Friday, 22 February 2019

Concern about affordable homes and traffic

Concern about affordable homes and traffic

MORE than 55 people attended a public consultation session in Henley about the new South Oxfordshire local plan.

The draft document outlines housebuilding targets for towns and villages across the district over the next 15 years.

Visitors to the town hall on Saturday could examine the plan and talk to officials, including Adrian Duffield, chief planning officer at the district council, and Ken Arlett, who chairs Henley Town Council’s planning committee. The issues most raised were affordable housing and traffic.

The plan says Henley should take an additional 156 new homes on top of the 500 it accepted under its joint neighbourhood plan with Harpsden.

The “larger villages” of Goring, Sonning Common and Woodcote face increases in their quotas unless they can prove they have valid planning constraints.

Watlington and Benson are exempt as they have already agreed to a number of large developments.

Councillor Felix Bloomfield, cabinet member for planning, said: “This is an important moment for our district and indeed for Oxfordshire.

“With a robust and sound plan, we can protect South Oxfordshire from unsuitable developments. We are on track to submit our plan on time and unlock hundreds of millions of pounds of vital infrastructure funding for the whole county.

“It’s not just about housing. Although it will bring many much-needed affordable homes, it is also about high-quality, well-paid jobs, shops, leisure and local green spaces. It’s about all the facilities needed to support thriving communities.”

The six-week consultation period ends on February 18 before the plan goes to an independent examiner for approval and then to an independent government inspector in the summer followed by formal adoption.

For more information, visit www.southoxon.gov.uk/newlocalplan

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