Friday, 12 August 2022

Plans held up by court ruling

THE neighbourhood plans for Watlington and Benson have been delayed again by a potential legal issue.

The documents, which name sites for hundreds of new homes, both passed referenda in June.

They were set to be formally adopted by South Oxfordshire District Council but this has been deferred while the council seeks guidance on a ruling by the European Court of Justice.

The judgment on a case commonly known as the “People over wind” may have implications for how habitat regulations assessments are carried out as part of the neighbourhood plan process.

The assessments look at the impact of development on special protection areas and special areas of conservation and are part of the EU obligations that neighbourhood plans must conform with, or not breach, in order to be adopted by the district council.

A council spokesman said: “It is important that we are fully aware of all of the ramifications of the ruling before we progress with the respective neighbourhood plans.”

Meanwhile, Pyrton Parish Council has launched a consultation on plans to extend its conservation area.

It is proposing to move the conservation area boundary so that it includes the approach to the village from the junction with Pyrton Lane and part of the Pyrton Manor estate. The boundary has not changed since the area was first designated in December 1984.

The council says: “This extension would include the prominent flint wall on the north-east side of the road and the land on the south-west side, which was part of the historic parkland of Pyrton Manor.”

The consultation will end on August 22. To respond, visit,

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