WODC revert to SHMA housing target in Local Plan

Hulton Park

12th October 2016

West Oxfordshire District Council to revert to the SHMA housing target of 600 homes a year in its Local Plan.

At the West Oxfordshire Cabinet Meeting on 19 October, members are being recommended to resolve to make changes to the WODC Local Plan 2031 to address the findings of the Inspector, including upping the housing target to 600 homes a year, in line with the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA).

In December 2015, the Inspector published his initial findings on the West Oxfordshire Local Plan in which he dimissed WODC’s arguments for a lower housing figure and said that the Council must follow the economic growth figures outlined in the SHMA.

West Oxfordshire say they are upping the figures to meet the affordable housing need.

However, we believe there is no evidence to suggest that doing so will bring house prices down and certainly not enough to make them truly ‘affordable’ to those most in need.

Long-term historic housing delivery rates in West Oxfordshire are around 480 dwellings per year.

We believe a target of 600 homes per year is unrealistic and that the Council is setting itself up to fail.

The WODC Cabinet paper says ‘The development sector will need to boost its capacity, and accelerate its delivery of planned sites, if this target is to be met over the plan period. ‘

But they have no incentive to do so, as failure to meet targets mean that even more land will be released for development!

Based on these new targets, WODC is proposing to increase housing allocations at a number of sites as well as bringing forward a number of new sites.

Helen Marshall, Director, CPRE Oxfordshire, said: “Housing density remains a significant factor.  If WODC were to consider increasing its housing density guidelines, that could significantly reduce the land required and would also help encourage the smaller, more affordable housing that is most in demand.”

The increased allocations in brief are as follows:

(5.17). To help meet the increased West Oxfordshire housing requirement the following package of additional housing sites is recommended:

• Increased capacity at REEMA North and Central, Carterton (200 homes (net) to 300 homes);
• New allocations at Carterton (Swinbrook Rd and Milestone Road, 266 homes);
• Increased development area at Tank Farm, Chipping Norton (600 homes to 1,400 homes);
• Part of a new allocation at West Eynsham (450 homes);
• Increased development area at North Witney (1,000 homes to 1,400 homes);
• Increased capacity at East Witney (400 homes to 450 homes);
• New allocations at Woodstock (670 dwellings); and
• New allocations at Burford (85 homes), Charlbury (40 homes), Long Hanborough (75 homes), Minster Lovell (85 homes), Shipton under Wychwood (44 homes), Stanton Harcourt (50 homes), Stonesfield (50 homes), and Witney (50 homes).

(5.23). To contribute towards meeting Oxford City‟s unmet housing need the following additional housing proposals are recommended:

• A Garden Village on land north of the A40 north of Eynsham (2,200 homes)
• Part of a new allocation at West Eynsham (550 homes).

See: CPRE Oxfordshire’s response to the Inspector’s findings on the Local Plan


CPRE Oxfordshire, 12 October