Which are Datchet’s most important green spaces, and our most treasured buildings and monuments? What type of new play areas do we need? Which grass verges need improving? What sort of property do downsizers look for? Please tell us in the Datchet Neighbourhood Plan survey
Before completing the survey, you might find it helpful to read the background information on this page. Local Green Spaces Neighbourhood Plans can identify green areas which are important to the local community. This Local Green Space designation offers the same protection from development as Green Belt status. To meet the requirements of national planning policy, Local Green Spaces must be demonstrably special to the community, for their beauty, history, recreational value, tranquillity or wildlife. They must be local in character, reasonably close to the community they serve; and not an extensive tract of land. Based on your feedback about green spaces which are most important to you, we have identified five sites which we believe meet these criteria:
The Recreation Ground.
The Willowfields at the back of the Recreation Ground.
The Sabatini Land between the Recreation Ground ditch and Horton Road.
The Village Greens and The Cut by the library and Horton Road car park.
The public Riverside Garden on Windsor Road
We’d like to hear what you think about these proposals in our survey. With your help, the Datchet Neighbourhood Plan can help to make positive changes for the benefit of the whole community. We are also consulting the landowners, Datchet Parish Council, the Datchet Recreational Centre Charitable Trust, and RBWM, whose role it is to protect community assets. We hope they will also wish to preserve, protect and enhance these special places for residents. You can read more about these Local Green Spaces and the supporting evidence here.
Protecting local heritage There are some 37 buildings and structures in Datchet which are Grade II Listed by Historic England. Click here for details. These buildings are of national importance but a Neighbourhood Plan provides the opportunity to create a list of heritage assets which are of local importance. These can be a site, monument, building, place (such as a street or cemetery), an area or landscape. They should be of value to this and future generations because of their heritage significance, for architectural, historic, archaeological, or artistic reasons, for their association with important people or past events, or because they contribute positively to the character and appearance of the area.
There are formal processes to follow. Creating a local list requires community involvement and lots of research to provide supporting evidence. Once a local list is adopted by the planning authority, the value to the community of a heritage asset will be taken into account when considering planning proposals. Local listing can help to inform planning decisions in a way that conserves and enhances local character and identity.
For Datchet, subject to further consultation with residents and discussion with proprietors, initial suggestions for local heritage assets have included: Montagu House (the library), the old St Mary’s School buildings, the 1930s’ garage by Mays Green, the Manor Hotel, the pharmacy frontage, the Greens and their monuments, and the WWI crucifix on London Road. While these may be some of the more obvious candidates for local listing, we are also interested in the less obvious. Local distinctiveness may lie in the commonplace, such as a letterbox, as much as it does in the rare and spectacular. Which heritage assets would you protect for future generations? Please tell us in our survey.
Play areas RBWM’s Borough Local Plan is being examined by the government’s planning inspector. This will determine, among other things, whether a site known as AL39 (formerly HA42, between London Road and the M4) can be taken out of the Green Belt and used for housing. RBWM has set out a number of planning requirements for this development, including the provision of a play area and allotments. There are already some very good play facilities at the Recreation Ground so, last year, we asked what was missing in Datchet and what you would like. There were suggestions for more toddlers’ facilities and splash parks; a BMX bike track; a skateboard park; and requests for different types of gardens, such as a sensory or wildlife garden, with sitting areas. Please tell us in our surveywhich play facilities you think Datchet needs so that we can investigate ways the Neighbourhood Plan might support proposals to provide this.
Downsizing After discussing housing issues with residents and estate agents and looking at the census data, we have highlighted a potential need for more downsizing properties. A third of households in the village consist of one person of retirement age or a couple with no dependent children. The proportion of two- and three-bed homes - the size which tends to be sought by downsizers - is relatively low, whereas the proportion of four-bedroom houses is high. This suggests that if suitable downsizing units were available, people living in large houses might be more inclined to move, freeing up family houses which are most in demand. We are planning to run some focus groups on Zoom to investigate the specific features which downsizers are looking for. If you would like to participate, please let us know in our survey.