In our public opinion survey, when we asked Whitchurch residents to rank the importance of different aspects of new developments, the provision of trees and open spaces came top of the list, being ranked as “essential” by 82 per cent of the 500 people responding to the survey.
In second place was access to the River Test, with 63 per cent ranking it as “essential”. When asked which aspects of the character of Whitchurch should be preserved, the River Test came second, after the countryside.
It is also not surprising that in the list of the top six favourite views of Whitchurch shown in Section 3. Landscape setting and shape of Whitchurch, three of them were of river scenes.
“It’s very important to preserve the views of buildings and natural features — people can gain a lot from the natural beauty of many areas inWhitchurch and to ruin these areas is to deny the residents; it’s why we chose to live here.”
– Design Day comment
From the Design Day exercise there were 38 different comments from visitors about the need to keep and to open up more views and access to the River Test: words like “open up” and “access” appeared repeatedly in their remarks.
Thus there can be no question about the value that local residents place on open spaces and the river setting of Whitchurch. The guidelines listed in the pane above aim to ensure that these aspects of its character will be retained.