West Oxfordshire Local Plan Approved


10th September 2018

The Inspector’s report on the West Oxfordshire Local Plan has now been published, finding the Plan sound subject to Main Modifications.

  • Increasing the 2011 – 2031 housing requirement to 15,950 new dwellings, including 2,750 in respect of Oxford City’s needs and setting out a “stepped” approach to meeting this need during the plan period;
  • Increasing the planned-for number of dwellings at North Witney, East Witney and East of Chipping Norton Strategic Development Areas (SDAs), allocating a new SDA at West Eynsham and identifying North Eynsham as a strategic location for growth to be planned in detail through an Area Action Plan;
  • Allocating 11 other new sites for housing development;
  • Altering employment land requirements to reflect the most up to date evidence;
  • A range of other alterations to the plan to ensure that it is positively-prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national policy.

The Council will look to adopt the Plan formally during September.

CPRE Oxfordshire are disappointed that overall housing numbers have been increased.

However, CPRE Oxfordshire and local campaigning groups were able to ensure that a more robust AONB policy has been introduced and four specific AONB sites across the Burford-Charlbury sub-area have been removed from the plan entirely.

The Inspector found that while the submitted policy reiterated national policy it didn’t take into account the high proportion of the district that falls within AONB designation. Therefore, the plan has been amended in this regard, becoming more specific and providing local policy guidance. A new policy has also been introduced, advocating avoidance of pollution, including noise and light, maintaining/improving tranquillity and dark-sky quality. This is now the strongest policy for the AONB across Oxfordshire.