West Oxfordshire Local Plan – Have your say!
19th September 2023
UPDATE: FINAL CPRE OXFORDSHIRE RESPONSE – INCLUDING OUR JOINT RESPONSE WITH LOCAL PARISHES – AVAILABLE AT FOOT OF THIS PAGE. Thanks to all those that contributed and helped to speak up for our West Oxfordshire countryside. We expect the District Council to publish its full draft Local Plan in autumn 2024.
The latest consultation on the West Oxfordshire Local Plan has launched and runs until 25 October. The Plan is important as it will guide development in the area for the next 20 years.
West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) is asking for feedback on objectives and potential policies, the future development landscape across the District and ideas about how land should be used in the future.
See the Your Place, Your Plan consultation website for further info.
See foot of this page for CPRE West Oxfordshire’s DRAFT RESPONSE. If you have comments you would like to share with us, please E: email@example.com (The final response will also be posted here in due course.)
CPRE West Oxfordshire’s initial views are:
- Housing numbers – It is difficult to make constructive comment on the housing scenarios when the report gives no indication of the number of houses involved. WODC should make it clear that it will not use the overinflated and highly criticised housing numbers presented by Oxford City and Cherwell District Councils. It should also strongly resist taking the excess housing need identified by Oxford City. For West Oxfordshire, this would be an additional 564 dwellings per annum (Source : Table 2.1 Oxford City Reg 18 Part 2 consultation document). The West Oxfordshire Local Plan should consider and meet the genuine housing needs of those living in West Oxfordshire.
- Housing scenarios – we would be most likely to support the hierarchical option, subject to other caveats such as a genuine brownfield first policy. We would not support options 5 (dispersed growth) or 6 (village clusters) as these would be most likely to erode our countryside and rural settlements.
- Renewables – There should be a county-wide land use strategy, including for renewables. Meanwhile, the Local Plan needs a very clear rooftops/car parks/brownfield first policy for renewable energy.
- AONB/Green Belt – Development in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Oxford Green Belt should only take place in genuinely exceptional circumstances, based on specifically identified local need that cannot be met elsewhere.
- Biodiversity/hedgerows – we support the Oxfordshire Local Nature Partnership’s call for a minimum development requirement of 20% net gain in biodiversity. We would like to see a specific hedgerow policy in line with the Climate Change Commission’s target of increasing hedgerows by 40% by 2050
If these issues interest you, why not join our local, friendly volunteers on the CPRE West Oxfordshire District Committee? We’d love to hear from you. E: firstname.lastname@example.org