Efforts made to protect Wychwood’s unique character
Wychwood residents are known to defend their neighbourhood’s unique and countryside character. The far-from-apathetic residents have taken the next step in protecting their quarter by applying for an architectural implementation and integration plan (PIIA).
“As agreed with the Friends of Wychwood residents association, their demand will be studied as part of the general review of the planning regulations in line with the development plan recently approved by the City Council. The timetable for this review is provided on an approximate period of two years, that is until fall 2017,” indicated a city spokesperson.
Such a plan enables council to impose a specific set of conditions before granting a zoning or building permit. These conditions must be respected in addition to other provisions detailed in the urban planning regulations. New construction projects must therefore respect certain pre-established criteria and objectives to respect particular characteristic of a neighbourhood’s environment. The approval of such a plan does not modify planning regulations, but serves as an additional condition to the issuance of a license or a certificate.
The Friends of Wychwood mainly want to protect the vast green spaces and the mature trees in their wooded neighbourhood. The residents’ association argues that this distinct character grants them a certain quality of life. However, residents feel that this quality of life is more and more threatened. The menace comes from the rapid urban grown in Aylmer which, the association argues, does not take into consideration sustainable development or environmental principles.
The Friends of Wychwood maintain that the very rapid growth of Aylmer causes severe pressure on the environment, increasing traffic; creating problems in the consumption and quality of water, in summer particularly; and significantly reducing woodland spaces.