Retaining a ‘rural feel’
From the early days, residents told us they did not want to lose the ‘rural feel’ of life in South Marston:
- Off road footpaths and cycleways
- Rural hedges, particularly along the roadsides
- Retaining rural views, particularly south to the Downs
- Encouraging wildlife corridors and biodiversity
The relevant Neighbourhood Plan policies are:
- NP8 – creates a network of off-road footpaths and cycleways (page 14)
- NP9 – preserves the Green Wedges southwards towards the railway that keeps the open views of the Downs and retains rural countryside surrounding development plots (page 34)
- NP10 – requires developers to justify any removal of existing hedgerows and replace with new ones of equivalent value (page 37)
The policies are reproduced below. The full text and policies can be viewed here.
NP POLICY 8 – CYCLEWAYS AND FOOTPATHS All proposals for development at South Marston Village must contribute towards creating a network of cycle routes, cycleways and footpaths including through provision on street and new or improved cycle and/or footpath routes. The routes of potential new rights of way are indicatively shown on Plan 6, the details of which may include provision within development parcels. The purpose of each route should be incorporated within the overall movement network for cyclists and pedestrians.
If any new road crosses a Strategic Route then the crossing must be designed to take account of the needs of cyclists and to maximise the safety of pedestrians using the Strategic Route.
NP POLICY 9 – GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE The “Green Wedges” shown indicatively on Plan 7, and to be defined in detail in the light of the development management process will be of significant community value and will be retained in open uses. Development of green infrastructure will only be allowed where the benefit to the community that this would achieve outweighs the loss of green space, or if it would facilitate connectivity between development parcels or provide a drainage function.
NP POLICY 10 – HEDGES There is a presumption in favour of retaining visually or ecologically important existing hedgerows. If the removal of a hedgerow is proposed, adequate justification must be provided and, where appropriate, compensatory planting provided in the near vicinity. Replacement planting should be of sufficient value to compensate for the loss of mature hedgerows and the biodiversity they support.