Friday, 20 May 2022

Villagers asked opinions on draft neighbourhood plan

RESIDENTS of Shiplake are being asked for their views on the parish’s draft neighbourhood plan.

The parish council has sent the document to South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, for approval and a public consultation will run until Tuesday, December 7.

It will then undergo independent examination before being put to a referendum.

Providing the plan is adopted, it will become a statutory document used by the district council to help determine planning applications.

Parish council chairman Fred Maroudas said both Shiplake Cross and Lower Shiplake were under threat from large developments.

He also said there was a history of inspectors “ignoring” local opposition and overturning decisions made by the district council on appeal. This included the decision to allow 95 homes to be built on Thames Farm and a retirement village with 65 units on land east of the A4155.

The draft plan says: “We have a strong sense of identity and community. The overwhelming view of residents is that change and development of the villages must be managed carefully.

“Residents recognise, however, that improvements to community infrastructure and facilities and a different housing profile are needed in order to create an environment that makes it easier for older residents to stay in and younger generations to move into the parish.”

Residents were asked to give their views in a parish-wide survey in 2017. There were more than 700 responses with another 260 in response to the ideas that were presented during a public exhibition later that year.

The parish council’s steering group then became a formal committee in July 2019.

Meetings to discuss the draft neighbourhood plan with residents were held last summer. Opinions were also received through the parish website.

These views became the basis for the plan, which identified the need to support sustainable and appropriate development and to ensure there are smaller, affordable dwellings.

To take part in the consultation, visit

Comments can also be made by emailing planning.policy@

Paper copies of the consultation survey are available at the shop in Station Road, Lower Shiplake, and the village stores in Binfield Heath.

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