As part of their current Issues and Options planning consultation, Aylesbury Vale District Council would like your views on whether they should retain Areas of Attractive Landscape and Local Landscape Areas and include a policy to enable the assessment of planning applications and appeals, or whether they can remove these categories and rely on assessing applications against the National Planning Policy Framework.
They are inviting comments from residents and interested parties and will use this information to identify and confirm support for areas of local landscape designation, which will help formulate their decision.
Pitstone has one such area of Area of Attractive Landscape, extending from St Marys church across to Pitstone windmill and joining the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the other side of the B488. Through the Neighbourhood Development Plan process we know that you value this vista, and would like to preserve it from development, so
we need you all to write to AVDC (before 4 December) and tell them.
You may like to mention that it is important to preserve our landscape area because:
- The area is rich in heritage significance for our village including:
- a Grade I listed church and Grade II* listed windmill, which as well as being an important vista locally also form important landmarks when viewing from a distance and the Chilterns AONB.
- It includes a medieval moated site (a Scheduled Monument thought to mark the site of Pitstone Manor, believed to be in occupation in 1086) and buried archaeological features.
- Roman and Saxon settlement indications have been found at Church End.
- The current Area of Attractive Landscape (AAL) has important geological significance in the parish because:
- Although a relatively small area compared to other Areas of Attractive Landscape in the district, the Pitstone AAL provides cohesion and unity with the Chilterns AONB from which it is only separated by a road, and acts as an important mechanic to extend and enhance the important natural environment in this location and protect it from ‘urban creep’.
- It includes an area of ancient woodland and area of calcareous grassland.
- The openness of this lower escarpment forms an attractive foreground and strong setting for the spectacular views of the AONB slopes both from within the village and when viewed from higher vantage points such as Pitstone Hill.
- We want to fight to preserve and enhance the natural environment on this side of the parish, concentrating any development in areas less harmful to nature, welfare, biodiversity and tourism.
- There are huge social, physical and psychological benefits for our community and the wider area:
- The preserved open space provides a valuable network of easily accessible permissible footpaths that are well used by local residents both for pleasure and for accessing the adjoining village of Ivinghoe.
- These footpaths connect to the Public Rights of Way across the Chilterns AONB and across Pitstone Hill to the Ashridge estate beyond providing important access for residents and bringing walkers to the village.
- The uninterrupted views across the landscape to the Chiltern hills provide a sense of delight in their surroundings for local residents who enjoy tending their allotments and utilising the footpaths to get fresh air and exercise.
- The health benefits of access to natural environment are well documented. This gentle area of foothills immediately adjacent to the settlement provides important easy access for residents.
- The vista across the open fields to the Chilterns AONB is incredibly important to the local residents and when attracting new families to move to the area.
AVDC is seeking comments on this study by 4 December 2015 – please send to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to Planning Policy, Forward Plans, Aylesbury Vale District Council, The Gateway, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, Bucks HP19 8FF.
If you are interested in reading the full report, it can be found on the Aylesbury Vale District Council website using the link below: http://www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/supporting-evidence and then clicking on “Areas of Attractive Landscape and Local Landscape Areas Advice to Aylesbury Vale DC – Final Draft Report (October 2015)”.
Let’s make the Pitstone Area of Attractive Landscape the one with the most local support!