Evaluating the Location of Proposed Strategic Housing Sites in High Wycombe
CROSS S, DIX M, READ P, Halcrow Fox, SLEVIN R, Buckinghamshire County Council and TURNER D, Wyeombe District Council, UK
The 1990 Town and Country Pianning Act, (as amended), places a duty on local authorities to prepare a district wide Unitary or District Local Plan. These identify how the housing, transport, environmental and other needs of their communities are to be met
The 1990 Town and Country Pianning Act, (as amended), places a duty on local authorities to prepare a district wide Unitary or District Local Plan. These identify how the housing, transport, environmental and other needs of their communities are to be met as they change. Like many other authorities in the United Kingdom, Wycombe District Council (WDC) is facing difficult decisions on the location of future development and how best to deliver a development strategy which promotes sustainable patterns of movement and iifestyles.
WDC has a housing and employment allocation which has to be addressed within the new local plan for the period up to 201 i. This allocation must satisfy the requirements of WDC, Buckinghamshire County Council (BCC) and Central Govermnent. Policy H2 of the County Structure Plan establishes that a new strategic housing allocation of 1500 to 1700 dwellings is required in the High Wycombe Urban Area between 2001 and 2011. A further 700-900 dwellings are to be allocated in the remainder of Wycombe District over the same time period.
High Wycombe is free-standing town, situated adjacent to the M40 on the edge of London's commuter belt, in Buckinghamshire. Much of the countryside immediately surrounding High Wycombe is Metropolitan Green Belt and the majority is within the Chiltems Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Figure 1 shows the location of the sites, in respect of these boundaries. The existing population for Wycombe District is estimated to be 164,000.
WDC had to evaluate the availability and re-use of 'Brown Field' sites (those formerly under development and include, for exalnple, former industrial sites) and the extent to which 'Green Field' sites, in undeveloped areas in the counlryside, are required for development.
In this study, a total of 22 residential sites were shortlisted for investigation, following an exhaustive urban capacity assessment, including the testing of long term laud banks between the urban area and green belt, which had been identified in previous Local Plans and termed 'Areas of Special Restraint'. The sites are in High Wycombe, Princes Risborough, Marlow and Bourne End (See figure I).
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