A greener place
Public open space
At the moment, although the land is designated as Green Belt, there is very limited public access across the farmland that comprises the site. There is a single Public Right of Way, or footpath that crosses the site.
This proposal will create parameters for 64% of the site being dedicated to community use, public access and green spaces – including parks, woodland, play areas, pathways, cycleways and sports pitches.
Green spaces will be made available to benefit all of Beaconsfield, by creating a pleasant place to spend time, walk in the woods, play in the parks, cycle or play on the sports pitches.
Beeches Park will create biodiversity improvements. Currently, the land is farmland and mainly monocultural. Many new land and aquatic habitats will be created for wildlife and a managed landscape where trees and flowers can bloom while helping to maintain bee and insect populations.
The site is currently agricultural land and our development will open this up to create more connections for people to nature, providing both wellbeing and environmental benefits.
In addition to providing biodiversity and wellbeing benefits, the green spaces and aquatic habitats will provide some degree of protection against climate change, including shading and passive cooling to mitigate increased temperatures, along with providing storage for rainwater during storm events and reducing the risk of surface flooding.
About the Green Belt
The proposals will represent ‘very special circumstances’ for allowing development in the Green Belt. These include the infrastructure-led provision of acutely needed housing and affordable homes, provision of self and custom built homes, early delivery of education and community facilities, and the provision of enhanced access to the open countryside and community and public open spaces, all of which provide economic support to Beaconsfield. The site was previously rigorously assessed and identified as the right location for building new homes as part of the draft South Bucks and Chiltern Local Plan. Although the draft Local Plan was not progressed following the merger to form Buckinghamshire Council, the principles of the site’s selection as a place to build important new homes are still valid.
Every parcel of brownfield land in the region has been investigated and there are no other more suitable places to build significant numbers of new homes for Beaconsfield.
The site is a sustainable place for an extension to the town, will provide a significant increase in public access to green space and has the new Eastern Relief Road as its boundary, already cutting a route through the landscape.
Committed to sustainability
The Portman Estate has a responsibility to the communities it creates and the environment, and is committed to continually improving its performance in sustainability, environmentally and socially.
This includes a commitment to the One Planet Living® framework, which has been developed with the WWF and aims to achieve a vision of a world where everyone, everywhere lives healthy, happy lives within the limits of the planet – leaving space for wildlife and wilderness.
About the framework:
- It puts people first – it’s grounded in the reality of how people live their lives rather than box ticking
- It is holistic – nothing will drop through the gaps with the 10 principles
- It is about true sustainability – there’s no greenwashing
- It reaches hearts as well as minds - One Planet Living is used to inspire people across the world to get involved in sustainable change.
More about The Portman Estate's work on sustainability can be found here: www.portmanestate.co.uk/about-us/sustainability