2.1 Introduction

The most recent available information from AVDC Planning Authority (November 2011) shows that there are 612 houses in Wingrave and 46 in Rowsham, a total of 658 for the Parish. Housing stock in the Parish has doubled since 1971 when there were 320 dwellings with significant developments to the north of Wingrave around Winslow Road and throughout both villages in infill sites. 

The architectural style in Wingrave is heavily influenced by the houses constructed in the village by the Rothschild family in Tudor Revival style in the 19th Century, and is typical of the Rothschild villages near Aylesbury. The houses have characteristic features of black and white gables and red brickwork with clay-tiled roofs.

The Parish contains 39 listed buildings, some with origins in the 14th Century and six buildings on the Statutory list of buildings of Architectural and Historic Interest.

The housing stock in the Parish has more than doubled since 1971. There have been 138 dwellings built since 1991 and 75 of these have been added since September 2002 (Source AVDC Planning).

2.2 Recent development

Post 1945 development

In Wingrave this has included Chiltern Road, Abbotts Way and the Twelve Leys development, and Local Authority housing along Winslow Road, all at the northern end of Wingrave.

Several smaller developments have been built within Wingrave at Parsonage Farm (19 dwellings), Bell Walk, Bell Leys, Baldways Close, Coblers Wick, Knolls Close, the Dean, Tattlers Hill, Church Street, Jenkins Court, Mill Close and Orchard Close. In addition there have been a number of significant multi-dwelling barn conversion developments at Straws Hadley Court, Essex Yard, Manor Farm and Floyd`s Farm.

Post-war development in Rowsham has been limited to Bennetts Lane.

Developments during the last ten years

These have consisted of infill residential development including a 17 home development at Manor Lodge, an affordable housing group of 12 homes at the end of Chiltern Road and 9 homes at Greenacres, Church Street.

In addition Mount Tabor House and Stables (formerly the MacIntyre School) have been converted into 28 residential apartments.

2.3 Housing stock in Wingrave with Rowsham

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As of November 2011, Rowsham has 46 houses and Wingrave has 612 houses.

Planning permission for a further 4 dwellings exists as of Nov 2011. (Data source AVDC Forward Plans).

In 2001, 76 homes (11.6% of the housing stock) fell into the “rented social housing or affordable” category all of which was “rented social housing”. Since then this number has fallen to 63 houses as tenants have exercised the right to buy. Twelve affordable homes were built in 2006/2007, bringing the total to 75, or 11.4% of the total Parish stock.

There are now 12 households on the waiting list for rented social housing in the Parish. (Source AVDC Fact Pack May 2011).

2.4 Impact on the Parish car population

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The growth in cars has been caused by:

(a)   the growth in housing

(b)   the increase in level of car ownership to an average of 1.7 cars per household.

Similar growth has happened in many AVDC villages resulting in heavy through traffic in the villages, particularly during rush hours (see ‘Traffic and Pedestrians’ section) and an increase in on-street parking.

2.5 Average House Prices 2010

The average price paid in 2010 was £360,000 (source Hometrack, AVDC Fact Pack) compared to £215,000 in 2001. In 2001, Census data indicated that Wingrave prices were higher than average for Aylesbury Vale, which in turn was higher than the national average.

Sales have dropped significantly in recent years from around 63 per annum 2005-2007, to around 35 per annum 2008-2010.

2.6 Affordability

AVDC has calculated that using three times salary as a mortgage base for a first-time buyer, a household would need an income of £60-65k to buy a semi-detached house in the Parish, and £50-55k to buy a terraced house. (source Aylesbury Vale DC Fact pack May 2011).

2.7 Population Growth in the Parish of Wingrave with Rowsham

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The population growth from 1981-2011 has been 45% compared to 10.5% for the rest of the UK. (source: World Bank.

2.8 Social Groups

AVDC has analysed the Parish population as follows:

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 (source Bucks Strategic Partnership 2010)

The study concludes that the Parish is an affluent area, but has a high entry barrier due to house prices.

2.9 Responses to the Parish Questionnaire and consultations

The Questionnaire asked for a number of responses on housing development and related issues. The questions and responses were as follows:

 

Should we have more housing in the Parish?

The responses were analysed separately for Wingrave and Rowsham as the two villages have potentially differing needs and views.

This was confirmed by the Questionnaire as follows:-

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Wingrave residents generally did not support the development of more housing however a majority of Rowsham residents were supportive.

Where people voted positively, the dominant requirement was for 1, 2 and 3 bedroomed properties

 

Should we have more affordable housing in the village?

Again the results were analysed separately for the two villages.

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In Wingrave, those who responded positively to more housing showed strong support for affordable housing and were relatively sympathetic to the requirements of first time buyers.

Rowsham showed definite support for affordable housing.

 

Should we have more “sheltered housing” designed for the elderly and/or a residential care home for the elderly?

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Both villages supported these concepts, and both showed stronger positive support for sheltered rather than residential care accommodation.

There are 19 bungalows on Abbotts Way categorised as sheltered housing although it falls short of the normal requirement as the development does not contain a communal meeting area or lounge, but does have a resident carer. The individual bungalows are fitted with alarms, which link into the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust.

There are currently no residential care homes for the elderly in the Parish

 

If new housing is to be built, please indicate your preference for where it should be built.

(a) within the outer building line i.e. infill sites only

(b) outside the building line

(c) Neither

The responses were not limited to one category.

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Wingrave responses were therefore clearly against development outside the existing building line.

Rowsham`s response was less pronounced but this may reflect a less clear idea of where the village starts and stops because of physical layout.

 

Do you have any other comments on the provision of housing within the village?

A large number of responses requested tighter controls to prevent inappropriate development and the safeguarding of the special character of the village. A strong theme seemed to be a feeling that some recent developments had not been adequately appraised or policed.

2.10 Summary

 

Housing Development

The Wingrave responses were predominantly against more housing development, but those in favour of more housing requested a focus on smaller 1, 2 and 3 bedroomed homes. The questionnaire also asked if development has to take place where should it be located and the response was firmly in favour of development within the existing building line.

A recurring theme in the questionnaires was the need to keep the village as a village, to protect its essentially rural nature and prevent unsympathetic developments, and to ensure minimal development in the conservation areas.

The Rowsham responses indicated that appropriate spaces should be identified in Rowsham for more housing of a sympathetic nature over the long term, that the focus should be 1,2 and 3 bedroomed homes, and that a proportion of this should be for affordable homes.

 

Sheltered/Residential Accommodation for the Elderly

There is currently Sheltered Housing in Wingrave but no Residential Accommodation for the Elderly. Provision of either type of accommodation will only occur if there is sufficient demand and if developers consider there is a positive business case. Any proposal for development of Sheltered Housing or Residential accommodation for the Elderly would have to be considered in the context of overall housing allocation and development control.

 

Location of building

There is a preference in both villages for building inside the existing development line.

In practice in Wingrave this is becoming difficult, as much of the previously available space has been used. There are some parcels of land that have been identified in the past as suitable for development, but which have not been taken forward for development by house builders.

2.11 Development Control – Current AVDC Planning Policy

The Parish is defined as a Rural Area in the current Aylesbury Vale District Local Plan (AVDLP). The Local Plan is currently being revised, but there are various policies that apply at present that control the nature and extent of development in Rural Areas (See Appendix One: RA2 and RA3).

Most of the Parish is also within an Area of Attractive Landscape, which is also protected by the AVDLP (See Appendix One: RA8)

Wingrave is defined as a Rural Settlement in the AVDLP. There are particular restrictions on infill development in Rural Settlements (See Appendix One: RA13 and RA14).

2.12 Conclusions and Recommendations

Wingrave is generally unsympathetic to more housing as a considerable amount has been built in recent years and much of the available infill space has been utilised. Allowing a very modest one-sixth of an acre per house, the 138 houses built in the Parish in the last twenty years have probably accounted for the loss of 23 acres of open space. Combined with a generally negative view on building outside the existing building line, few options remain attractive. An initial assessment is that up to 15 dwellings would be appropriate during the 20 year plan period.

Rowsham on the other hand indicates that it has space for up to twenty houses during the 20 year plan period and that half of these could be affordable homes.

The specific desire for affordable housing needs further analysis by the Parish Council in conjunction with appropriate developers to provide a detailed assessment of demand and supply requirements.

Adding more houses would exacerbate the traffic and pedestrian problems in the villages with school children being a particular concern. Before more housing can be contemplated, a detailed plan would be required of road improvements necessary to accommodate pedestrians, perhaps involving new access roads and paths, although the visual impact of these schemes must also be taken into account, in particular in the Conservation Areas. In Rowsham, a pedestrian bridge linking the two sides of Rowsham would be desirable, although clearly this would require a more substantial residential development scheme to make this viable.

It is important that any housing should be phased gradually from 2011 to 2031 in Wingrave. As development will be based on in-fill sites this is likely to happen naturally. Some affordable housing together with a small number of commercial residential units could be developed in Rowsham over a reasonably short space of time, provided no additional access is provided to the A418. Any other development in Rowsham should be phased over the 20 year plan period.

Any development in either village must be accompanied by an environmental assessment report, a traffic impact assessment, and a utilities report and must provide evidence that further strain on pedestrians, road congestion, utilities, village amenities and the environment will not occur or that suitable mitigating actions will be taken.