:
- Local character – Building plots should be of similar size and shape to existing plots in the immediate locality, and buildings should be spaced and arranged in a manner which is consistent with that of the Character Zone within which they are located (as detailed within the Daws Hill Neighbourhood Area Character Assessment, 2016). Development should not result in the loss roadside green features such as grass verges, hedgerows or trees.
- Biodiversity and amenity value – Rear garden land which contributes either individually or as part of a larger stretch of green infrastructure to the amenity of residents or provides wildlife habitats should be retained.
Development proposals which result in uncharacteristic plot sizes and shapes, irregular spacing between buildings, or erodes the green and wooded character of the Neighbourhood Area will be resisted.
4. Flooding and drainage
- All developments will be expected to avoid wherever possible increasing surface water run-off from the periphery of the site, or to increase surface water entering existing sewers. Attention must be paid to all existing guidance documents such as BCC’s SWMP and Natural England’s advice.
5. Quality design
New development should preserve and enhance the special character of the Daws Hill Neighbourhood Plan area, as detailed in the Daws Hill Neighbourhood Character Assessment, 2016, by:
Recognising and reinforcing the distinct local character in relation to building heights, massing, spacing, positioning, layout, orientation, and materials.
- Incorporating high quality landscaping to mitigate the visual impact of the development and to ensure that proposals merge into the existing green and wooded context. Where appropriate, landscaping schemes should seek to include native species.
- Retaining existing trees and planting, and integrating these into the proposed development.
• Incorporating high quality materials which maximise the aesthetic quality of the scheme.
- Ensuring new boundary treatments reflect the distinct local character in relation to materials and design, or retaining open plan layouts where boundaries are unenclosed.
- Preserving existing views out towards the surrounding wooded landscape, and where possible, creating new views along streets and/or open spaces to the surrounding wooded landscape.
- Incorporating design principles which result in secure and safe environments, and minimise opportunities for crime and anti-social behaviour. Streets and pedestrian / cycle links should be faced by active frontages and benefit from good levels of natural surveillance.
- Providing sufficient external amenity space.
- Progressing sensitively designed and appropriately located waste and recycling storage and car parking provision, which should be considered early in the design process and properly designed into the scheme rather than be left as an afterthought.
- Proposals for retail development should consider the guidance provided within Wycombe District Council’s ‘Shop Fronts & Shop Signs – A guide to their role in the conservation of historic character in town centres’, and progress shop frontages of high quality design which respect the character and architectural composition of the existing building and contribute positively to the local street scene.
6. Shop-front design
- New or renovated shop frontages should be of a high quality design and where possible improve the character of their local environment. The design of frontages should complement the architectural design of the rest of building where that building has historic or architectural merit. Signs for shop fronts should be well-designed at a suitable scale and if illuminated should be lit appropriately and discreetly.
- All retail developments must properly demonstrate that the impacts/effects on the residential community in terms of public transport, parking arrangements and buildings/facilities are properly considered and mitigated by appropriate measures.
7. Scale of local non-residential development
- New services and amenities, including leisure, health, and education facilities will be encouraged provided that they primarily seek to serve a local catchment. They should be easily accessible via a variety of modes of sustainable transport and should not give rise to significant additional trips by private car. Accordingly, any proposal should demonstrate how it would not impact adversely on existing on-street parking or local highway safety.
- Whilst commercial and business uses (including commercial residential such as Houses of Multiple Occupancy) will be supported in the NA they must be small in scale, accessible via a variety of modes of sustainable transport, and should not create a new focal point in the Plan area that would encourage greater levels of commercial activity or significant traffic movements in future. They should also be able to demonstrate that they will not impact adversely on existing residential amenity.
8. Recreation and open spaces
Existing formal open space or open space with a recreation value in the NA should not be built on unless:
- It can be demonstrated that there is no longer a community need for the land;
- The space to be lost is replaced by an equivalent or better level of provision within easy access of resident of the NA; or
- The development is for alternative sports and recreation provision, the benefits of which outweigh the loss.