Thursday, 03 December 2020

Council opposes increase in homes

A PROPOSED increase in Goring’s housing target over the next 16 years has been opposed by

A PROPOSED increase in Goring’s housing target over the next 16 years has been opposed by the parish council.

The council says a rise beyond the 86 homes that must currently be built by 2027 would destroy the village’s rural feel and place too much pressure on infrastructure.

South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, is consulting on a new local plan which will run until 2032 and is likely to include a significant increase in housing quotas.

It follows the publication of a Government-backed report in 2014 which said the district must accommodate up to 16,500 dwellings over that period, as opposed to the current figure of 11,487 by 2027.

The district council is proposing to raise the allocation for 12 larger villages, including Goring, by 10 per cent.

In its formal response to the consultation, the parish council says the increase is “fundamentally flawed and in reality unachievable”.

It continues: “It will lead to an erosion of South Oxfordshire’s distinctive rural character [and] should be reviewed, especially in the light of the potential implications of Brexit.”

The council says Goring Primary School is already oversubscribed and points out that the village is within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

It adds: “The figures assume infeasibly high economic growth with resulting high numbers of people coming into the county.

“The building of 750 new homes per year in the district has never been achieved and is unlikely to be achieved.

“To have proposed such massive increases without planning how infrastructure should cope is irresponsible and unreasonable.”

Earlier this year the school’s governors warned it would have to find a new site in order to cope with demand for places.

A volunteer steering group is currently writing a neighbourhood plan for Goring which will name the sites where new housing should go. The document will become legally binding if it passes a referendum next year.

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