Cherwell District Council adopts Local Plan

Hulton Park

21st July 2015

Cherwell District Council’s submitted Local Plan document which will guide the delivery of 22,840 homes and 200 hectares of employment land in the District was adopted at a council meeting on 20 July.

The Council’s decision led to the immediate implementation of the Local Plan which sets out the council’s preferred sites for development and will guide future planning applications until 2031.

It will see the delivery of 7,319 homes in Banbury; 10,129 homes in Bicester and 5,392 homes elsewhere including a total of about 2,361 homes at the former RAF base at Upper Heyford.

To support economic growth, the plan delivers 61 hectares of employment land in Banbury and 138.5 hectares in Bicester.

Councillor Michael Gibbard, Cherwell’s lead member for housing, told the local press:

“It has taken ten years of preparation, 18 months of scrutiny and thousands of officer hours but we are delighted to now be in a position where we have an up-to-date Local Plan.

“This document will guide all planning applications over the next 16 years and, coupled with the fact we have a five-year land supply, will effectively put an end to speculative applications which contravene our preferred sites for development.”

Councillor Gibbard added: “This plan signifies an important step in Cherwell’s future as it will give us full control over the expansion of the district without being open to interpretation by opportunistic developers.

“It will offer strict guidelines, a robust defence and a realistic vision which will put Cherwell firmly in the driver’s seat as it steers towards a better and brighter district for everyone.”

CPRE Oxfordshire’s Director, Helen Marshall responded:

“The Council’s adoption of the Local Plan may put them in the driver’s seat, but for how long? The adoption of ridiculously high housing figures puts the Council at risk of losing their 5-Year Housing Supply in the near future, and we will be back to a developer-led planning system.  Moreover, they will have to review their Plan within the next year or two anyway, once the Green Belt Study is completed and Oxford’s housing need established.”

See: CPRE Oxfordshire’s response to the Modifications to the Draft Local Plan, September 2014.


CPRE Oxfordshire, 21 July