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Vale Inspector agrees Local Plan

Monday, 05 December 2016 15:11

Plans to build about 13,000 new homes in Oxfordshire have been signed off by the government's planning inspector.

The Vale of White Horse District Council has been given approval for its Local Plan (Part One), which sets out where homes will be built over the next 15 years.

The Planning Inspectorate has written to Vale of White Horse District Council confirming that Vale Local Plan: 2031 (Part 1) has been found sound and can be adopted by the council, subject to modifications. This follows examination of Part 1 earlier this year.

Vale of White Horse District Council expects to adopt the Local Plan: 2031 (Part 1) at the full council meeting on Wednesday 14 December, with the final plan published the following day.

Responding to the news, CPRE Oxfordshire's Director, Helen Marshall said:

"While CPRE Oxfordshire, alongside other local campaign groups and parish councils, helped to see off major development in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and saved 20+ sites from being released from the Green Belt, it remains distressing to see other valuable Green Belt sites lost to development - setting a dangerous precedent for other Councils to use the unmet housing need as an excuse to justify Green Belt incursions.

Critically, the high housing targets are likely to be unachievable, leading to a return to the off-plan speculative development which has caused so much damage to Vale communities and landscape over the last couple of years.

And worringly, the Inspector wholly ducks the issue of change to the growth figures and the current uncertainty surrounding the future of the economy, and the need to put in place specified clear actions, based on frequent monitoring of job creation, to ensure that a Plan B could be swiftly put into action if the hoped-for growth does not materialise - something CPRE and others pushed for at the Main Modifications stage."

What next?

The Council is currently preparing Local Plan Part 2 - there will be a Preferred Options consultation in February 2017.

Following the Preferred Options consultation, the Council will hold a second round of consultations on the Publication Version of Part 2 - this will take place in October 2017.

The Council anticipates submitting the Part 2 of the Local Plan to the Secretary of State in early 2018.


CPRE Oxfordshire, 5 December

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