Thursday, 17 August 2017

Fresh look at neighbourhood plan

VOLUNTEERS who wrote Woodcote’s neighbourhood plan are to reconvene their working group in order to update

VOLUNTEERS who wrote Woodcote’s neighbourhood plan are to reconvene their working group in order to update it.

The document, which passed a referendum in May 2014, names up to seven sites, including two reserve plots, where 76 homes should be built by 2027 to meet targets.

However, it is no longer legally enforceable because South Oxfordshire District Council has since failed to secure enough immediately available land to meet housing demand for the next five years.

This invalidates all neighbourhood plans in the district and council’s own local plan, which it is now rewriting to meet demand up to 2032. Any finished neighbourhood plans must now be reviewed.

Woodcote Parish Council’s vice-chairman Geoff Botting, who led the working group, said members would meet again within the next month.



A public consultation is planned to be held before Christmas to determine whether the demand for new housing has increased.

Landowners within the parish who are willing to offer development sites will also be invited to come forward.

The working group will analyse all feedback and re-examine a survey carried out for the original plan to determine whether an increase in the village’s housing quota is needed. If any new sites are proposed, these will also go to a consultation.

Councillor Botting said: “Having been one of the first communities in Britain to produce a neighbourhood plan, we’ll probably be one of the first to produce a second version.

“I don’t think the Government expected this to arise so we’re awaiting guidance on the need for another referendum.

“We should be able to get this done fairly quickly as, having been through the process once, we know what we’re doing. Many of the underlying policies should remain the same, though we will check to see if any changes are required.”



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