A six-week consultation has begun over the masterplan for Aylesbury Garden Town which will lead to growth of 16,000 homes and significant new infrastructure. Mark Schmull, managing director of Arrow Planning, looks at its scale and significance.

It is nearly three years since Aylesbury was awarded Garden Town status and the new draft document is the culmination of the work and community consultation which has taken place during that time.

The masterplan is town-wide covering both the existing built up area of Aylesbury including the town centre, and the residential and employment development sites at the edge of Aylesbury identified in the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan.

It intends to provide further guidance in relation to the policies contained within the Local Plan, covering the period to 2033.

It also looks beyond the 2033 period and identifies further opportunities and aspirations, setting clear ambitions and an identity for the Garden Town to 2050.

As well as housing and employment growth, the masterplan pushes for higher environmental standards in key areas:

* 50 per cent of land to become new public green infrastructure in new garden communities
* Delivery of biodiversity net gains, rising to a net gain of 20 per cent in the longer term within new garden communities
* By 2050 at least 50 per cent of trips originating in the Garden Town will be made by sustainable modes
* The Garden Town will contribute to the national and local greenhouse gas emission reduction targets

Whilst these targets are lauded, a significant amount of the growth planned in the Garden Town already benefits from planning permission or a resolution to grant permission.

The challenge for the council, both in producing the document and applying it in decision making, is whether it will be able to influence those sites or whether it will only apply to a relatively small proportion of the total 16,000 new homes. The consultation runs until Monday, February 14.

Details of events being held during that time can be found at https://www.aylesburygardentown.co.uk/masterplan

The Aylesbury Garden Town Masterplan becomes the responsibility of the new Buckinghamshire unitary authority on April 1.

© Thames Valley Property No 193 (tvproperty.co.uk)