Page 4 – Planning Considerations Arising from the Survey

Jan 29th, 2012 | Filed under Chinnor Plan

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
  1. The retention of the existing and proposed areas of the Metropolitan Green Belt.
  2. The retention generally of the boundaries of urban growth in the existing County Development Plan.
  3. The continuance of urban renewal and the redevelopment of areas of obsolete housing development in this part of the county.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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:-

  1. The natural growth of the population of the area;
  2. Overspill from the towns in the south of the County, where available land is reaching saturation point;
  3. 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.

Pages 17 – 19

Jan 29th, 2012 | Filed under Part 1: The Problems

The Experience of Other Towns

Adolescents today are in a totally different situation from those of any previous generation. They are more highly educated and earn more at work, thus releasing them from the socio-economic dependence on their parents which used to keep them dependent and subordinate. They mature earlier physically – menstruation begins on average nearly two years earlier in girls today than it did fifty years ago – and they are bigger, stronger and more healthy than their parents were. They are subjected to a mass-communication barrage of ideas and attitudes and a proportion of this is unscrupulously fostered by adult commercial interests to part them from their higher earnings.

Because of all this they have been able to create a water-tight society of their own, separate from the adult world and basically hostile to it. On the negative side one result of those pressures has been the doubled crime rate among the under-twenties in the last ten years (since conscription ended) and the rising wave of addiction to the ‘hard’ drugs such as heroin and the aggression-liberating amphetamines. There are many factors at work here but not the least is the failure of adults to understand the pressures exerted on adolescents and to help to channel their energies creatively. Prince Philip has remarked that it is intolerable to carp at adolescents for wearing their hair long and tattooing their skins while not considering what kind of people they are otherwise. In fact there is no reason to think that they are any different in fundamental human qualities such as kindness, generosity and so on than any other generation of teenagers and any attempt to provide facilities for them should be based on an assumption of these positive qualities first, second and third and not on a presumption of the negative attributes described above. At the same time their negative attributes must also be acknowledged in any plans to provide for them and especially the community must aim at helping them to avoid the most destructive evils of vandalism, violence, drug-taking and suicide.

This all seems to compress a large number of concepts into a very few lines but a brief look at the experience of some other communities may relate those concepts to Chinnor’s situation.

The Sunday Times of 21st December, 1967, carried a feature entitled “Glasgow belongs to the knife”. This began by saying: ‘Glasgow is reaping a bloody harvest from its post-war efforts to solve its housing problem with huge schemes of thousands of homes – and very little else. About 40,000 people live in each of the barren schemes at Easterhouse, Drumchapel and Castlemilk. But there are very few shops and hardly any cafes, dance halls, cinemas, community centres, pubs or other places or recreation. Most critically this lack of social amenities hits the teenagers. And its effects can be seen any week-end in the city’s casualty departments, where teenagers suffering from stabbing and razor wounds are being brought in in ever-increasing numbers.’ The article continues: ‘….Mrs. Catherine Carmichael, a lecturer in sociology at Glasgow University said: “When the families first moved into the big estates they had very young children. Now the estates are feeling the pressure of teenagers having nothing to do. Like all teenagers they have aggressions and healthy energy but with no other way to get rid of it many turn to knives”‘. The Times of 28th February, 1968, under the heading “Growing pains in a new town” said of Cumbernauld: ‘….But despite numerous youth organisations and a junior football team, there is little provision for the town’s 1,400 teenagers. Perhaps the fairest comment came from an 18 year old student, “It’s going to be a great town. I like the houses and it’s nice and clean and safe to walk here. But for us just now there’s nothing. It’s dead. The cafe closes at 9.30 p.m. And there’s a very quiet juke box”. A shop assistant was somewhat less tolerant. “I don’t like it. There’s nothing to do. I’m babysitting to-night to make money to go into Glasgow next Saturday night”‘.

The first extract has a very obvious relevance to Chinnor, particularly in its second paragraph. The second reminds us again that orthodox youth organisations by no means cater for all teenage needs. It also points the lesson that teenagers will look elsewhere if their own community fails them – and the loss in this respect must be to the community. It is also notable in this second extract that 1,400 teenagers are involved – rather less than double the number Chinnor will have in 1978. It is not possible to pretend that Chinnor’s problems are as great numerically as those of Glasgow or Cumbernauld – or for that matter Banbury or Witney, but what matters is the proportions of the numbers involved in Chinnor. Eight hundred teenagers in a total population of only about 5,000 or 6,000 will make their presence felt proportionately more than the same number in a much larger population. There are many other examples of the evil results of failure to plan for teenage leisure in new towns – the wave of drug addiction in Harlow can be cited – and already in 1968 Chinnor has had some examples of teenage lawlessness on a scale not known in the village previously.

By now this report must have demonstrated that there is a factual basis for what would seem to be the most urgent and potentially uncontrollable problem this community has ever had to face. Moreover, the action the community takes in the next few years to provide for the needs of its teenagers is likely to influence many of their lives permanently for good or bad.

The next section of the report suggests lines of action to contain the problems outlined above, both immediately and in the more distant future.

Page 3 – Facilities of Chinnor

Jan 29th, 2012 | Filed under Chinnor Plan

Communications

Chinnor is situated at the junction of “B” Class Roads 4009 and 4445. B.4009 runs along the foot of the Chilterns from the outskirts of Wendover to Benson, and B.4445 links Chinnor with Thame. A “C” Class Road leads to High Wycombe, and Trunk Road A.40 to Oxford and London is crossed by B.4009 about 2½ miles south of Chinnor.

The people of Chinnor generally find that bus services are inadequate. Except where special works buses are provided, people travel to work outside the village by car or motor cycle. Some London commuters drive to Princes Risborough, and catch trains from there. Women find it difficult to travel into towns for their shopping by bus, and some of the people complained that it was difficult to get back to Chinnor from evening entertainment in towns, particularly from Oxford.

All these communications problems are fairly common among villages at distance from large towns; they have been aggravated in Chinnor’s case by the rapid influx of people who need to travel outside the village to work; if the husband goes to work in the family car, the wife is left without independent transport. Also, many of the new-comers are townsfolk, and while they appreciate the fresh air and quiet of the countryside, they miss many of the amenities of towns.

Shops

Table 5 shows the range of shops in Chinnor. The only serious deficiency is the lack of a chemist. Planning permission has been given for new shops in Station Road and Church Road, and the shops in Church Road are well under way. If a chemist’s shop is included in the new development, Chinnor’s shopping needs should be well provided for.

Education

The existing primary school in Chinnor is to be replaced by a new school off Station Road. The new site is expected to cater for all likely education needs in the future, although it may be necessary to reserve a site for an infants’ school.

Secondary school aged children go to school in Thame and Wheatley.

Public Services

Sewerage facilities and water provision in Chinnor will be adequate for all foreseeable requirements.

Page 2 – The People of Chinnor, and their Work

Jan 29th, 2012 | Filed under Chinnor Plan

Table 1 shows the population changes in Chinnor over the past 200 years. The figures for 1771, 1941 and 1965 are estimates; other figures are taken from Census reports, and refer to parish populations. Until early in the present century, Emmington and Chinnor were two separate parishes; about 50 people should be added to the nineteenth century populations to compare them with the mid twentieth century population figures.

A house-to-house survey was conducted in the main village areas of Chinnor and Oakley in October, 1965. The survey covered one quarter of the actual number of dwellings in the village area. From this survey, the information contained in Tables 2, 3, 4 and 6 was compiled, and the population given in Table 1 was estimated from it.

Table 2 illustrates the marked influx of families into new housing estates within the past year. The estates referred to are the major ones which have broken into new ground; they do not include odd houses or groups of houses along existing road frontages. Average household sizes are relatively high among all families who have arrived during the past 15 years.

Table 3 shows the places from which Chinnor’s more recent immigrants have come. 40% of the people have come from Buckinghamshire, the majority of them from the south of the County. People have come from towns like Wycombe, Chesham and Slough because houses are relatively cheap and easily available in Chinnor. Almost 30% of the new immigrants have come from the London area for the same reasons, combined with a desire to live in the country, and over half of the London people have come within the past 12 months. Chinnor has filled a small but steady local need for homes for people from nearby villages in Oxfordshire or Buckinghamshire, and people from all parts of the country who have moved their jobs to nearby towns, particularly High Wycombe, have found suitable homes in Chinnor.

Over half Chinnor’s working population have jobs in Chinnor itself or in nearby work-places, such as Molins at Saunderton. Many more have jobs at High Wycombe, and there are increasing numbers of commuters to London (see Table 4).

Chinnor itself offers employment opportunities in shops, public houses, petrol filling stations and repair garages, as well as in agriculture and industry. Chinnor’s industries spring from local resources – chalk for the cement works, and wood for timber yards and saw-mills. Table 5 shows the results of a survey of employment establishments in Chinnor. People working outside Chinnor have jobs in a very wide range of service employments and manufacturing industries, ranging from labouring jobs to administrative and professional posts.

Page 1 – The Past and Present Growth of Chinnor

Jan 29th, 2012 | Filed under Chinnor Plan

Chinnor – Preliminary Report on the Survey and Plan

M.W. Robinson, P.R.I.C.S., M.T.P.I
County Planning Advisor
Park End Street Offices
Oxford

Chinnor is one of a line of villages and small towns strung out along the Icknield Way as it runs at the foot of the Chiltern Hills. Chinnor Parish contains six distinct settlements: Chinnor itself and Oakley have now virtually coalesced and have grown very rapidly indeed during the past 10 years; Henton, strung along a side-lane, has been the scene of some recent infilling; Wainhill has declined to a handful of cottages on the Chiltern scarp, and Spriggs Holly is a ribbon of modern and period houses with one public house, on the Chiltern Hills; Emmington, once a parish in its own right, is now a group of farmhouses within Chinnor parish.

In mediaeval times, an attempt was made to lay out a town at Chinnor, and the quadrilateral form of the present village probably originated from this. The attempt does not appear to have been a great success; during the Eighteenth Century the majority of Chinnor’s dwellings were still concentrated in the High Street, and several pleasant groups of cottages remain from that time.

In 1801, there were 862 people living in Chinnor, and by the mid nineteenth century there were 1400. The people gained their living from cottage industries as well as from agriculture. Lace-making was an organised domestic craft in 1850, and the Chiltern Beech Woods provided raw materials for furniture-making. Several Victorian style cottage properties are relics of this period, still keeping to the Mediaeval quadrangle.

With the growth of large scale manufacturing in urban areas, the domestic crafts declined, and with them the population of Chinnor; by the 1901 Census, the population was down to 1002. The declined was soon arrested when the Chinnor Cement and Lime Company was established in 1908; the population then remained fairly steady until the motor-car made Chinnor a potential residential area for workers from neighbouring Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire towns. Even then, the growth of population was not particularly great relative to the area of land covered by residential sprawl. Dwellings in fairly large gardens were strung out along the roads, particularly along Lower Icknield Way and Oakley Lane. It was not until 1951 that the population reached a level comparable with that in the mid nineteenth century.

Since the Second World War, development has mainly taken the form of consolidation along existing road frontages, and estate development on backland areas. The estate development did not get under way on a really large scale until the present decade, but once begun it had a phenomenal effect on population growth in Chinnor; between 1951 and 1961, the population had grown at an average of about 30 persons per year. Since 1961, the average growth has been 250 persons per year. The growth of Chinnor in these past few years has moved outside any relationship with the village itself. On the fringe of a region where privately-built houses are in great demand, builders have made homes available at relatively low prices; the growth which these actions have caused must be seen in relation to the whole region.

Note to self..

Jan 27th, 2012 | Filed under Uncategorized

I really must actually get around to talking about turning 30. It’s sort of a big deal, and definitely worth mentioning..

I’m sure I resolved to use this thing more. So I should do that…

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Just thinking..

Jan 11th, 2012 | Filed under Uncategorized

History is positively littered with examples of the way in which power can be eroded over time.

One of the obvious examples is the way in which, during the 17th century, parliament gradually eroded the powers of the monarch. Kings would, in effect, require bailing out, which in turn required that taxes be raised. The mechanism for doing so would be to call a parliament, representing the land owners who would have to pay those taxes, in order to legislate for them and subsequently collect them.

In exchange for raising the taxes, parliament would then require that the king made concessions to their agenda, and so it was that limitations on the powers of the monarch and the empowerment of parliament was gradually achieved.

This worked, principally, because the king had to seek permission from the tax payers in order to collect them, and in doing so left himself open to conditions being imposed in return. Whilst only land owners were able to participate in parliament (and the more wealthy a person was, the more likely that they would have rather more personal representation), I think it’s fair to say that parliament represented the interests of those whom it so obviously served very well indeed.

Which brings us to today’s parliament. Superficially, it is meant to serve “the people”, being the entire body of voters (and, ideally, everyone else too). If we take that as its function, then it represents our interests in far less an effective way than the parliaments of 350 years ago.

During the bank bailout, when the king (being the ultimate power in the nation – the finance industry) came begging, cap in hand, the land owners didn’t impose conditions, because it was no longer their money being used. The land owners just sold out the peasants, paid off the king, and carried on regardless.

And thus, an opportunity to wrestle power away from where it’s concentrated and bring it under the jurisdiction of the people, as has happened many times historically, was lost.

Oops!

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Because it’s a good offer, damnit..

Nov 28th, 2011 | Filed under Uncategorized

Evoke Africa – Jewellery

10% off until 1st December, with free delivery on orders over £30…

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Dear Google, what does capitalism mean?

Nov 24th, 2011 | Filed under Uncategorized

I got this by typing “define x” into Google, where “x” is a letter of the alphabet. I’m aware that the previous sentence can be read overly literally.

Anyway, so these are the people asking Google to define words for them. These are the concepts people are curious about, and want to better understand, and I think they’re definitely a product of this current era:

agnostic affect austerity
bigot bourgeois bias bureaucracy
culture capitalism cognitive cult
diversity density democracy demographics
ethics epiphany element ethos
federalism fascism family figurative language
globalization grace gdp government
hello hipster hypothesis houston
irony independent variable integrity i.e.
justice juxtaposition jaded judicial review
karma kosher kinetic energy keen
love leadership liberal libertarian
mass metaphor mean median
narcissistic neurotic niche nominal
osmosis oxymoron ontology objective
planking pedantic paradox plot
qualitative qi que quality
race religion respect republic
swag socialism science sociopath
thesis tone theory trolling
ubiquitous url utilitarianism urbanization
volume values volatile virtue
work woot wiki won’t
xi xml xenophobia xd
yield your pretty yoga yellow journalism
za zealous zionist zeitgeist

Items in bold are those that I find quite specifically relevant to a broader awakening of society to our charming new reality..

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How terribly undemocratic..

Sep 11th, 2011 | Filed under Uncategorized

My e-petition was rejected. Terribly sad.. It went like this:

Reduce Civil Liberties to Deter Immigrants

I propose that in order to address the widespread concerns of the ignorant electorate, we aim to reduce the level of migration to this country by stripping citizens of civil liberties.

In order to do that, we’ll need more CCTV, threats to block social networking sites at the whim of the police, violent crackdowns on dissent, and a government who are able to project a strong authoritarian image.

In doing this, we will make our country better resemble the hellholes that the veritable army of asylum seekers I’ve heard about in the press are fleeing. This will surely dissuade them, by setting up an “out of the frying pan, into the fire” dynamic.

They’re coming here to take our freedom. Let’s pull the rug from under them by not having any in the first place!

I can only assume they thought I was joking. Wish I could ignore the government every time I think they’re joking…

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