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Cherwell Local Plan found 'sound' by Inspector

Monday, 15 June 2015 10:55

Cherwell District Council's Local Plan has been approved with modifications and will now proceed towards adoption. 

Last Friday (12 June), Cherwell District Council published the findings of Government-appointed Planning Inspector Nigel Payne's examination of the council's draft Local Plan which included proposals to build almost 23,000 homes in north Oxfordshire over the next 16 years.

In his Report (see below) Mr Payne concluded the council had complied with all of the necessary legal requirements in preparing the plan and had allocated suitable sites to meet the district's future growth.

The Inspector's report and the Local Plan will now be put before a Full Council Meeting on 20 July and if members agree to adopt the plan, it will be implemented with immediate effect and used to guide all future planning applications.

Although he has made no changes to the location of sites for housing or the quantity allocated, Mr Payne suggested two modifications:

- reduction of the amount of employment land in Banbury bordering south Northamptonshire by 36 hectares. This site had been allocated for mixed employment uses but Mr Payne concluded that a smaller site would be more appropriate.

- the removal of the council's proposal for allocated 'green buffers' of land between urban and rural areas to protect their separate identity. This was removed as Mr Payne considered it to be unnecessary as other policies and the adoption of the plan itself would offer the same protection.

Helen Marshall, Director of CPRE Oxfordshire, said: "The Inspector's decision is very disapointing. His decision sets a dangerous precedent. In its draft Local Plan, Cherwell District Council accepted the exceptionally high forecasts of housing need from the controversial Oxfordshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA). The Inspector's approval of Cherwell's Plan will make it extremely difficult for other local authorities to contest the SHMA figures in their Local Plans."

CPRE will be looking at the report carefully over next few days to consider what further action, if any, might be possible. 

For more information see: BBC News.

 

CPRE Oxfordshire, 15 June 2015

 

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