The next steps for the Vale’s Local Plan 2031

Hulton Park

18th September 2014

CPRE Oxforshire says revised Local Plan still represents a significant attack on the rural Vale, including the north Wessex Down AONB.

The Vale of the White Horse District Council announced this week that it intends to publish the latest version of its Local Plan 2031 in November.

Over the past six months the council has been updating and amending the Plan to reflect the consultation responses.

There have been some changes to the plan, including the size and location of some of the main sites earmarked for housing in the district. 

The council will be inviting comments on the latest version of the plan in November. 

A report of the revised plan by Head of Planning Policy at the Vale, Mark Williams, will be considered at the Vale’s Scrutiny Committee on 25 September. 

Responding to the report, CPRE Oxfordshire’s Director, Helen Marshall said:

“Our initial response is that there is some good news, for example a number of the Green Belt sites have been dropped, including South Cumnor, North Radley and East Wootton. But disappointingly, several sites remain in the Green Belt, with the numbers allocated for North Abingdon much higher than before. It seems that the Vale’s plans to take some areas out of the Green Belt are also still in place, so whilst not immediately identified for development they will be highly vulnerable in the future.

We welcome the Vale’s proposals to make up the housing supply backlog over the entire length of the Plan, rather than trying to cram it into the first five years; this is likely to lead to better development choices rather than short-term quick fixes.

Overall, we are concerned that the Vale have stuck to the unsound and unsustainable SHMA figures. The revised Local Plan still represents a significant attack on the rural Vale, including the north Wessex Down AONB. We will be examining the report in more detail and will respond in full to the consultation in November.”

Below is a summary of the sites that were originally allocated in the Green Belt and North Wessex Downs AONB, and their current status in the revised Plan.

Sites in Green Belt:

South Cumnor (200) – withdrawn

East Wootton (200) – withdrawn

North West Abingdon (200) remains

North Abingdon on Thames (410) – up to 800!

South Kennington – (270) – remains

North Radley (200) – withdrawn

North West Radley (240) – remains

Sites in the North Wessex AONB:

East Harwell Campus (1400) – down from 1,400 to 850

New allocation of 550 houses at North Harwell Campus.


CPRE Oxfordshire, 18 September 2014

Further information:

Head of Planning Policy Report for Scrutiny Committee, 25 September and Appendix 1 (‘Local Plan Evidence Base Studies’) 

Vale of the White Horse District Council Press Release, 17 September 2014