To consider the attached report.
Contact Officer: Clare Manders (01296) 585620
The Committee was advised that work had been on-going over the last 18 months or so to produce an Aylesbury Garden Town (AGT) Masterplan and associated high level Vision. In September the AGT Board had approved a draft of the Masterplan for public consultation (to commence in January, 2020), and in October the Board had approved the Vision for publication, a copy of which was appended to the Committee report.
The Vision set out the high level aspirations and principles for what Aylesbury should look like as a garden town by 2050. The Vision recognised the role of Aylesbury as the County Town, and the importance of the economy and strength of the town centre. It also celebrated the role of Aylesbury as the birthplace of the Paralympics, promoting an accessible, inclusive place.
The Vision identified eight key principles which built upon Aylesbury’s heritage, strengths and opportunities as a garden town to tackle the town’s challenges head on and for the benefit of all. This series of inter-related principles underpinned proposals and initiatives within the draft Masterplan. The draft Masterplan set out in detail how the AGT Vision would be delivered through a comprehensive and co-ordinated town-wide plan.
The Vision and Masterplan had been the subject of extensive engagement with key stakeholders throughout its eighteen months development. Initial briefings with Members of AVDC and Bucks County Council and Town and Parish Councils had taken place in February 2018. These had been followed by sessions with key stakeholders, focussed around updating and discussing the emerging Vision and Masterplan.
Following approval in October, 2019, an extensive programme of engagement had commenced to formally launch the 2050 Vision. The Vision had been publicised since 1 November through social media channels, local media and the AGT website. Editorial articles had been included in “Vale Life”, “Aylesbury Live Guide” and “Aylesbury Vale Times” (AVDC’s resident newsletter to some 50,000 homes).
To coincide with the launch of the Vision, a number of stakeholder events had been run and had continued throughout November, in order to explain the Vision in more detail and preview the content of the Masterplan, which would be subject to public consultation in January, 2020. The Committee report included details of these events.
The formal consultation on the draft Masterplan would commence on 6 January, 2020 and would run until 3 February, 2020. There would be an extensive programme of public events in relation to the draft Masterplan. This would include a roadshow (with publicised exhibitions), and multi-channel engagement, including media coverage. Whilst the main consultation activities would focus on the AGT area, overall coverage of draft Masterplan would be across the whole District. The Committee received a power point presentation on the work undertaken, in connection with which members made a number of comments, including:-
· The need to encourage pride of place amongst communities.
· Better control over utility company operations to ensure the areas concerned were returned to their original state speedily and having regard to the local environment.
· More frequent emptying of litter bins and speedy repair of street furniture.
· The prevention of parking on grass verges, and house design taking account of the need to provide sufficient off street parking.
· The need to introduce innovative ways to discourage parents from using cars to deliver their children to schools.
· The need for more tree planting, particularly along street frontages to give a more “avenue like” feel to the town.
· The production of “good design” guides that take account of the aspirations included within the Masterplan and the Vision.
That the principles included in the Masterplan and the Vision document be carried forward into the new unitary authority.