West Oxfordshire Local Plan Housing Consultation

7 Future Business Land Requirements

7.1 In determining the number of new homes to be built, consideration must also be given to future economic needs including the amount of type of business land that needs to be provided through the Local Plan.

7.2 A number of different options have formed the basis of consultation to date including:

  • Indigenous growth - focus on supporting indigenous growth in order to broadly match new labour supply (40 hectares of business land provision in total)
  • Steady growth - focus on supporting indigenous growth and business start-ups whilst catering for a modest level of inward investment (60 hectares of business land provision in total)
  • Higher growth - support indigenous growth but more active encouragement of inward investment (80 hectares of business land provision in total)
  • Small-scale dispersal

7.3 These options have been consulted on through several stages and also tested through Sustainability Appraisal (SA). The draft Core Strategy (2011) and draft Local Plan (2012) were based on a combination of the steady growth and the small-scale dispersal options making overall provision for around 60 hectares of new business land.

7.4 Core Policy 11 - Land for Business set out in the draft Local Plan (2012) identifies the following provision:

Witney - 20ha to the west of Witney including 10ha as part of the West Witney Strategic Development Area (SDA)

Carterton - 5ha primarily at West Oxon Business Park and Land at Ventura Park

Chipping Norton - 5ha to the east of the town including, the Former highways depot (1ha), former Parker Knoll factory site (2ha) and potential for a further 2ha of land as part of the previous mixed use local plan allocation north of London Road

Other Towns Villages and Rural Areas - At least 5ha within existing commitments including 2ha at Lakeside Standlake (previous Local Plan allocation)

 

7.5 The intention is that the remaining unallocated requirement (25 hectares) will come forward through small-scale schemes and business expansions on an organic basis with such schemes having historically accounted for around 25% of business land supply in the past.

7.6 The key issue is whether the overall level of provision (60 hectares) is sufficient to meet future needs. As discussed earlier, the Oxfordshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment (2014) was informed by a separate economic study prepared by independent consultants.

7.7 As part of the study, the consultants assessed whether the planned level of business land provision in each of the Oxfordshire districts is sufficient to meet their future job forecasts. The consultants conclude under their 'planned economic growth' scenario that there will be 7,900 new jobs created in West Oxfordshire during the period 2011 - 2031.

7.8 Notwithstanding the District Council's concerns over these economic forecasts (see Section 4) they do provide a guide as to whether the Local Plan has identified a sufficient amount of new business land.

7.9 Given that only a proportion of the potential 7,900 new jobs will locate on B-class land (around 4,000 jobs) the expected capacity of the 60 hectares identified in the draft Local Plan (around 6,500 jobs) is more than sufficient to meet future economic needs, particularly if those economic forecasts are somewhat optimistic as identified in Section 4.

7.10 Although the overall level of business land provision at 60 hectares appears more than sufficient to cater for potential job increases, around 25 hectares is not yet identified and is planned to come forward through organic growth including small-scale schemes and business expansions.

7.11 The Council is aware that in Carterton there is a desire locally to increase the amount of business land identified in order to attract additional inward investment and to help combat 'out-commuting' to other destinations.

7.12 The draft Local Plan (2012) makes provision at Carterton for 5 hectares of business land primarily at West Oxfordshire Business Park and Ventura Park. Some of this spare capacity is already accounted for and the Council considers that it would be useful to identify further land at Carterton for business use, however there are relatively few suitable sites available.

7.13 One potential option is for the Council to release the playing fields and sports pavilion located on the corner of Carterton Road and Norton Way for redevelopment to business use, subject to these existing facilities being replaced in a suitable location elsewhere.

7.14 This would provide around 4 hectares of additional B-class employment land and would form a logical complement to the two existing business parks opposite (see Figure 7.1).

Figure 7.1 - Existing Playing Pitches, Sports Pavilion and Business Parks at Monahan Way

 

7.15 The existing pitches could be replaced in a location on the edge of Carterton that has sufficient space to increase the level of provision and provide additional facilities as appropriate.

Consultation Question 21) Business Land Provision

Do you agree with the overall level of business land provision identified in the emerging Local Plan (60 hectares)?

Option Results Count
Agree
Disagree
Observation

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Consultation Question 22) Business Land Provision

Do you agree that there is a need to provide additional business land in Carterton to attract inward investment?

Option Results Count
Agree
Disagree
Observation

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Consultation Question 23) Business Land Provision

Do you support the potential option of using the District Council’s playing pitches at Monahan Way for business use, subject to their replacement in a suitable location elsewhere? If so, where should the replacement pitches be provided?

Option Results Count
Support
Object
Observation

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Consultation Question 24) Business Land Provision

Are there any other sites in or around Carterton that would be suitable for business use?

Option Results Count
Yes
No
Observation

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