Shenley Park SPD
Part One: Introduction
Shenley Park near Whaddon is one of the allocated sites for growth within Aylesbury Vale, located at the edge of Milton Keynes, in the area referred to as north east Aylesbury Vale. This site, together with other allocations and commitments identified within the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan 2011-2031 (VALP) adopted in 2021, are required in order to fulfil the level of growth for Aylesbury Vale as set out in policy S2 Spatial Strategy for Growth.
Shenley Park is an approximate 99 hectare site located within the Parish of Whaddon and falls within the jurisdiction of Buckinghamshire Council (the Council). Its location on the immediate edge of the City of Milton Keynes means it has a strong functional relationship with Milton Keynes.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) makes clear that creating high quality buildings and places is fundamental to what the planning and development process should achieve. The National Design Guide published January 2021 illustrates how well-designed places that are beautiful, healthy, greener, enduring and successful can be achieved in practice and followed the findings of the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission which was established to promote good design.
This SPD has been prepared, in line with national policy and guidance, to provide further detail and guidance to the statutory development plan (VALP and other SPDs) to ensure a comprehensive and well-designed development can be achieved.
Figure 1: Extract from VALP showing site allocation
The SPD expands upon policy WHA001, which allocates the site and sets out key policy requirements, providing additional design and planning details to govern the cohesive and coordinated development of the site, ensuring that the necessary infrastructure is delivered at the right time.
This SPD sets out a clear framework and principles of what is expected from the development at the site-wide level, and will be used to inform the planning application(s).
Current Position regarding planning application:
Crest Nicholson are the development company currently bringing forward plans for Shenley Park. Crest have established a consultation website and have also hosted 3 consultation drop-in events in May/June 2023 providing information on their emerging proposals for the site and gathering feedback and opinions.
Crest have advised that their proposals are expected to comply with the guidance set out in this SPD and that they are working closely with planning officers to ensure that they can stay aligned through the planning process.
An outline application is expected to be submitted to Buckinghamshire Council in Summer 2023.
1.2 Role and Purpose of SPD
The role of this document adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) is to guide landowners, developers, the public and the local planning authority in respect of environmental, social, economic and design objectives for the site. It has been prepared by David Lock Associates (DLA) and Integrated Transport Planning (ITP) on behalf of Buckinghamshire Council, and in consultation with key stakeholders and people in the local community. Consultation has also taken place at key stages of the preparation of the SPD with the main land promoters Crest Nicholson.
The SPD has been prepared in accordance with both national guidance and the Council's guidance and sets out the broad principles for the site to demonstrate how the policy requirements of the VALP and other supporting adopted policy documents should be implemented. It identifies the in-principle spatial disposition of the uses of land and infrastructure identified in VALP policy WHA001 to be accommodated on the site. It also comprises of a series of overarching design parameters to ensure a high quality, distinctive, sustainable, and well-integrated development is achieved and that an exemplar development, of regional significance can be created.
The Supplementary Planning Document is intended to be a guide to development of the site and sets out the guiding context and key principles for development to follow in order to be acceptable, whilst also providing a plan to inform comprehensive development across the site ensuring that the necessary infrastructure is delivered in a timely manner.
Cross reference is also made to the Aylesbury Vale Area Design Guide SPD (adopted June 2023) to inform the detailed design development and architectural principles.
A Baseline Evidence and Design Analysis Report ('the Baseline Report') has been prepared to underpin the preparation of this SPD. This Report sets out the Site's opportunities, constraints and planning history before considering its planning policy context. The Report also summarises the key outcomes of officer and stakeholder engagement undertaken to date and details the key design considerations and rationale which has informed the planning and design details set out in the SPD.
Therefore, this SPD should be read in conjunction with the Baseline Report and its associated annexes. In order to have a SPD document which provides clear and succinct planning and design requirements and advice to guide the development of Shenley Park, the background evidence and analysis covered in the Baseline Report is not replicated in this SPD.
The document, alongside other policies and guidance including the VALP and the Council's SPD on Design, is a material consideration when determining planning applications on the site. It will inform the preparation of planning applications, assist the Council when considering and assessing proposals, and should be referenced by stakeholders and the local community when viewing and responding to planning applications.
1.3 Vision and Design Concept – "A place we want to create"
The Council's overarching vision and objective for the site is signposted in Policy WHA001. The purpose of this SPD is to translate that high level objective into a site-specific and spatial Vision for Shenley Park.
The site analysis and Baseline Report, stakeholder engagement and feedback from officers which emphasises the need to take a landscape-led approach has generated the following Vision and Design Concept which guides the detail of the SPD and the design context for subsequent planning applications and development management activity.
The strands of this Vision and Design Concept include:
- Restating the overarching 'Vision Statement' in WHA001
- Creation of a site-specific 'Vision for Shenley Park'
- Translation into a 'Spatial Design Concept' governing the detailed design guidance in the SPD
Overarching Vision Statement (WHA001)
"To create an exemplar development, of regional significance, which will be a great place to live, work and grow. Built to a high sustainable design and construction standards, the development will provide a balanced mix of facilities to ensure that it meets the needs and aspirations of new and existing residents" (Adopted VALP Policy WHA001).
'Vision for Shenley Park'
"Taking a strong cue from its position within the wider Whaddon Chase landscape, a new community will be established at Shenley Park which blends effectively the best of 'town and country'.
Nestled sensitively within its slopes, the southern neighbourhood of 'Whaddon Valley' will be intimate in scale, shaped by key landscape features including the westwards extension of the Tattenhoe Linear Park, existing watercourse and mature trees, and the existing undulating topography.
The northern neighbourhood of 'Briary Chase' will create a high quality transition between the Western Flank neighbourhoods and the village of Whaddon, enabling existing and new communities to interact harmoniously. Briary Park will create an extended parkland setting for the village of Whaddon, with homes to the south of the village framing the new parkland edge and providing a positive edge to the open space [and infrastructure reserve].
The heart of the new community will be focused around a well-designed and walkable local centre, with activities co-located to ensure short, linked trips can easily be made without using the car. Community facilities and services, including schools, shops and open spaces, will be provided in a timely manner alongside new homes to ensure that active travel habits within the site are established from the outset.
Active travel within Shenley Park and to the wider area will be supported through extensions to the Redway network, and an extension of the Tattenhoe Linear Park. The design of Whaddon Valley will ensure that the strategic green infrastructure networks in the area are fully integrated and respected by new development.
The link road connection through Shenley Park will be tree-lined and of a human scale with pedestrian priority built into its design".
QUESTION FOR CONSULTATION
The Vision promotes designing the new development to enable people living in existing and new communities to interact and function harmoniously together.
The consultation on the SPD seeks to confirm that this is a shared vision: facilitating interaction and integration to unify the existing communities of Whaddon and the western flank neighbourhoods with the new community of Shenley Park, maintaining the physical separation and distinctive character of each place whilst enabling use of new and existing community facilities, amenities and services within the area as a whole.