Draft Local Plan October 2012

Locating Development in the Right Places

4.7 The location of development can influence how people choose to travel, where children go to school, how an area changes physically and socially and where people choose to live and work. Throughout the preparation of the Local Plan we have sought views on the most suitable locations for future development and tested various options through a process of sustainability appraisal (SA).

4.8 For the purposes of this Local Plan the District has been divided into five sub-areas:

  • Witney Sub-Area
  • Carterton Sub-Area
  • Chipping Norton Sub-Area
  • Eynsham - Woodstock Sub-Area
  • Burford - Charlbury Sub-Area

4.9 These are illustrated on Figure 4.1.

Figure 4.1 - West Oxfordshire Key Diagram and Sub-areas

Key Diagram no title

4.10 Taking account of previous consultation responses and sustainability appraisal (SA) the proposed strategy is to focus most future growth in the Witney, Carterton and Chipping Norton Sub-Areas, with a particular focus on Witney, Carterton and Chipping Norton. These towns offer the widest range of services and facilities, have suitable and deliverable development sites available, are accessible by a choice of transport modes and offer the greatest range of job opportunities. Strategic Development Areas (SDA) are proposed at Witney and Carterton with future growth at Chipping Norton to be delivered primarily through the Chipping Norton Neighbourhood Plan.

4.11 Not all growth can or indeed should go to Witney, Carterton and Chipping Norton and there is a need for development elsewhere in order to spread the potential benefits of growth and help sustain the more rural parts of the District. Outside of the three main towns, the focus of development will be the six rural service centres of Bampton, Burford, Charlbury, Eynsham, Long Hanborough and Woodstock. These contain a good range of services and facilities and are considered to be suitable for accommodating development of an appropriate scale and type that would help to reinforce their existing service centre roles and as such meet their development needs and those of their immediate hinterlands.

4.12 Beyond the rural service centres, some development will be supported in the villages but this will be limited to that which respects the village character and local distinctiveness and would help maintain the vitality of the local community. In the small villages, hamlets and open countryside, new development will be limited to that which requires and is appropriate for a rural location and which respects the intrinsic character of the area. In accordance with national policy, isolated new homes in the countryside will be avoided unless there are special circumstances .

4.13 New development should also take place on the most sustainable, available sites. These will be sites that accord best with the policies of this Local Plan which are founded on the principles of sustainability. However, in general terms they will be sites within or on the edge of a settlement and have the least environmental impact and best access, particularly on foot, to supporting services and facilities. The various settlements are listed in the table below and the overall approach towards each is summarised in Core Policy 2.

Table 4.1 - Settlement Hierarchy

Main Service Centres

Witney

Carterton

Chipping Norton

Rural Service Centres

Bampton

Burford

Charlbury

Eynsham

Long Hanborough

Woodstock

Villages

Alvescot

Aston

Bladon

Brize Norton

Cassington

Chadlington

Churchill

Clanfield

Combe

Curbridge

Ducklington

Enstone

Filkins & Broughton Poggs

Finstock

Freeland

Fulbrook

Great Rollright

Hailey

Kingham

Langford

Leafield

Middle Barton

Milton-u-Wychwood

Minster Lovell

North Leigh

Over Norton

Shipton-u-Wychwood

Standlake

Stanton Harcourt

Stonesfield

Tackley

Wootton

 

Small Villages, Hamlets and Open Countryside

All other villages and settlements not listed above.

CORE POLICY 2 - Locating Development in the Right Places


1) New homes, jobs and supporting services will be primarily focused within and on the edge of the main service centres of Witney, Carterton and Chipping Norton. This includes Strategic Development Areas (SDA) at Witney and Carterton with future growth at Chipping Norton to be delivered primarily through the Chipping Norton Neighbourhood Plan. Development elsewhere will be more limited and will focus on meeting locally identified community and business needs.

2) The rural service centres of Bampton, Burford, Charlbury, Eynsham, Long Hanborough and Woodstock are suitable for development of an appropriate scale and type that would help to reinforce their existing service centre role. Sites may be specifically identified within or on the edge of some of these service centres, including through Neighbourhood Plans.

3) The villages are suitable for limited development which respects the village character and local distinctiveness and would help to maintain the vitality of these communities. Sites within or on the edge of some of these villages may be specifically identified to help meet local needs, including through Neighbourhood Plans.

4) Having regard to the scale and type of development envisaged in the main service centres, rural service centres and villages, development will be permitted:

a) On sites specifically allocated in a local or neighbourhood development plan for the proposed use;

b) On land within existing built-up areas; and

c) On other land adjoining a town or village where the proposed development is necessary to meet a District-wide need or a specific local housing, economic or community need that cannot be met in a more sustainable way in terms of the criteria in 6) below and other policies in this plan 5) Development in the small villages, hamlets and open countryside will be limited to that which requires and is appropriate for a rural location and which respects the intrinsic character of the area. Appropriate development will include:

- re-use of appropriate existing buildings, with preference given to employment, tourism and community uses;

- new dwellings where there is an essential operational or other specific local need that cannot be met in any other way, including use of existing buildings. Any new homes provided (other than replacement dwellings) will be controlled by an occupancy condition linked to the operational need and/or to the 'rural exception site' approach for permanent affordable dwellings;

- new accommodation proposed in accordance with policies specifically for travelling communities;

- small-scale development which will remain ancillary to existing dwellings, such as to facilitate home-working or other residential annexes;

- proposals to support the effectiveness of existing businesses and sustainable tourism;

- development which will make a positive contribution to farm and country estate diversification; and

- telecommunications development sited and designed to minimise impact upon the environment.

6) As a general principle, all development will be located where:

- it forms a logical complement to the existing scale and pattern of development and the character of the area;

- it protects or enhances the local landscape and the setting of the settlement;

- it makes use of previously developed land where available, provided it is not of high environmental value;

- it does not involve the loss of an area of open space or any other feature that makes an important contribution to the character or appearance of the area;

- it can be provided with safe vehicular access and safe and convenient pedestrian access to supporting services and facilities;

- it is not at risk of flooding or likely to increase the risk of flooding elsewhere;

- it complies with policies for the protection of the natural environment and heritage assets;

- it safeguards mineral resources;

- in the Green Belt, it complies with national policies for the Green Belt;

- necessary supporting infrastructure can be provided.