South Oxfordshire Local Plan – have your say!


8th May 2017

South Oxfordshire District Council has published its draft Local Plan, outlining its preferred development plans for the District through until 2033. The consultation ends on 17 May.

SODC is consulting now on the second Preferred Options draft of the emerging Local Plan for a period of 7 weeks from 29 March to 5pm on 17 May 2017.

See CPRE’s response to the Preferred Options consultation below.

See also CPRE’s response to the draft South and Vale Green Infrastructure Strategy below. 


The headlines

• New large settlements at Chalgrove, Wheatley, Culham and Berinsfield (the last three in the Oxford Green Belt).
• Housing target of ‘23,468’ dwellings – up from 20,800.
• 15% increase in dwellings in towns and large villages (on 2011 figures).
• 40% affordable housing (75% rental) as a ‘starting point’.
• 35 ha of ‘employment land’.
• Substantial road building – bypasses for Clifton Hampden, Didcot, Watlington, Benson, Southern Abingdon, and Stadhampton, with a new Culham to Didcot Thames River Crossing and a new Park and Ride at Sandford-on-Thames to the south-east of Oxford.


CPRE’s general comments:

  • We welcome the development of a robust Local Plan for South Oxfordshire.
  • We believe that the housing figures underlying this plan remain deeply flawed.  
  • We need a plan which encourages local food production and a robust and sustainable rural economy to service this.
  • We would  like to see the plan set a much higher density minimum and a ‘target’.
  • We are surprised to see the plan allocating 23,468 dwellings when the ‘identified’ need is 20,800.
  • We believe the estimate of requirement for employment land (35.5 ha – Policy EMP1) to be too high and that there is no justification for this uplift (from a previous estimate of 25 ha).
  • There should be more recognition and discussion in the plan that transport, and particularly cars, but also freight, have considerable environmental consequences.
  • The case for an expressway is not made.
  • We are concerned that new road building only encourages road traffic and is against the stated aim to make South Oxfordshire more sustainable. 


CPRE’s comments on the Green Belt:

CPRE is distressed by the cavalier attitude exhibited towards the Green Belt, with major developments proposed at Culham, Berinsfield and Wheatley.  

This is despite a recent Council sponsored study which found that every part of the Oxford Green Belt fulfilled at least one of the five functions of the Green Belt and surveys have consistently shown a strong public support for the Green Belt in the county.  

The main purpose of the Green Belt is its permanence.  We don’t feel that any sort of exceptional case has been made for these incursions, as is required by the NPPF. 

We would urge that development be restricted to the brownfield sites in Culham and Wheatley and severely restricted in Berinsfield.


See CPRE Oxfordshire’s response below.


How to submit your comments

There are a number of ways to provide your feedback, just make sure SODC receive it by 5pm on Wednesday 17 May 2017:

– participate in the online survey by using this LINK (registration is required)

– download a copy of the Comment Form and either email it to: 

Or post it to SODC Planning Policy, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Abingdon, OX14 4SB.

Or write to / or email SODC using the above addresses.


What next?

The Second Preferred Options document is not the final version of theLocal Plan, it is an informal (Regulation 18) consultation.

SODC intend to publish the final version before the end of 2017, at which time the public will have a further opportunity to make its views known.


CPRE Oxfordshire, 8 May