Wymondham Neighbourhood Plan - Policy Consultation

Thank you to everyone who took the time to provide feedback on the online consultation earlier this year.  The Neighbourhood Planning team were delighted by the creativity that you put into coming up with ideas for a vision and the detail that you provided on the key issues facing Wymondham.

Following this consultation, the team undertook site visits and research to inform the development of a vision, objectives and draft policies for the Neighbourhood Plan.

We would be very grateful if you could spend a few minutes telling us whether you agree or disagree with the ideas the team have developed by completing the questionnaire below please.

 
VISION & OBJECTIVES

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* 1. The Neighbourhood Plan has to include a vision and a series of objectives. Do you agree or disagree with the following vision the team have developed from your consultation responses?

'One Wymondham: A traditional and vibrant market town in the Norfolk countryside, with an inclusive community that values its heritage and greenspaces whilst embracing the future.’

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* 2. Do you agree or disagree with the draft objectives for the Neighbourhood Plan?

  Agree Disagree
1.Inclusion: The plan should promote improved physical and social inclusion of all communities throughout the town

 

 
2. Traditional market town character: The plan should seek to protect and enhance characteristics that contribute to the character of Wymondham as a living, working historic market town

 
3. Rural setting:  The plan should seek to maintain the setting of Wymondham as a discrete town surrounded by high quality countryside

 
4. Community infrastructure:  The plan should seek to ensure that the provision of community infrastructure keeps-up with the growth of the town

 
5. Town centre:  The plan must conserve the traditional town centre and help it to adjust to changing consumer trends and preferences for shopping, working and leisure

 
6. Sustainability:  The plan must seek to contribute to the environmental sustainability of Wymondham, mitigating the impacts of a changing climate and adapting to future conditions

 
7. Accessibility: The plan must promote improving access and accessibility for the elderly and disabled and promote improved permeability of built up areas across the town for all

 
8. Green infrastructure: The plan must promote the development and enhancement of strategic and local green infrastructure sites and networks

 
POLICIES

From what you told us and what we have found through research we have developed a series of draft policies for the Neighbourhood Plan.  We would like you to tell us whether you agree or disagree with the policy ideas set out below please:

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* 3. POLICY 1: EXCELLENCE IN DESIGN

The Neighbourhood Plan promotes development based on the highest possible standards of design and architecture to help reinforce Wymondham’s character and sense of place; this includes the design of new housing, work space, retail space, streets and landscape.  Proposals for significant new development should refer to the new National Design Guide and any other local design guidance and demonstrate how they have responded to each of the 10 characteristics for good design:

1. Context
2. Identity
3. Built form
4. Movement
5. Nature
6. Public spaces
7. Uses
8. Homes & Buildings
9. Resources
10. Lifespan

Having taken account of the National Design Guide Particular consideration should be given to ensuring that new development blends seamlessly with the existing town, creating a coherent place in terms of design and connectivity.

New development must be accompanied by the provision of necessary social infrastructure as early as possible.

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* 4. POLICY 2: TOWN CENTRE VIBRANCY

 The Neighbourhood Plan supports development and redevelopment proposals that help to improve the overall vibrancy of the town centre; this includes the sensitive redevelopment of poor quality buildings and sites.  The Plan supports proposals for sensitive retail, leisure and employment uses in the town centre that have the potential to generate high levels of footfall throughout the day and help increase activity. The Plan encourages proposals to include the following characteristics:

· Active frontages that help to make the town centre attractive and feel busy
· Uses that utilise or help to increase activity in the public realm
· Employment or residential use at first floor and above
· Improvements to the public realm such as lighting, planting and improved surfacing
· Inserting new uses along the length of alleyways and pedestrian links
· Improvements to the setting of Listed Buildings
· Coherent spaces between separate developments.

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* 5. POLICY 3: BACK LANE

 The Neighbourhood Plan supports proposals for the mixed-use development or redevelopment of back-land plots along Back Lane to help improve the function and appearance of this area.  This includes animating the alleyways linking Back Lane to the town centre which would benefit from redevelopment with active uses.

Where relevant, proposals should seek to rationalise car parking provision and improve the quality of public realm including careful design to improve orientation and accessibility and soft landscaping and planting.

Proposals should take particular care to ensure that their layout and design, including the scale, massing and external treatments contribute to enhancing the appearance of the town centre and help to preserve and enhance the Conservation Area and the setting of any Listed Buildings.

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* 6. POLICY 4. PUBLIC REALM IMPROVEMENTS

The Neighbourhood Plan supports measures to improve the quantum and quality of spaces in the town centre for pedestrians.  For example, the Plan supports a reduction in width of roads in the town centre, the widening of pavements, the creation of more pedestrian priority areas, measures to reduce the speed of vehicular traffic, better surface treatments, new pedestrian crossings, de-cluttering, pedestrian facilities such as seating and the careful introduction of planting and street trees

Proposals that contribute towards placemaking and the improvement of conditions for pedestrians in locations identified by the Wymondham Town Centre Strategy (2018) and via consultation as follows will be supported:

· The Fairlands junction
· Bridewell junction
· Town Green junction
· Market Place
· Market Street car park
· Old Fire Station Arch (entrance to Market Street car park) and Wharton Court
· Back Lane car park
· Around Becket’s Chapel
· Priory Gardens
· Around the War Memorial
· Alleyways in the town centre.

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* 7. POLICY 5. IMPORTANT VIEWS AND VISTAS

The Plan seeks to protect and enhance the views of Wymondham Abbey, the Tiffey Valley, the Lizard and across high-quality countryside to the north and south of the town.  Any development or alterations to an area within these views must ensure that key features of the view can continue to be enjoyed including landmark buildings, open countryside and the topography of the town and its surroundings.  Development within the views that is overly intrusive, unsightly or prominent to the detriment of the view as a whole should be avoided.

 Abbey views of particular importance include those from:
· Chapel Lane
· The viewing areas at Tolls Meadow & the Lizard
· The junction Vicar Street & Middleton Street by the War Memorial
· Brewery Lane
· Cavick Road
· Strayground Lane and Park Lane
· Rightup Lane
· Bradman’s Lane

Countryside views of particular importance include those from:
· Tuttles Lane West looking north towards Kidd’s Moor & Carlton Forehoe
· Chapel Lane looking west across the Tiffey Valley
· The Lizard looking east along the Tiffey Valley
· Strayground Lane looking south east towards Silfield

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* 8. POLICY 6. STRATEGIC GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE NETWORK

Proposals that comply with relevant parts of the emerging GNLP and 2015 AAP making a positive contribution towards the development the strategic green infrastructure network in Wymondham will be encouraged and supported.  Particular contributions that would be welcomed include:

 · Landscape management and habitat creation that create and enhance strategic green infrastructure corridors
· Interventions that enhance parts of the network that run through built-up areas of Wymondham

Where a contribution towards the green infrastructure is a requirement of a development, the developers will be expected to make proportional provision for the long-term maintenance.  Any future provision of green infrastructure should be designed to minimise ongoing costs that would be incurred by public bodies, for example through the selection of species that require minimal maintenance.

Development that is detrimental to the network will be discouraged.

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* 9. POLICY 7. WYMONDHAM GREEN RIBBONS/LOCAL GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE NETWORK

Proposals that comply with relevant parts of the emerging GNLP and 2015 AAP making a positive contribution towards the development a network of green infrastructure corridors or wedges in Wymondham will be encouraged and supported. Contributions that would be particularly welcomed include those that support the development of the green ribbons illustrated:

· Running east west along the Harts Farm Road
· Following the Tiffey Valley eastwards from the Lizard out to Oxford Common
· Running north-south along Strayground Lane and Bays River Valley form the A11 into the town Cemetery
· Following the Tiffey Valley and Mid Norfolk Railway north-west from the Abbey

Household, community group and other small landowner interventions that make minor contributions but that cumulatively can make a big difference to enhance the strategic network are encouraged.

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* 10. POLICY 8: INTEGRATION AND ACCESSIBILITY FOR ALL

The Neighbourhood Plan is supportive of proposals that make a positive contribution to improving connectivity within the Plan area for pedestrians and cyclists.  Linking existing and new developments to the town centre and public transport nodes such as the railway station is key to the Plan’s ambition of creating One Wymondham.

Opportunities to create more and better walking and cycling routes around the town should be pursued; new and improved routes should seek to be more attractive and pleasant and incorporate soft landscaping wherever possible. Particular attention should be given to improving connectivity and facilities for disabled and elderly residents where existing infrastructure is either lacking or unfit for purpose.

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* 11. POLICY 9: ACCESS TO THE COUNTRYSIDE

 The Neighbourhood Plan seeks to increase and improve public accessibility to the countryside around Wymondham to promote healthy lifestyles and community wellbeing.  In particular, the Neighbourhood Plan supports the provision of improved or new fully accessible footpaths and cycleways building on existing routes and the local Green Ribbons in a number of areas:

· To the north of the town and west towards the Tiffey Valley and east towards Hethersett
· To the south of the town and east towards Silfield
· To the west of the town on a north-south axis.

Footpaths should be designed to suit their environment and blend with the landscape.  They should be accompanied by appropriate signage and wayfinding. The plan encourages the design of footpaths to reflect the rural setting of Wymondham.

 Where footpaths make use of existing roads appropriate measures should be taken to maximise pedestrian and cyclist safety.

PROJECTS

From what you told us and what we have found through research we have developed a series of draft projects for the Neighbourhood Plan.  Unlike the policies, these will not become formal planning policy, but they will help to flag up projects that the community are keen to see happen. We would like you to tell us whether you agree or disagree with our ideas please:

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* 12. PROJECT 1: OLD SALE YARD SITE

The Neighbourhood Plan supports the development of the Old Sales Yard site close to Wymondham Station on Cemetery Lane as set out at Policy Wym 2 of the 2015 Wymondham AAP.  Whilst the site remains undeveloped the Plan supports improvements to the appearance of the area.

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* 13. PROJECT 2: PEDESTRIAN AND CYCLIST WAYFINDING

The Neighbourhood Plan supports a comprehensive review of pedestrian and cyclist wayfinding across the Parish and the delivery of a new, effective and consistent strategy and suite of online media, physical maps, signage and way-marking.  The proposed strategy should take into account the full range of types of footpaths and cycle ways and seek to highlight and promote opportunities that improve access to the surrounding countryside.

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* 14. PROJECT 3: TOWN CENTRE SIGNAGE

The Neighbourhood Plan supports a comprehensive review of signage, interpretation and maps in the town centre and the delivery of a new, effective and consistent strategy followed by new the new infrastructure itself.   New material should be designed to help visitors orientate themselves and in particular recognise the ‘string of pearls’ of heritage assets in the town from the Wymondham Heritage Museum, Market Cross, Becket’s Chapel and Wymondham Abbey.

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* 15. PROJECT 4: DIVERSITY OF GREENSPACES

The Neighbourhood Plan supports a detailed review of green spaces and other green infrastructure in Wymondham and the development of a strategy that ensures the volume and nature of provision meets community needs.  Particular consideration should be given to ensuring there is a balance between amenity greenspace and wilder green spaces.  Where changes are proposed stakeholders will need to identify how long-term management and maintenance will be addressed.

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* 16. PROJECT 5: DE-CLUTTERING

 When public areas are redeveloped or new infrastructure is added or upgraded, the opportunity should be seized to remove obsolete items and consolidate infrastructure that remains required.  Particular attention should be given to the town centre where clutter has accumulated in particular locations with the consequence of reducing the quantity or utility of public space.

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* 17. PROJECT 6: WYMONDHAM GATEWAYS

The Neighbourhood Plan the enhancement of gateways to the town to improve people’s first impression of Wymondham improve overall perceptions of the area.  Enhancements might include the installation of high quality town signage, planting or gateway markers.  Gateways would include junctions off the A11 and arterial roads into the town.

Thank you again for taking the time to participate in the Wymondham Neighbourhood Plan process.  We look forward to reviewing your comments and updating you on next steps in the future.

 
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