UPDATED WANTAGE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN – NOVEMBER 2020

The Town Council has published an update to the draft Wantage Neighbourhood Plan. Regretfully the Plan was rejected by an inspector in 2016 relating to the proposed town centre and greenspaces policies. The updated Plan has been modified to amend or remove the policies that were deemed unacceptable. All other policies remain unchanged from the document published in 2016 and no new policies have been added. More information on the role of the Plan in the planning processes, and a copy of the updated Plan, can be accessed on the Town Council’s website
www.wantagetowncouncil.gov.uk

The Plan document provides a lot of support information relating to each policy proposal, however, from a planning viewpoint it is the wording of the policies themselves that are given regard to when making decisions about planning applications. This survey, therefore, focuses specifically on the policy wordings and seeks your views concerning them.

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* 1. Town Centre Policy Area

The Wantage Town Centre Policy Area is as defined in the District Council's Local Plan.

In addition to the development management policies of the Local Plan that will apply in this area, proposals for new retail (A1) and café/ restaurant (A3) uses on ground and upper floors in the defined primary and secondary shopping frontages will be especially encouraged in the area. Proposals for retail development outside the Policy Area will be resisted unless they are for convenience food retail of no more than 300 sq.m. gross internal area.

Elsewhere in the area outside of the defined primary and secondary shopping frontages, proposals for employment uses will be encouraged provided they meet minimum car parking standards and any loss of existing car parking spaces is replaced.

Proposals for change of use within or related to the Town Centre Policy Area will be required to demonstrate how they will complement or support the Town Centre’s vitality and viability through a mix use scheme. In the case of redevelopment and/or change of use of sites in excess of 0.5 HA, proposals will be required to demonstrate why redevelopment for another land use is necessary and/or why a mixed use scheme is not viable.

Proposals for change of use to dwellings or for new housing development in the area will be required to demonstrate how they will retain employment in the Town Centre Policy Area and provide sufficient parking for both employees and residents.

Do you support these policies

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* 2. Optional comments on Town Centre Policy Area

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* 3. Protection of Employment Sites

Proposals for redevelopment of, or extensions to, existing employment land that fully retain existing uses, will be encouraged (B1, B2, B8). 

Proposals for change of use from employment use (B1, B2, B8) are encouraged as part of a mixed use scheme where it can be demonstrated that: 
 
i. There is no reasonable prospect of continued sole employment use for the land or buildings; 
ii.   Where the site or premises are unsuitable for sole employment use on amenity, environmental or highway safety grounds, that substantial benefit to the community would be delivered by allowing mixed uses; or  
iii. Adequate and deliverable alternative employment provision is available within the Wantage development boundary.
 
Question: Do you support these policies

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* 4. Optional comments on Protection of Employment Sites

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* 5. Design – General Principles

Development proposals will be supported, provided their design has regard to the following principles: 
 
i. views into and out of Town make a significant contribution to its overall character and must be both preserved and respected in the design and positioning of any new development;  
ii. improved provision for cycling throughout the Area. Contributions to improve cycling opportunities will be sought, where appropriate, and feasible and may be in the form of financial contribution and/or appropriate design measures:  
a. Contributions to the improvement of existing bicycle lanes and paths;  
b. Contributions to the provision of safe and well designated cycle routes, especially on the main roads through the Area;  
c. Contributions to the provision of new bicycle lanes and paths;  
d. Contributions to the provision of new bicycle stands in all parts of the Area - and particularly in town; and  
e. The provision of appropriate bicycle storage.  
It is important that any design measures meet the appropriate technical standard. 
 
Question: Do you support these policies   

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* 6. Optional comments on Design – General Principles

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* 7. Design – Character Areas

Development proposals will be supported provided their design has regard to the principles of the Development Plan and which reflect the character of that part of the town within which the land is located, as shown on the Policies Maps on pages 37-39. Innovative design is en-couraged provided that it positively responds to and enhances the local character of the surrounding area. Landscape schemes should seek to retain existing on-site mature trees and hedges and should include new fruit tree planting.
  
Town Centre Conservation Areas
 
a. Any future development or redevelopment in the Conservation Area, including infill and back garden development, should be ar-chitecturally in keeping with adjacent buildings and appropriate in scale and massing; and  
b. Materials for buildings, shop fronts and boundary walls should reflect the historic character, for example brick, render, clay tile, slate, stone and lime-based mortars.  
Charlton Village Conservation Area  
a. Any future development or redevelopment in the Conservation Area, including infill and back garden development, should be architecturally in keeping with adjacent buildings and appropriate in scale and massing;  
b. A housing scheme should be of no more than 20 dwellings per hectare density reflecting the character of the area;  
c. Materials for buildings and boundary walls should reflect the his-toric character, for example brick, render, clay tile, slate, stone and lime-based mortars; and  
d. Development should not impede views into the AONB land to the South.  
Charlton, South East, North West and West Wantage Character Areas  
a. Any future developments should provide sufficient amenity open space to ameliorate the deficiencies in the existing estates and reduce their dependence on borrowed landscapes;  
b. Infill development should respect the character of the relevant area in its architectural style, scale, massing and materials;  
c. Housing schemes should be no more than 30 dwellings per hectare density reflecting the character of the area. 16
 
South West Wantage Character Area  

Proposals for development will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that;  

a. the open character of this important natural landscape will be maintained;  
b. it does not comprise the sub-division of plots for infill development in residential gardens;  
c. the development does not impede views into or out of the open green spaces or AONB land;  
d. Housing schemes reflect the character of the area and are likely to be no more than 20 dwellings per hectare density. 

Question: Do you support these policies

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* 8. Optional comments on Design – Character Areas

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* 9. Design – Housing Types

Proposals for housing development should be in accordance with the character of the areas and to meet the needs of current and future households in Wantage including home workers. 

Proposals for housing development incorporating bungalows and opportunities for self-build schemes will be encouraged provided they accord with the design principles of the Development Plan. 
 
Question: Do you support these policies  

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* 10. Optional comments on Design – Housing Types

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* 11. Green Infrastructure Network 

The Neighbourhood Plan proposes the establishment of the Wantage Green Infrastructure Network around and within the town of Wantage, as shown on the Policies Maps on pages 37-39. This network aims to assist in the connection of green spaces in terms of i) footpaths and cycle networks and ii) biodiversity.  

Development proposals on land that lies within or adjoining an existing part of the network should demonstrate how they enhance the visual characteristics of the land and how they contribute to the connectivity, maintenance and improvement of the Network. 

Question: Do you support these policies 

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* 12. Optional comments on Green Infrastructure Network

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* 13. Green Infrastructure – Letcombe Brook 

Planning permission for development proposals that adjoin or are within the vicinity of Letcombe Brook as shown on the Policies Maps on pages 37-39, will only be granted if they can demonstrate that they would actively enhance the Brook’s ecology, management and recreational value and not have an adverse impact on the functions and setting of the Brook and its associated corridor.  
Development proposals should:  

i. Conserve and enhance the biodiversity, landscape and recreational value of the Letcombe Brook and its tributaries including Manor Road Spring, Humber Ditch and its corridor through good design;  
ii. Include a long term landscape and ecological management plan for the Brook, buffer strip and corridor;  
iii. Provide or retain a minimum 10m natural green buffer between the top of the river bank and the development in urban areas adjacent to the Letcombe Brook; and  
iv. Be in accordance with the landscape and design guidance set out in the ‘Letcombe Brook – Planning Guidance for landowners and developers’ in Appendix 1 

Question: Do you support these policies  

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* 14. Optional comments on Green Infrastructure – Letcombe Brook 

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* 15. Green Infrastructure – Local Green Spaces 

The Neighbourhood Plan designates Local Green Spaces in the following locations, as shown on the Policies Maps on pages 37-39:  

a. Manor Road Memorial Recreation Ground  
b. Betjeman Park  
c. Humber Ditch and the adjacent green spaces  
d. Letcombe Wildlife Corridor (including Willow Walk Nature Reserve)  
e. Alfred’s Well 
 
Question: Do you support these policies  

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* 16. Optional comments on Green Infrastructure – Local Green Spaces

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* 17. Infrastructure Investment

Development proposals of a scale that are likely to significantly increase the demand for local services and infrastructure will only be supported if they can demonstrate that:  

i. Either there is sufficient spare capacity in the existing services and infrastructure in the Wantage area; or  
ii. It is feasible to increase the capacity of those services and infra- structure in the Wantage area in a timely manner to serve the development. 

Question: Do you support these policies

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* 18. Optional comments on Infrastructure Investment

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* 19. Community Facilities 

Development proposals will be required to make proportionate financial contributions to key local services and infrastructure improvement projects through planning obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy as appropriate.
  
The following key projects are anticipated to be the main focus of this investment in the plan period:  

i. Traffic Management proposals, including improvements to the Market Place;  
ii. Green infrastructure network including maintenance and enhancement of existing green spaces and improvements to pavements and footpaths;  
iii. Cycle ways within and linking Wantage to adjacent areas;  
iv. Provision of education from pre-school to secondary;  
v. Provision of healthcare and dental care facilities;  
vi. Community and/or other projects that may be deemed relevant at the time, such as for youth provision or recreation. 
 
Question: Do you support these policies  

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* 20. Optional comments on Community Facilities 

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* 21. Community Assets

Development proposals that will result in either the loss of or significant harm to a designated Asset of Community Value will be resisted, unless it can be clearly demonstrated that the operation of the asset, or the ongoing delivery of the community value of the asset, is no longer financially viable. 
 
Proposals to improve the viability of a designated Asset of Community Value, or of any other established community use by way of the extension or partial redevelopment of buildings and land will be supported, provided the design of the scheme and the resulting increase in use are appropriate in design terms and will not harm the amenities of adjoining residential properties. 
 
Question: Do you support these policies  

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* 22. Optional comments on Community Assets

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* 23. Optional comments on any aspect of the neighbourhood plan not discussed previously

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* 24. The next questions focus on you to ensure that we have captured representative views from across the population of Wantage Town. They are all optional. Any information shared with us will not be used for any other purpose and will not be shared beyond the Wantage Town Council, it's Officers or Councillors in accordance with GDPR.

What is your gender?

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* 25. What is your age bracket?

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* 26. Postcode of your residence?

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