Pirton’s Neighbourhood Plan


Housing and Development (Section 4 of the draft Plan)

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The related policies appear below the introductory text.


As has been very clear from the various parish consultations conducted by the Steering Group, and in particular the answers members of the community gave in their respective returned survey questionnaires just over one year ago, the topic of housing and development is the one which probably concentrates most people's thoughts.

To survive and thrive and also to meet the requirements of government policy, the village must have some development over the next 15 - 20 years; during the previous 30 Years, 90 houses have been built in Pirton! This past development has been within the village development boundary and has generally been sympathetic to the village character. To date the largest single development was 35 in the first phase of Bunyan Close.

We no longer have enough land within the current   village boundary to meet local housing need and to make the contribution to the overall housing needs of the District for the next 16 years as we are by law required to do.

These are what are termed Strategic matters and determined by North Herts District Council. The purpose of the policies within this section of the Plan is therefore to support development that:

What these policies will ensure is that the size of individual developments, the housing mix, design, density and character are appropriate to the village needs and character. We have used extensively, the work previously done on the Village Design Statement and Pirton Parish Plan.

Thus the draft Neighbourhood Plan supports the need and requirement for sustainable housing growth as part of NHDC and National Planning Policy, but ensures that we do not lose the very qualities and characteristics that make this village and parish a special place to live.


Policy - PNP1 Meeting Local Need

A residential development proposal will be supported if:

  1. It is within the development boundary on the proposed boundary map at appendix 6.
  2. It is for no more than 30 houses on any one development site.
  3. It has regard to the needs of young families looking for 2/3 bedroom properties which may include semi-detached and terraced housing.
  4. It has regard to the need for homes suitable for down-sizing and lifetime occupation by the elderly, including bungalows and sheltered accommodation.
  5. It provides a mix of homes which include an element of social and affordable housing as specified in the NHDC Local Plan and in accordance with local needs, taking into account the high market value of property in Pirton in relation to the average salary.
  6. The affordable housing will be subject to a Section 106 legal agreement or planning conditions ensuring that it remains an affordable dwelling for local people in perpetuity.
  7. All proposed development must have plans and methodology agreed with NHDC at the outset, on how the construction will be carried out, with the minimum of impact on the community, and how repairs to any infrastructure damage caused by the construction process will be rectified.

Policy - PNP 2 Design and Character

Development will be supported when it blends with, rather than dominates, the neighbouring area and which does not significantly change the character of the village and surrounding landscape.

  1. Development must respect the rural character of both Pirton Village and Parish, and reflect the character and the density of dwellings in the immediate vicinity of the proposed development site. Where proposed development will be directly visible from the Chilterns AONB or from the countryside surrounding the village, a lower density will be expected.
  2. An increase in density up to the highest Pirton density may be supported on merit when housing development is intended to meet a specific, identified need such as social and affordable housing.
  3. Proposals for all development should complement and enhance Pirton by recognising and reinforcing the distinct character as set out in the Character Assessment at Evidence Base 1, and design detail at Appendix 8, in relation to height, scale, spacing, layout, orientation, design and building materials. Proposals for development that fail to respect this Policy will be refused unless there are special circumstances of an architectural nature that demonstrate innovation in design without impacting adversely on the character and appearance of the area.
  4. Proposals for development must demonstrate compliance with the Chilterns Conservation Board Position Statement "Development Affecting the Setting of the Chilterns AONB June 2011" or explain why compliance is not possible.
  5. All multi-dwelling developments should continue the proportions of openness between the houses and roads in the immediate surroundings, must maintain a network of spaces of all sizes to preserve the rural balance and amenity spaces within Pirton Village and maintain and preferably enhance the good environment for wildlife.
  6. Buildings should be no more than two stories in height unless special circumstances can be demonstrated to prove there will be no adverse impact on the character and appearance of the area.
  7. Proposals for development adjoining or within the village conservation area must preserve or enhance the special character of the area and be designed to respond to existing scale, height and character of the conservation area, including boundary treatments around and within new development which should reflect the distinct local character in relation to materials and design. Proposals should respect in particular the height of buildings in Pirton, which are overwhelmingly of two storeys or less.
  8. A mix of open spaces, trees and varied housing layout should be maintained along the edges of the village in order to sustain the current characteristic blending of the village into the countryside with a soft edge.
  9. Lighting design in any new development must follow good practice for reduction of obtrusive or light pollution such as The Institution of Lighting Engineers: Guidance Notes for the Reduction of Obtrusive Light. Developers should reference the design practice used.
  10. Design should ensure that individual developments of any size fully integrate into the village and are not isolated to form 'satellite' communities separate from the main village.
  11. Building density and height must be reduced and considerable open spaces included in any development that affects a Visual Character Area. Only in exceptional circumstances will support be given to proposals that adversely affect a Visual Character Area.

Policy - PNP 3: Residential Extensions (excluding those covered by 'permitted' development)

Residential Extensions will be supported where:

  1. They are subservient to the host building.
  2. The scale, height and form fit unobtrusively with the existing building and the character of the street scene.
  3. They have a roof form and pitch that responds to local character.
  4. They are made of materials that are sensitive and complementary to the host building.
  5. The spacing between buildings respects the character of the street scene.
  6. The privacy, daylight, sunlight and outlook of adjoining residents are safeguarded.

Policy - PNP 4: Infill Housing Development.

New homes on infill sites will be supported:

  1. Where the proposal respects the immediate environment and maintains and contributes to the local character and distinctiveness of Pirton and respects the policies in this Plan.
  2. Where the development comprises more than four units, the homes should be grouped to allow a small landscaped area in keeping with the green and open character of the village. The responsibility for the maintenance of each landscaped area must be defined and agreed prior to approval being granted.