Page 4 – Planning Considerations Arising from the Survey
Chinnor is expanding very rapidly at the present time as a result of relatively large scale estate development. Planning permission has already been granted for virtually all the vacant land within the Committee Guidance line approved on the 8th February, 1955.
This rapid estate development has shown that an intense demand for private housing has spilled over the Chiltern Hills from South Buckinghamshire and London. The planning policy of Buckinghamshire County Council is bound to have a great effect upon the demands for housing in Chinnor. The Draft Policy statement giving the principles of the Review of the Buckinghamshire Development Plan, published in 1963, proposes the following objectives:-
1) The Area South of the Vale of Aylesbury
- The retention of the existing and proposed areas of the Metropolitan Green Belt.
- The retention generally of the boundaries of urban growth in the existing County Development Plan.
- The continuance of urban renewal and the redevelopment of areas of obsolete housing development in this part of the county.
- The encouragement of new types of high density housing on suitable sites. The pilot scheme at Hazlemere is typical of the approach which should be encouraged.
- The encouragement of redevelopment of the central areas of existing towns and the preservation of areas of existing towns of accepted architectural and historic interest.
2) The Vale of Aylesbury
- The target population of the area within the approved Aylesbury Town Map is 42,000, to be achieved by 1974. The population at the present time is about 29,000, but development of Aylesbury should be allowed to continue beyond the approved Town Map figure.
- Detailed consideration of the villages within the sphere of influence of Aylesbury in order to determine the extent to which they should be allowed to grow, and the possible creation of one or two new villages that might be necessary to cater for the element of the population that prefers village life to that of a town.
3) The Area of the County to the North of the Vale of Aylesbury
It is proposed that there should be radical changes in the area. The population is at the moment about 80,000; it is suggested that this should expand ultimately to about 350,000.
This planned expansion should provide for:-
- The natural growth of the population of the area;
- Overspill from the towns in the south of the County, where available land is reaching saturation point;
- This county’s contribution towards the housing of London’s overspill and the future population growth of south-east England as a whole.
(Extracts from the County of Buckinghamshire Development Plan Review, 1963).
Buckinghamshire propose a new city of up to 250,000 people in the north of their county to cater for the expansion referred to in Area 3 above.
Buckinghamshire’s policy of tight control on the Chilterns will inevitably mean a transference of some of the high pressure there to neighbouring areas of Oxfordshire; it is essential that a firm policy should be adopted for villages such as Chinnor where the pressure for development will be heaviest. First, it is necessary to consider whether it would be right for Chinnor to continue to develop. The development of land for which planning permission has already been granted, and of land which is unavoidably compromised, will carry the population to a little over 4,000 (See Table 6). Although Chinnor’s services are fairly adequate for this size of population, they would scarcely cope with much greater development: the public transport system is inadequate for present needs; there is no real shopping centre in Chinnor; there is no secondary education either existing or proposed in the village; in fact the only real incentive for development in the past has been the availability of land. Planning permissions already granted will round the development off; there is no justification for the further spread of building which bears almost no social relationship to the village.
Spriggs Holly and Henton also need consideration as parts of Chinnor Parish. Spriggs Holly is situated in the area proposed to be designated as the Chiltern Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the hamlet has no sewerage, no shops and few other facilities; its further development is undesirable.
The position at Henton is similar. A few years ago Henton was nothing more than a number of farms strung rather loosely along a lane which leads nowhere. Recently, planning permission has been granted for a number of new dwellings which fill vacant plots between the old farmhouses. Planning permissions already granted will almost double the size of the hamlet. This type of development should not be allowed in a settlement without shops or other services, and which will never grow large enough to justify a school. Future planning permissions should be restricted to cases where there is a proven local need.
To sum up, there is scope for the accommodation of a further 1700 people in Chinnor and 70 in Henton, within permitted and committed land. The house-to-house survey has shown that almost all these people will come from London or South Buckinghamshire, and that any further land made available would be taken up by speculative builders and would meet the same need. This type of development should in future be directed to urban areas, or to specially selected villages which have secondary education, adequate facilities, and satisfactory public transport arrangements.