Friday, 24 September 2021

Village’s draft housing plan goes to inspection

A BLUEPRINT for future housing growth in Goring has been put forward for independent inspection.

The parish council has approved the village’s draft neighbourhood plan, which was written under its supervision by a steering group of volunteers.

It names four sites where about 94 homes should be built by 2027 to meet government targets.

They are a corner of the field behind Springhill Road, which could take about 40 homes, part of the field between Manor Road and Elmcroft (about 25), the car park and warehouse behind Thames Court off High Street (about 16) and the field behind Cleeve Cottages off Icknield Road (about 10).

South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, will hold a public consultation before the document goes to an independent examiner.

If it gets the all-clear it will go to a referendum and will become legally binding if it passes, meaning the district council can reject applications for homes on sites which aren’t earmarked.

It also includes three “strategic projects” which would review traffic and parking, the economic regeneration of the village centre and either renovating or replacing the village’s ageing primary school in Wallingford Road.

The document was unanimously voted through at an extraordinary meeting of the parish council last week.

Vice-chairman John Wills said: “We’re very happy with the work that has gone into it and, although not everybody is pleased with every aspect of it, we’re pleased with the outcome.”

The decision was made despite Woodcote suspending work on the revision of its neighbourhood plan, which passed a referendum four years ago.

Its advisory group says there is no point proceeding as the district’s own local plan is in disarray so it is unclear what the village’s updated quota will be.

Tom Rothwell, co-chairman of Goring’s steering group, said: “We’re in a different position as Woodcote does at least have a plan up and running. If the new local plan has been delayed we think it’s even more important to have a neighbourhood plan in place in order to protect us from inappropriate development.

“Our research has identified that only four sites in Goring are suitable for housing and that will remain the case whatever target we are given.”

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