Draft Core Strategy January 2011

Draft Core Strategy January 2011 - interactive online version

4 Strategy at the Local Level

Sub-Areas

4.1 The overall strategy has been applied at a more local level through five sub-areas drawn from landscape characteristics and local catchment areas for key services and facilities. These sub-areas are broadly defined on Figure 4.1. For each sub-area the overall strategy is first summarised and then some of the key defining features of the sub-area are identified. More detailed explanation can be found in the sections covering the main service centres of Witney, Carterton and Chipping Norton.

Witney Sub-Area
New homes, supporting facilities and additional employment opportunities to be focused on Witney with a mixed use strategic development area on its western edge. Highway schemes to reduce traffic and pollution in the historic core and to improve access to primary transport routes. Protection and enhancement of market town character and setting in the countryside, including the Windrush through Witney. New development in surrounding villages generally limited to meeting local community and business needs. Mitigation of impact from gravel extraction with biodiversity enhancement and countryside leisure opportunities in Lower Windrush Valley.
  • Sub-area population of about 34,000 with most (27,000) living in West Oxfordshire's largest town and service centre, Witney - a major county growth area over the last 30 years but now lacking the infrastructure for further substantial growth. Surrounding villages linked with the town's services and facilities.
  • Historic Witney associated with the former blanket industry and the Windrush valley - a source of major flooding in 2007 and of traffic congestion at the sole road crossing of the river within the town. Large area of sand and gravel extraction to the south of Witney.
  • Major new retail and leisure development recently built within the town centre.
  • Main employment estates to the west and to the south of Witney. Road links with Oxford and beyond severely affected by A40 congestion.
Carterton Sub-Area
New homes, supporting facilities and additional employment opportunities to be focused on Carterton with a strategic development area on its edge. The role of Carterton and RAF Brize Norton to be strengthened, to include replacement military accommodation, new employment opportunities and town centre improvements. New development in villages generally limited to meeting local community and business needs.
  • The relatively modern Carterton, the second largest town in West Oxfordshire, has a population of about 16,000. A further 8,000 residents live outside the town in a scattering of villages, the largest being Bampton. This area is relatively remote from the strategic road network - the south-western fringe looks towards the Lechlade/Swindon area.
  • Mainly low lying vale landscape rising to limestone uplands in the north. The Upper Thames valley is important for its quiet rural character, low-key leisure opportunities and biodiversity (Conservation Target Area and national and local nature reserves). Villages are particularly vulnerable to flooding. Rural road network with historic narrow bridges across the Thames.
  • Activity at RAF Brize Norton impacts upon much of this area.
Chipping Norton Sub-Area
New homes, supporting facilities and additional employment opportunities to be focused on Chipping Norton. New development in villages generally limited to meeting local community and business needs. Conservation and enhancement of the area's natural beauty. Sustainable tourism, farm and country estate diversification.
  • Population of about 13,000 with half living in the hilltop town of Chipping Norton. The remainder live in a scattering of generally small villages and hamlets. Chipping Norton is the main centre although this is a relatively remote area which also looks to Banbury/Cherwell District for some services and facilities.
  • An area of high limestone plateau (ironstone in the north-east), with river valleys designated for their biodiversity value (Conservation Target Areas). Several historic parks and gardens.
  • Oxfordshire Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) covers the western part of the area.
Eynsham - Woodstock Sub-Area
New homes and jobs to be focused on the three rural service centres and larger villages. Protection of Oxford Green Belt. Improved access to and use of public transport. Promotion of tourism opportunities and rural diversification alongside protection of historic and community assets. Mitigation of impact from gravel extraction with biodiversity enhancement and countryside leisure opportunities in river valleys.
  • Population of about 21,000 - about half living in the large villages of Eynsham and Long Hanborough and in the small historic town of Woodstock (rural service centres).
  • Edge of Green Belt and closely associated with and affected by Oxford. Severe traffic congestion on all approach roads, especially A40. Historic narrow bridges cross the Thames.
  • Important tourism role especially around Woodstock and the World Heritage Site of Blenheim Palace.
  • River valleys of Thames, Lower Evenlode and Lower Windrush with Cherwell valley and Oxford canal on eastern edge. Extensive floodplain and sand and gravel excavation with the Standlake area particularly vulnerable to flooding. Biodiversity Conservation Target Areas designated in river valleys and country estates - Cassington Meadows of international importance.
  • The Cotswold railway line runs along the Evenlode Valley with rural stations and halts linking the area to Oxford and London. The Oxford - Birmingham line lies on the eastern edge with a station at Tackley.
Burford - Charlbury Sub-Area
Development very limited in scale and generally steered to larger settlements. New market and affordable homes (including rural exception sites) and new small business opportunities. Conservation and enhancement of the area's natural beauty. Sustainable tourism, farm and country estate diversification. Improved access to and use of the Cotswolds railway line.
  • Population of about 13,000 with a network of small to medium - sized villages, none larger than 3,000 residents. Burford and Charlbury designated as rural service centres. The Wychwood villages also act as a local hub. Burford is an internationally famous Cotswold town popular as a visitor destination.
  • An area of limestone uplands bounded by the valleys of the Evenlode and Windrush and closely linked with Cotswold District to the west. This is the Oxfordshire Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The Upper Windrush is rich in biodiversity and is designated a Conservation Target Area. Wychwood Forest (part National Nature Reserve) is the basis of an extensive Project Area to revive the landscape character and mix of habitats associated with this former royal hunting forest.
  • The Cotswold railway line runs along the Evenlode Valley with rural stations and halts linking the area to Oxford and London.
Figure 4.1 - West Oxfordshire Key Diagram and Sub-Areas (click to enlarge)
Figure 4.1 West Oxfordshire Key Diagram and Sub-Areas

 

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