Friday, 17 September 2021

Residents support housing sites

MOST people in Woodcote support plans to build 67 additional homes on six sites in the village.

More than 400 people attended an exhibition on proposals to update the Woodcote neighbourhood plan and most of the feedback was positive.

The document, which passed a referendum in 2014, names the sites where 76 houses could go to meet government targets for 2027.

However, the quota is expected to increase as South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, is revising its own local plan to reflect growing demand. Now Woodcote’s neighbourhood plan advisory group, which the parish council oversees, is considering where the extra homes should go.

It says 86 per cent of respondents supported building on a 0.15-hectare field behind the Black Lion in Greenmore, which could take five homes.

Second most popular were a 0.28-hectare field off Behoes Lane (eight homes) and a  0.33-hectare field off Greenmore (10 homes), which 79 per cent supported.

Seventy-four per cent supported proposals to develop a 0.35-hectare field off Greenmore (11 homes) while 71 per cent backed the field opposite the village hall in Reading Road (30 homes) and 70 per cent the former Woody Nook restaurant in Goring Road (three homes).

Geoff Botting, who chairs the group, said: “While this doesn’t mean our suggestions are final, it seems we have the basis of a solution that a very large sample of the community likes. The views against it, however loudly expressed, aren’t representative of the community as a whole.”

Some residents have questioned how the group shortlisted the sites from a list of 25 submitted by landowners.

The group says they were compared with dozens of national planning policies and the criteria will be published soon.

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