Shiplake Parish Council have just published the pre-submission consultation draft Shiplake Village Neighbourhood Plan to help deliver the local community’s aspirations and needs for the plan period to 2033 and are inviting residents and interested stakeholders to give their views before the final plan is submitted.
The Neighbourhood Plan is a statutory document that will be incorporated into the district planning framework and be used by SODC to determine planning applications. The new draft plan moves away from a site allocation approach and instead has developed a criteria and design‐led Neighbourhood Plan. This move results from changes to national and local planning policy and follows a public consultation exercise in the summer of 2019 which saw 96% of responders in agreement to this approach.
Much of the plan’s evidence base has been taken from 700+ responses to a Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire and 260 responses from a public exhibition held in 2017 where ideas were presented for the plan.
Shiplake Village has two distinct parts – Shiplake Cross (which includes both the historic village of Shiplake east of the A4155, centred on the church, and the more recent settlement of Shiplake Cross, west of the A4155); and Lower Shiplake, which has grown up around Shiplake station and includes the historic farms and mill of Lashbrook.
The draft Neighbourhood Plan to 2034 outlines the following vision and seven Core Objectives:
To preserve Shiplake as a rural parish containing two separate and distinct village settlements set within open countryside; to conserve and enhance the character of Shiplake and its villages in a way that allows the community to evolve whilst sustaining and improving core vital services and village attributes.
- Conserve and enhance the essential rural character of the parish and its villages by growing the villages through small infill developments and individual houses that will form part of the established pattern of development, allowing the villages to grow organically. Preventing further creep or elongation of the villages into the open countryside or the villages’ green spaces is a fundamental aim of the new plan.
- Help rebalance the community profile of the villages over time by (a) planning for new homes suited to first and second time buyers and young families and by (b) enabling older residents to remain in the village and make their larger homes available to new residents by having a stock of available and suitable housing to which they may ‘down‐size’
- Sustain the sensitive landscape setting of the villages and preserve and enhance the areas of natural landscape and agriculture existing between the villages whilst also conserving the existing network of trees, hedgerows, wetlands, public community spaces and rights of way so as to protect and enhance wildlife sites/habitats/bio‐diversity.
- Provide a catalyst for re‐siting inappropriate and non‐conforming type uses (i.e. uses that impact adversely on the character and/or amenity of the centre) from within the centre of Lower Shiplake in order to release land for residential‐based development of a kind which will enable the achievement of the other plan objectives whilst also retaining these non‐conforming uses locally to provide much needed services to the community.
- Encourage the re‐use of brownfield sites in the villages to minimise the need for building on open green field land
- Protect and where necessary improve community core facilities and services and seek proposals to develop village infrastructure and services appropriate to the evolving needs of residents
- Sustain and enhance the character and appearance of the centres of the villages for the benefit of the community and encourage the growth of local community‐based businesses and facilities.
Shiplake residents and consultees are invited To give their views. Go to http://www.shiplakevillages.com/index.php?pid=371 and complete the online questionnaire before 21 April 2020.