Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Six new sites may be added to housing plan

UP to six new sites for possible development could be included in an updated version of the Woodcote neighbourhood plan.

Details of the land will be included in an exhibition to take place at the village hall today and tomorrow.

The sites include:

• A field along the northern end of Reading Road, immediately west of the Londis convenience store, which would include a car park to relieve congestion.

• The former Woody Nook restaurant premises off Goring Road.

• A field west of the junction of Behoes Lane and Beech Lane.

• Two plots along the eastern edge of Greenmore, one to the north and the other to the south of the junction with Croft Way, with a car park further north between Wards Farm and the junction with Grimmer Way.

• A triangular wedge of land between Green Lane and Long Toll.

The new draft plan also earmarks two sites for commercial development, one immediately north of the junction of Green Lane and Greenmore, and the other opposite the village hall in Reading Road to the west of the Church Farm light industrial estate.

The original neighbourhood plan, which passed a referendum in 2014, earmarked five sites and two reserves to take 76 new homes by 2027 to meet government targets.

However, the village may have to take more as South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, is updating its local plan to run until 2033. It has been suggested that Woodcote could take up to 160 additional homes but the parish council believes this number is too high.

The existing sites are:

• Chiltern Rise Cottage and its grounds (up to 24 homes).

•Woodcote Garden Centre (up to nine), both off Reading Road.

• The old Greenmore reservoir (up to 20).

• The old bus depot in Long Toll (up to 14).

• The smallholding in Wood Lane (up to nine).

• A field next to Bouchier Fencing in Goring Road (reserve for up to 20).

• Land north of Chiltern Rise Cottage (reserve for up to 16).

While updating the document, the plan steering group considered 22 plots put forward by landowners.

It ruled out a number which are currently the subject of planning applications, including the field to the south of Bridle Path where T A Fisher is seeking consent for 45 homes.

Geoff Botting, vice-chairman of the parish council, said: “I would stress that nothing we’ve put forward is a done deal. We just want to put it out there and find out what people think at this stage.

“We have eliminated a number of sites because they would not meet the criteria for inclusion under the Localism Act, which governs neighbourhood plans.”

• The exhibition will be held from 2.30pm to 5pm and 7pm to 9pm today (Friday) and 10am to 3pm tomorrow (Saturday).

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