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South Oxon's draft Local Plan to be published on 11 October

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 11:48

South Oxfordshire's final draft of its Local Plan is to be published on 11 October, including proposals for 22,500 new homes, including many in the Green Belt.

The council's draft Local Plan outlines how it will address the need for housing until the year 2033, including helping Oxford City's 'unmet housing need'.

The approximate number of houses that the council is planning over the 22 year period is 22,550, although many of these have already been granted planning permission or been built. The council is now allocating space for the remaining 9,671 - two major housing developments have been identified: one in Culham and one at Chalgrove, with the rest of the houses being cited in Wheatley, at the Brookes University campus, also in Wheatley and at Berinsfield.

"New housing sites in Culham, Chalgrove and at the Brookes University Wheatley campus are the best way to tackle the urgent need for houses in South Oxfordshire" says South Oxfordshire District Council in a Press Release this week.

However, many of these houses are allocated on Green Belt land.

The site in Culham for instance, for 3,500 houses, would require land to be removed from the Green Belt.

The Plan also proposes to remove a smaller, but still strategic piece of Green Belt land at Wheatley, and to build out the Brookes University Campus at Wheatley beyond the previously developed area.

National guidance only allows councils to remove land from the Green Belt in 'exceptional circumstances'. 

The council believes these circumstances exist, but CPRE disagrees. (See CPRE's response to the consultation on the Council's Preferred Options below).

The planning inspector will consider the case for this when he or she examines the Plan.

Part of Chalgrove, next to the Chilterns AONB (but outside of the Green Belt) is set to be developed into a housing estate of 3,000 houses.

As well as setting out new housing sites, the local plan explains how the new homes would be supported by roads, schools, shops, parks, leisure centres, community facilities and other infrastructure.

Before the plan is published for its final round of public consultation, it will be considered at the council’s scrutiny committee, cabinet and full council meetings. The local plan will be considered at the following council committee meetings:

Wednesday 13 September – Scrutiny committee
Wednesday 20 September – Cabinet
Thursday 28 September – Full council 


How to get involved

The plan, evidence documents and details on how to comment will be available on the Council website from 9am on Wednesday 11 October.

The Council is hosting a series of drop-in events across the district to help explain the publicity process and how to submit your comments:

Wallingford, St Marys Church - Sat 14 October, 10am – 2pm
Culham, Primary School - Thurs 19 October, 4pm – 8pm
Henley, Town Hall - Council Chamber - Sat 21 October, 10am – 2pm
Didcot, Cornerstone - Tues 31 October, 3pm – 7pm
Berinsfield, Church Hall - Tues 7 November, 3pm – 7pm
Wheatley, The Merry Bells Village Hall - Thurs 9 November, 3pm – 7pm
Thame, Town Hall - Mon 13 November, 3pm – 7pm
Chalgrove, Village Hall - Fri 17 November, 3pm – 7pm


What next?

After publishing its draft Local Plan on 11 October, the public will have a final opportunity to comment on the version of the plan that the Council intends to submit for examination. This consultation is different from the previous three, since it will ask specific questions relating to the legality of the plan.

You must respond to this consultation if you want the examiner to consider your views, even if you have previously commented.

Once the consultation deadline has passed, the Council will send all of the comments along with the Local Plan and evidence studies to the Planning Inspectorate at the end of this year.

Keep an eye out for more information about the October consultation on the Council website.


Find out more:

See: CPRE's response to the consultation on the council's Preferred Options, which closed on 17 May.


CPRE Oxfordshire, 6 September

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