SODC’s new Local Plan
On 29th March 2017, South Oxfordshire District Council published the latest draft of the update of its Local Plan. The Public Consultation period lasts until 17th May and there will be drop-in events at Didcot on 5th April, Wallingford on 7th April and Henley on 22nd April. No events in the villages are planned this time on the grounds that appropriate consultation will take place through the Neighbourhood Plan processes.
You can see the details by visiting http://www.southoxon.gov.uk/newlocalplan
The Local Plan is the “parent” document to all the individual village Neighbourhood Plans which have been or are being prepared across the District. This is the next step in the process of updating SODC’s 2012 Core Strategy, following the Public Consultation on the “2032 Preferred Options” document last summer.
The following extract from the Association’s recent Newsletter summarises our response to that Consultation.
“Goring’s Neighbourhood Plan will – once approved – form part of the larger SODC Local Plan, the current approved version of which is known as the 2027 Core Strategy. The council is now in the process of updating this to cover the period up to 2032 in the light of a new analysis of housing needs in the whole county and you may recall a rather low-key public consultation event was held by SODC in the village in June 2016.
Whilst this event was organised separately from the Neighbourhood Plan process, the two processes are linked in that the Neighbourhood Plan will need to take account of SODC’s proposal (subsequently watered down to a suggestion) that Goring should accommodate considerably more new homes than has hitherto been proposed.
The committee submitted a written response to this consultation supporting the view expressed by large numbers of villagers at the June event, as well as at the Neighbourhood Plan’s May 2016 Open Day, that the village is unable to accept even more new homes because of the physical constraints of its location between the river and the Chilterns, wholly within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Building larger numbers would harm the very features which make Goring an attractive location for residents and visitors alike. We also pointed out that the reasons given by SODC for not increasing the housing allocation for Henley (which is not actually within the AONB) applied even more to Goring.
SODC say that the next round of consultation on their latest Plan Proposals will be early in 2017.
For more information see the SODC website www.southoxon.gov.uk/services-and-advice/planning-and-building/planning-policy/local-plan-2032 “
The committee has not yet fully absorbed the new document which continues to “suggest” that Goring should accommodate more new homes than the 86 currently being planned for, 165 more to be precise, making a new total of 251. If Goring’s Plan proposes fewer than this, the Plan will need to contain evidence in justification. Other points noted so far are that SODC is now proposing some limited development within the Oxford Green Belt and in smaller villages (probably a sensible compromise) and to develop a more joined-up approach to necessary infrastructure development.
The committee will be responding to these latest proposals, taking into account the responses of the Parish Council and the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group if timings permit but the views of members are essential so we encourage you all to let us know your own opinions using the form below.