The Key Points have emerged from public consultation and should form the backbone to the VDS — these are issues which generated significant feedback from the Parish in the Village Appraisal 2000, various public meetings and the popular exhibition at the June Fayre 2003.
- Settlement pattern
- Due consideration should be given to the East Hampshire Local Plan policies and the policy boundaries which define the limitations to development in Ropley.
- New residential development within the Ropley settlement boundary will be confined to redevelopment of previously developed land and buildings, the use of under-used land, conversion, subdivision or change of use of buildings and infilling. (EHDC Local Plan 2nd Review).
- New development should be designed in a way that respects the quality and character of the local environment.
- The predominantly linear form of the settlements within the parish of Ropley should be maintained rather than building any new estates or other developments that change the shape of the village or result in the creation of new public roads. Small developments may be appropriate under the East Hampshire Local plan for affordable housing, these developments should not coalesce into one large development.
- The gaps between the various settlements should be preserved and protected from inappropriate development.
- No industrial or commercial development that could lead to significant adverse impact on the rural character of the parish should be permitted.
- Whilst infill between properties within the settlement boundary is permitted, development behind properties (or ‘back-land development’) should be avoided in order to preserve the rural character of Ropley.
- Building & Materials
- The ratio of any new building to its plot size should be in scale with the adjacent properties.
- Its positioning should be chosen to enhance visual variety, respect the neighbours’ privacy and avoid any undesirable intrusion into established views of existing open landscape.
- In general, single or two storey development should be encouraged provided new roof lines are not higher than those of the adjacent properties. If possible, flat roofs should be avoided.
- New building works should reflect and respect the scale, sizes and proportions of adjacent existing buildings, as well as incorporating components, such as doors, windows, dormers and porches which have regard to those already present in the vicinity.
- Existing mature trees and hedges are a valued feature of the village and should only be removed in extreme circumstances. Any new planting should be in indigenous species.
- (a) Walls
Whilst there are a profusion of materials in existence, extremes of coloration in brick, tile hanging and rendering should be avoided. Where possible, the use of plastic cladding should be discouraged.
- (b) Roofs
Pitches should not vary markedly from those in the vicinity.
- Roof sizes should not appear to dominate the development or the surrounding buildings.
- The use of dormers should be encouraged where these can reduce the impact of a roofscape.
- (c) Windows & Doors
New and replacement windows & doors should be chosen to harmonise with the house style.
- (d) Porches
Angle and pitch of any new porch roof should echo those of adjacent dormer or gable ends.
- Porches should be in proportion to the overall building frontage and reflect the style of the property.
- (e) Garages and Carports
Where a new garage or carport is required, it should wherever possible be sited so as not to dominate and/or intrude greatly on the main property.
- Where there is an obvious Building Line a new garage or carport should not be sited in front of the main property.
- Change of use of garages to residential use, where a new garage is subsequently proposed, should be discouraged.
- (f) Conservatories
These should be designed and sited with particular care. Consideration to the rural character should be given when locating conservatories so as to minimise the impact to plot frontages.
- Traffic and Roads
- The layout and design of new developments should consider the implications on existing traffic movements.
- All vehicles should be able to enter and leave new developments in a forward gear.
- Road signs and street furniture should be erected in consultation with the Parish Council and be of a consistent style and in a design sympathetic with the rural character of the village.
- All new developments should ensure adequate off road parking.
- Developments that require road changes that will increase speed should be avoided.
- Road improvements should take into account non-motorised road users.
- Highways and Byways
- Repair or development of highways should protect the rural nature of Ropley and avoid unnecessary kerbs and street lighting.
- The design and erection of signs for footpaths and bridleways should be sympathetic with the rural nature of the village.
- There should be sufficient provision of soakaways in new developments to stop discharge of surface water onto the highway. Ditches should be maintained to prevent flooding.
- All developments should avoid unnecessary external light pollution.
- All new developments should be designed to maintain current hedges and banks.
- Landscape and Setting
- The rural landscape of the parish should be maintained.
- Developments should be encouraged to plant or maintain native trees, shrubs and hedges on plot frontages. Removal of hedgerows and banks should be kept to an absolute minimum.
- New developments should be landscaped to blend into the rural character of the village. This may involve adding new landscape features or retaining existing ones.
- Utilities equipment should be routed out of sight wherever possible.
- The rural character of the lanes should be respected particularly in retaining the hedgerows that define them.
- Important public vistas within the Parish should not be obstructed by new development
- Sport and Recreation
- Public open spaces should be promoted for new developments.
- Development should always take account of the mobile recreations such as cycling, horse riding and walking.
- Industry & Commerce
- The scale and appearance of Commercial & Industrial properties should be in keeping with the rural character of Ropley.
- The effects of Commercial development on neighbouring residential properties should be given prime consideration.
- Creeping urbanisation and alienation of country roads to traditional users should be avoided.
- Soft and hard screening should be given a higher importance in Commercial development.
- Preservation of existing banks hedges and landscaping should be fundamental in alterations to land for Commercial & Agricultural development.
- Impact on lanes, roads, junctions and existing traffic calming of any development should be minimised.
- Preservation of existing structures in Industrial & Commercial development need not be essential where sympathetic design is preferable.
- Sympathetically designed new construction may be preferable to the retention of poor-quality existing structures.