CPRE responds to consultation on West Oxfordshire’s proposed modifications to the Local Plan

Oxfordshire Villages

4th January 2017

West Oxfordshire District Council has published a number of proposed modifications to its Local Plan, including a dramatic increase in housing numbers and proposals for a new ‘Garden Village’ at Eynsham.

Consultation on the proposed changes to the draft Plan ended on Friday 23 December 2016.

CPRE Oxfordshire has submitted its response (see below) and has requested to be present at the second stage of the Local Plan Examination to make representation regarding its views.

Summary of CPRE’s response:

  • CPRE’s view remains that housing need has been exaggerated and considers the target set in the Local Plan too high.
  • We would like to see a compromise target of 568 homes per annum and we would like to see an earlier review than the 5 year time frame suggested, so should the target prove to be above the need, then ‘spare’ allocations without permission could be dropped or carried over to the next Plan Period.
  • CPRE propose an urgent review of allocations to ensure that they are maximised, to see if there is potential for building at greater density, thereby using less land.
  • We would like to see more jobs encouraged in West Oxfordshire to resolve the housing v jobs imbalance in the district.
  • Given the large scale development now proposed just outside of the Green Belt at Eynsham, CPRE believes that WODC should bring forward a specific Green Belt policy which lays out the Council’s policy and intentions in detail.
  • CPRE is concerned that the proposed ‘Garden Village’ at Eynsham will not be a self-contained and bounded independent settlement (as required by the prospectus for Garden Villages), but that it is designed to accommodate Oxford’s overspill rather than local people, and would rely on oversubscribed secondary school places and medical facilities in Eynsham. It would at best be an Oxford dormitory and at worst a social housing ghetto.

Next Steps?

All representations received during the consultation will be submitted to the Inspector together with the proposed modifications and supporting documentation. At that point the examination of the Local Plan will resume and the Inspector will confirm the timing of any subsequent hearing sessions. These are likely to be held in spring 2017.

Find out more

See the WODC Local Plan 2031.