CPRE responds to consultation on Vale Local Plan Part Two


16th May 2017

The Vale’s Local Plan Part Two contains further allocations of new housing – read CPRE’s key concerns.

The Local Plan 2031 Part Two: Detailed Policies and Additional Sites – Preferred Options Consultation closed on 4 May.

The Vale’s draft Plan proposes new housing at Grove, East Hanney, Harwell, Kingston Bagpuize and Marcham, and suggests that 1,200 new houses could be located at Dalton Barracks in the Green Belt.

While there is much to welcome in the Vale’s draft Plan, see below an outline of some of CPRE’s main concerns.

CPRE Vale of White Horse District’s key concerns:

1. The Council is seeking to allocate land for nearly 25,000 houses – this is significantly over and above the 20,560 it previously signed up to in Local Plan Part 1, even allowing for the 2,200 it has agreed to take as part of Oxford’s ‘unmet need’.

2. The Draft Plan reintroduces the threat of a significant housing development (1,000 houses) in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – this is despite the fact that the Inspector ruled this out of Local Plan Part 1.

3. It proposes 1,200 houses at Dalton Barracks within the Oxford Green Belt – CPRE supports the use of the previously developed area of this site for housing, as a sensible use of brownfield land. However, it is not necessary to remove land from Green Belt to achieve this as it is already permitted under Green Belt guidelines. In addition, the Vale appears to be proposing to take out far more land from the Green Belt than is needed for the proposed development. There also seems to be very little consideration given to the impact of the development on neighbouring Shippon and Abingdon and what supporting infrastructure might be required.

4. The proposed Lodge Hill Park & Ride is ill-placed.

5. Fyfield – The proposal of 600 houses at Fyfield (which the District Council refers to as related to Kingston Bagpuize) represents a major incursion into the open landscape, spoiling ancient views and providing immense infrastructure challenges.

6. Grove – The proposed inclusion of 300 houses on greenfield land in north-west Grove would exacerbate the already over-stretched provision of infrastructure in the respect of school places and, in particular, in respect of roads (eg A338).

7. Didcot Garden Town – CPRE is concerned that proposals will not at all live up to the hoped-for high level of design, whilst providing an excuse for for further building of houses, roads and bridges that will eat into far too much of Oxforsdshire’s green landscape.

8. Infrastructure – funding mechanisms for infrastructure to support the proposed growth look woefully inadequate. CPRE considers, in particular, that major surveys concerning the A34, A420, A338, A415 and A417 are now needed before any decision on the Part 2 proposals can go forward.

9. Saved Local Plan policies – there are many policies dating back to the previous Local Plan which should be carried forward to Local Plan Part 2, such as the one giving protection to the valuable landscape of the Corallian Ridge.

See CPRE’s full response below.

See: the Vale’s Local Plan Part Two Preferred Options


CPRE’s response to the draft South and Vale Green Infrastructure Strategy

CPRE has also submitted a response to the draft South and Vale Green Infrastructure Strategy, which was part of the Vale Local Plan Part Two consultation.

CPRE strongly welcomes this report.

We particularly welcome its place within a systematic planning framework, the strong commitment to preserving and enhancing biodiversity, and the strong commitment to improving access to the countryside.  

We also welcome the commitment to protecting AONBs and a commitment to the Green Belt (although with the latter we feel the opportunities the Green Belt provides for recreation and ready access to the countryside for the urban population could be recognised and explored further).  

We also welcome the strategy and delivery sections (3 and 4) – with a steering group, manager and forum envisaged. 

See CPRE’s full response below.

See: the draft South and Vale GI Strategy (item 11)


CPRE Oxfrordshire, 17 May