Draft Local Plan October 2012

Our Core Objectives

3.2 The core objectives are listed under four key headings:

  • Strong market towns and villages
  • Meeting the specific housing needs of our communities
  • Sustainable communities with access to services and facilities; and
  • Protecting and enhancing our environment and reducing the impact from climate change

3.3 West Oxfordshire is a predominantly rural district with its population dispersed to market towns and villages. It is vital that its distinctive rural characteristics are maintained while meeting the needs of local communities. Although it is a relatively affluent area there are pockets of deprivation. For rural communities to be sustainable they must have affordable housing, access to good employment opportunities and access to services.

1. Strong market towns and villages

CO1 Provide new development, services and facilities of an appropriate scale and type in locations which will help improve the quality of life of local communities and where the need to travel, particularly by car, can be minimised.

CO2 Locate new residential development where it will best help to meet local housing needs.

3.4 There needs to be a greater choice within the local housing market to help achieve a better balance of property types and meet the needs of those who cannot afford to buy or rent suitable market housing. Two key challenges will be to address as much local housing need as is feasible and sustainable, and to better meet the needs of older people and newly forming households.

2. Meeting the specific housing needs of our communities

CO3 Ensure the timely delivery of new housing to meet forecast needs and support sustainable economic growth.

CO4 Plan for an appropriate mix of new residential accommodation which provides a variety of sizes, types and affordability with special emphasis on the provision of homes for local people in housing need who cannot afford to buy or rent at market prices including those wishing to self-build, as well as homes to meet the needs of older people, newly forming households and travelling communities.

3.5 In a rural area it is important to achieve a sensible balance between delivering services direct to local residents and expecting people to travel elsewhere to particular services. In many rural parts of the District there is little choice other than to travel by private transport. However new development should not lead to more people being isolated from services and facilities which they need on a regular basis. New development must provide the necessary infrastructure to meet the needs of its residents and/or users.

3.6 These objectives seek to deliver a high quality of life with a prosperous and sustainable economy whilst improving opportunities wherever possible or appropriate for travel by means other than the car.

3. Sustainable communities with access to services and facilities

CO5 Promote inclusive, healthy, safe and crime free communities.

CO6 Ensure that land is not released for new development until the supporting infrastructure and facilities are secured.

CO7 Maximise the opportunity for walking, cycling and use of public transport.

CO8 Achieve sustainable economic growth which improves the balance between housing and local jobs, provides a diversity of local employment opportunities, removes potential barriers to investment and provides flexibility to adapt to changing economic needs.

CO9 Achieve a prosperous and sustainable tourism economy.

CO10 Promote safe, vibrant and prosperous town centres and resist proposals that would damage their vitality and viability or adversely affect measures to improve the centres.

CO11 Maintain or improve where possible the health and wellbeing of the District's residents through increased choice and quality of shopping, leisure, recreation, arts, cultural and community facilities.

CO12 Improve access to services and facilities without unacceptably impacting upon the character and resources of West Oxfordshire.

3.7 These objectives seek to protect and enhance the high environmental quality of our area and meet the challenges of climate change by improving the sustainability of new development.

4. Protecting and enhancing our environment and reducing the impact from climate change

CO13 Conserve and enhance the high environmental quality of West Oxfordshire with protection and promotion of its diverse landscape, biodiversity and geological conservation interests, and its local cultural, heritage and environmental assets.

CO14 Reduce the causes and adverse impacts of climate change, especially flood risk.

CO15 Achieve improvements in water and air quality.

CO16 Minimise use of non-renewable natural resources and promote more widespread use of renewable energy solutions.

CO17 Improve the sustainable design and construction of new development, including improving energy, water efficiency and water management.

CO18 Ensure that new developments are suitably located and well designed to protect and enhance the individual form, character and identity of our towns and villages as well as contributing to the quality of life in West Oxfordshire.