West Oxfordshire Proposed Submission Local Plan 2011-2031

Carterton Strategy

9.3.40 Having regard to the profile and key issues outlined above, the proposed strategy for the Carterton sub-area is set out below.

Housing

9.3.41 In accordance with the overall strategy, future development within this sub-area will be focused predominantly at Carterton which as the district's second largest town, offers a good range of services facilities and represents a sustainable location for future development.

9.3.42 However, a distinctive characteristic of Carterton is the current imbalance of housing and job opportunities. In short, there are fewer jobs than resident workers which lead to a relatively high level of out-commuting (60%). This is in contrast to Witney which accommodates the majority of the District's job opportunities (around 35%).

9.3.43 In light of this, the proposed quantum of housing in the Carterton sub-area is lower than the Witney sub-area and to help the current imbalance of homes and jobs, there will be a particular focus on additional business land provision (see below).

9.3.44 It is anticipated that the overall housing requirement for this area (2,600 homes) will be met through a combination of homes already completed, existing commitments, sites identified in the Council's SHLAA, windfall development and an allocated Strategic Development Area (SDA). This is summarised in the table below.

Table 9.2 - Anticipated Housing Delivery in the Carterton Sub-Area

Carterton sub-area indicative housing requirement

2,600

Homes already completed (2011 - 2014)

135

Existing planning commitments as of 1st February 2015 including:

  • Land east of Carterton (700)
  • REEMA North (200)
  • Milestone Road (263)
  • Carterton Petrol Station (42)
  • New Road, Bampton (160)
  • North West Carterton (316)
  • Saxel Close, Aston (38)
  • Other permissions (102)

1,821

REEMA Central Strategic Development Area (SDA)

200

Identified SHLAA capacity

15

Windfall allowance (25 per year 2015 - 2031)

400

Total

2,571

 

Past completions, existing commitments, SHLAA sites and windfall

9.3.45 In the first three years of the plan period (2011 - 2014) a total of 135 homes have already been completed in the Carterton sub-area. As 1st February 2015, a further 1,821 homes already benefit from planning permission or resolution to grant permission subject to Section 106.

9.3.46 The largest of these sites is land to the east of Carterton which was the subject of a draft local plan allocation in 2012 and 2014 and now benefits from a resolution to grant outline planning permission for 700 homes. A further 316 homes are also committed on land to the north west of Carterton with 200 new homes also proposed for service families on the MOD REEMA North site in Carterton.

9.3.47 In addition, the Council's SHLAA (June 2014) has identified capacity for around 15 new homes on a couple of small sites within the Carterton sub-area. These are assessed in detail in the SHLAA (available separately) and include the following:

  • Pear Tree Farm, Filkins and Broughton Poggs
  • Land off the Elms, Langford

9.3.48 It is also considered appropriate to include a 'windfall' allowance to cater for unidentified sites that are likely to come forward for housing over the period of the Local Plan. Based on past evidence, a conservative estimate is that such schemes would provide 25 homes per year within the Carterton sub-area over the remaining period of the Local Plan (2015 - 2031) thereby providing an additional 400 new homes.

Strategic Development Areas (SDAs)

9.3.49 A single Strategic Development Area (SDA) is proposed within the Carterton sub-area, the REEMA Central site in Carterton which is expected to deliver a net increase of around 200 new homes. This will complement the committed urban extension schemes to the east and north-west of the town which between them will deliver just over 1,000 new homes.

REEMA Central Strategic Development Area (SDA) – 200 homes (Carterton Parish)

9.3.50 The REEMA Central site currently accommodates a number of existing MOD properties but has been declared surplus to requirements pending the redevelopment of the adjoining REEMA North site for 200 service family homes. Once that scheme is complete (expected 2016) the REEMA Central site will be made available to the open market.

9.3.51 The site is previously developed land and is very close to the town centre. It represents a sustainable development opportunity and its potential redevelopment has been well-supported through previous consultation. Given the relatively high existing use value of the site, complete redevelopment, whilst desirable, may not be financially viable.

9.3.52 A more likely outcome is a potential for some redevelopment, combined with new build infill development on the parts of the site that are currently undeveloped. It is anticipated that the net increase in housing on the REEMA Central site is likely to be around 200 new homes. The proposed allocation is shown in Figure 9.8.

Fig 9.8 REEMA Central

9.3.53 In the longer term there may be some potential for further redevelopment of MOD housing in Carterton. There are several existing areas where the density of development is relatively low and the quality of the housing stock and surrounding environs relatively poor. At this stage however, none of those properties have been declared surplus to requirements so they cannot be relied upon to deliver additional housing to meet the indicative target for this area. 

 

Policy CA1 - REEMA Central Strategic Development Area (SDA)

 

Land at REEMA Central to accommodate a sustainable, integrated community that forms a positive addition to Carterton.Proposals for development should be consistent with the following:

a) a net increase of about 200 homes with a range of residential accommodation to meet identified needs including affordable housing.

b) provision of high quality pedestrian and cycle links to the Town Centre and other key destinations.

c) contribution towards education and indoor and outdoor leisure provision in the local area.

d) appropriate provision for green infrastructure.

e) necessary supporting transport infrastructure, including proposals to mitigate the impact of traffic associated with the development.

f) connection to the mains sewerage network which includes infrastructure upgrades where required including any necessary phasing arrangements.

g) demonstrate the use of renewable energy, sustainable design and construction methods, with a high level of energy efficiency in new buildings.

h) the developer will be required to set aside 5% of the developable plots for those wishing to undertake custom/self-build.

 

 

Alternative Options

9.3.54 Two other main options have been considered for the expansion of Carterton including land to the north and west of the town. Having regard to the overall housing requirement and evidence prepared in support of the Local Plan[1] these sites have not been allocated.

9.3.55 Land to the north of Carterton which falls within Brize Norton Parish is considered to be poorly related to the town, relatively remote from the town centre and segregated by the Kilkenny Lane Country Park. It is poorly served by public transport and development in this location would require significant improvements to the Burford Road.

9.3.56 Land to the west of Carterton which straddles the boundaries of Carterton and Alvescot Parishes is segregated from the town by virtue of the Shill Brook Valley and major development in this location would be poorly related to the town and have a harmful landscape impact.

1. Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Site Assessment Matrix [back]

Employment

9.3.57 At present there is an imbalance of homes and jobs in the Carterton sub-area with fewer job opportunities than economically active residents. This leads to relatively high levels of out-commuting to other locations including Witney.

9.3.58 There is a clear need to increase the supply of business land in Carterton. At present there is a relatively limited supply with around 1.5 acres available at Ventura Park, and 7.9 acres at West Oxfordshire Business Park. This could be quickly filled if one or two large employers were to move to the area.

9.3.59 Carterton Town Council has expressed a clear desire to increase the supply of business land in Carterton in order to attract inward investment, increase job opportunities and reduce levels of out-commuting. This aim is a key theme of the emerging masterplan for the town. The Council's own economic evidence confirms that Carterton is in need of additional business land provision to help address the current imbalance of homes and jobs and as such the Local Plan seeks to address this situation.

9.3.60 In accordance with the overall strategy and supporting evidence, Carterton will be a focus for additional business and employment opportunities within the District. The Council will work with landowners, developers and the Town Council to secure the provision of at least 10 hectares of additional business land over the period of the Local Plan.

9.3.61 One option is to re-locate the existing leisure facilities on the corner of Monahan Way and Carterton Road to an alternative location (potentially linked to other related facilities) and to use the site for employment instead. This would create an effective business 'cluster' with the existing Ventura and West Oxfordshire business parks nearby. Any such proposal would be subject to replacement provision of the existing leisure facilities in a suitable, accessible location.

9.3.62 The Council will work with relevant partners including Carterton Town Council to consider this option further and to also investigate the possibility of other sites that could be brought forward for business use.

9.3.63 It is anticipated that the provision of new employment land could also facilitate the upgrading of some of the town's existing employment land stock through the provision of modern business premises enabling businesses to move and expand. There may be potential for example for the redevelopment of the older Carterton South Industrial Estate in the medium to longer term.

9.3.64 We will therefore seek the retention of existing employment sites and support in principle, the modernisation of premises to ensure they remain fit for purpose.

9.3.65 Employment provision in the rest of the sub-area will generally be limited to meeting local community and business needs. Rural diversification projects will be supported in principle subject to Policy E2.

Transport

9.3.66 Transport is a key issue for the Carterton sub-area which includes a number of key routes. Whilst not as congested as Witney, the central areas of Carterton are prone to some congestion and importantly the town is poorly connected to the strategic road network including the A40. The Local Plan therefore seeks to improve access to and from the town, promote greater use of walking cycling and public transport and reduce congestion in the Town Centre.

9.3.67 In terms of improving access to the Town, the County Council has established that the B4477 Minster Lovell Road should be prioritised for upgrading from a B classification road to 'A' classification. This will have a number of benefits including a diversion of military freight vehicles from less suitable routes including the Town Centre. Complementary measures in the surrounding rural area may also be sought to support this scheme.

9.3.68 The proposed upgrade will be complemented by the provision of west facing slip roads at the A40/B4477 Minster Lovell junction in order to serve operations at RAF Brize Norton and help support future employment growth at Carterton.

9.3.69 In terms of walking and cycling, the size of Carterton means that these represent realistic alternatives to the private car which is reflected in the relatively high proportion of residents who currently walk or cycle to work locally. There are however opportunities for further improvements which the Council will seek to introduce in partnership with the County Council, the Town Council, developers/landowners and other relevant parties.

9.3.70 Where appropriate, new development will be required to provide necessary improvements, either directly or via a financial contribution. The Council will continue to support the concept of a cycle route between Witney and Carterton and funding will be sought from new development and other potential sources.

9.3.71 In terms of public transport, Carterton is reasonably well-served by bus although there is scope to improve the frequency of services as well as providing new bus stops in appropriate locations, improved links to waiting facilities and improved quality of waiting facilities such as cycle parking. We will therefore work with the County Council as highway authority to secure such improvements including as part of new development where appropriate.

9.3.72 In terms of congestion in the Town Centre, no definitive measures are proposed at this time but the proposed improvements to the B4477 outlined above will help to reduce the numbers of military freight vehicles travelling through the Town Centre. We will continue to work in partnership with the County Council and Town Council to determine other appropriate measures to improve the environment of the town centre.

Retail and Leisure

9.3.73 Despite recent improvements, for a town of its size, Carterton's town centre offer remains below par, particularly in terms of comparison (non-food) retail and supporting complimentary uses such as coffee shops, bars and restaurants.

9.3.74 The Town Council is keen to turn Carterton Town Centre into a more vibrant and attractive retail and leisure destination. This was a key theme of some design work undertaken on behalf of the Town Council in 2012[2] . One of the recommendations was to provide a new public space and site for the weekly market adjacent to the Town Hall and this has now been implemented.

9.3.75 Other recommendations relating to the Town Centre included:

  • Improving linkages to the town centre from the rest of the town;
  • Improving the quality of the public realm;
  • Creating attractive, safe and uncluttered streets and spaces for all users of the town centre, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists;
  • Improving the cross roads at the heart of the town;
  • Maintaining and mending the continuity of building frontages to enclose streets and other public spaces to ensure lively and safe places;
  • Improving legibility (way finding and distinctiveness);
  • A complementary and wider range of uses that add to the life and vitality of the town centre, both in the day and at night; and
  • Adding cycle parking and maintaining levels of car parking to serve the town centre

9.3.76 Five distinct areas were identified as priorities for action including; the main streets, the cross roads, the market square and adjoining links, the north parade along the Burford Road and the south parade along the Black Bourton Road. A number of recommendations were made for each of these areas including new and improved frontages, better connectivity and an overarching desire to bind the centre together better as a 'single place'.

9.3.77 More recently, the Town Council has commissioned a masterplan for Carterton, the emerging draft of which highlights an aspiration to improve the range and quality of shops in Carterton and provide quality restaurants, pubs and night time activities. One of the key principles of the masterplan is to deliver a vibrant and attractive town centre.

9.3.78 The masterplan includes a Town Centre strategy which seeks to secure the future role of the town centre, ensure its vitality and viability, widen and secure the retail offer, reduce the number of vacancies and prevent against unsuitable out of town development that would undermine the role of the town centre as well as marketing Carterton as a destination and clear brand.

9.3.79 Specific recommendations include:

  • New development opportunities to attract new shops and improve the town centre offer with potential redevelopment sites on Burford Road and Alvescot Road;
  • New development opportunities to encourage quality restaurants, cafes and pubs to located in the town centre;
  • Community hub to encourage social networking and address shortfall in youth and community facilities;
  • Highway improvements including increased junction capacity and new crossing arrangements at the cross roads;
  • New seating and cycle parking;
  • Property and public realm enhancement along the main streets to improve the character and resident and visitor experience and bind the centre together as a single place;
  • Rationalise existing car parking to the rear of North Parade to ensure efficient use and potential for flexible space for festivals and events;
  • Inter-lined features of public art and lighting;
  • Interpretation boards or plaques highlighting the history of the town or promoting a town attraction;
  • Way finding strategy to include finger post sign or homing beacon to provide orientation; and
  • Animation point or passive area with seating along main streets.

9.3.80 The District Council is entirely supportive of improvements being sought to Carterton Town Centre and will work in partnership with the Town Council and other relevant parties to achieve this. Some of these measures are outside the scope of the planning system although many can be directly influenced through new development and the Local Plan therefore has a key role to play.

9.3.81 In order to retain and promote the vitality and viability of the Town Centre, the Local Plan identifies a Primary Shopping Frontage along the southern side of Alvescot Road, part of Black Bourton Road and including the Co-op (see Figure 9.9). This primary area is intended to provide the principal focus for retail uses within the town and the loss of shops to other uses will be resisted.

9.3.82 Secondary Shopping Frontages are identified along the Burford Road, the northern edge of Alvescot Road and part of Black Bourton Road. These areas are intended to include a wider range of shops, leisure uses and services which complement the primary shopping offer of the centre (see Figure 9.8).

9.3.83 The extent of the primary and secondary frontages will be kept under review and redefined if necessary (for example where the redevelopment of an area for retail development would warrant it being included within the primary shopping frontage area).

9.3.84 The Local Plan also supports in principle the redevelopment of a number of opportunity sites within the Town Centre of Carterton. These sites are identified on Figure 9.9 and include the existing shopping parade along Burford Road which represents an underutilised space with the potential for a much improved frontage to Burford Road and more efficient use of the space potentially in the form of a mixed-use development.

9.3.85 Further opportunities exist along the western edge of Black Bourton Road and the southern edge of Alvescot Road. These present similar opportunities for improved, active frontages with a mix of different uses, together with a much more efficient use of space.

9.3.86 Other town centre improvement measures to be sought by the District Council in partnership with Carterton Town Council include:

  • Provision of improved access, particularly for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users, whilst not precluding the potential for pedestrianisation;
  • Improved linkages from the Town Centre to other parts of the town;
  • Improvements to the main crossroads area including vehicular, cycle and pedestrian movements and improvements to the adjoining public realm and building frontages;
  • The promotion of a distinct and continuous tree-lined 'green avenue' along the main streets;
  • The provision of 'gateway' features to properly demarcate arrival into the Town Centre;
  • Retention and provision of convenient and sufficient car parking to cater for current and future requirements (to be kept under review);
  • Support in principle for the provision of new mixed-use developments of suitable and complementary uses;
  • Improved legibility and orientation for residents and visitors; and
  • Improvements to the quality of the public realm including the provision of public art and improved street furniture.

9.3.87 The proposed Town Centre strategy is summarised in Policy CA2 below.

2. Transform Places [back]

 

Policy CA2 – Carterton Town Centre Strategy

 

Carterton Town Centre will become the local retail centre of choice for those living and working in the town and surrounding villages:

- Provide a wider range of well integrated shops, eating and drinking establishments, leisure opportunities, public spaces and ancillary town centre facilities including ancillary residential development.

- Create distinctive and attractive shopping frontages through high quality traditional and contemporary design and landscaping, utilising high quality materials with some local references, and retaining and enhancing existing trees and planted areas where appropriate.

- Retain and provide adequate car parking and provide for improved access, particularly for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users, whilst not precluding the potential for pedestrianisation.

- A primary shopping frontage is defined to the south side of Alvescot Road and Brize Norton Road to provide a focal point for shopping within the centre and within which the loss of shops will be resisted.

- Secondary shopping frontages are defined along the northern side of Alvescot Road, Burford Road and the western side of Black Bourton Road. The loss of town centre uses from shopping frontages will be resisted and excessive concentrations of uses that could affect amenity or vitality will be avoided.

- Potential redevelopment of a number of opportunity sites including land on the western side of Burford Road, the southern side of Alvescot Road and the western side of Black Bourton Road. To provide more active and vibrant frontages and efficient use of available space potentially though mixed-use development of complementary uses.

- The main streets will be promoted as a distinctive tree-lined 'green avenue' with gateway features used to demarcate arrival into the Town Centre.

- Improvements to the main crossroads to facilitate vehicular, pedestrian and cycle movement and improve the quality of the surrounding environs.

- Improvements to the quality of the public realm including the provision of public art and street furniture.

Developer contributions and funding from other potential sources will be sought towards these and other Town Centre improvements as appropriate.

 

Fig 9.9 Carterton Town Centre

Environment and Heritage

9.3.88 Whilst perhaps not as environmentally sensitive as some parts of the District, there are some important environmental considerations in the Carterton sub-area including the extensive mineral consultation area in the south, the Shill Brook Valley Conservation Target Area (CTA) flood risk and noise from RAF Brize Norton.

9.3.89 In relation to mineral extraction the Council will continue to liaise with the County Council as mineral planning authority and the Lower Windrush Valley Project in relation to the future extraction of sand and gravel within the Lower Windrush Valley and related after-use for alternative purposes. We will seek to ensure that new development does not unreasonably sterilise mineral resources or be detrimentally affected by the winning of minerals within this area.

9.3.90 In terms of the Shill Brook CTA, in accordance with the overarching aims of the designation we will seek to restore biodiversity and landscape through the restoration and management of habitat. New development will not be permitted where it would have a negative impact on the Shill Brook Valley and where appropriate, we will seek to secure improvements to it through new development.

9.3.91 With regard to the River Thames we will seek to support tourism and leisure proposals which are sensitive to and where appropriate enhance the ecological, landscape and heritage value of the River Thames.

9.3.92 The issue of flood risk will be carefully considered throughout the Carterton sub-area in accordance with national policy and Policy EH5 of this Local Plan.

9.3.93 Noise related to RAF Brize Norton is to some extent an inevitable fact of life for settlements close to the airbase. However, we will seek to ensure that new developments are not adversely affected by noise from the base in accordance with national policy and Policy EH6 of this Local Plan.

9.3.94 In terms of the historic environment, this sub-area includes a number of heritage assets including ancient woodland, several Conservation Areas, Scheduled Monuments and numerous listed buildings. In accordance with national policy and Policy EH7 all new development will be expected to conserve or enhance the special character and distinctiveness of West Oxfordshire's historic environment and preserve or enhance the District's heritage assets and their significance and settings.

Infrastructure

9.3.95 There are a number of identified infrastructure needs for Carterton including additional open space, the second phase of the leisure centre, a new fire station, cemetery, enhancement of the Shill Brook Conservation Target Area, allotments, education, pedestrian and cycle links, public transport, highway improvements, public art etc.

9.3.96 Some of these will be provided directly as part of new developments (e.g. a new primary school as part of the committed urban extension to the east of Carterton) whilst others will be provided indirectly through developer contributions and other potential sources of funding.

9.3.97 The Council has prepared an Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) which seeks to quantify the infrastructure improvements that will needed to support the planned level and distribution of growth set out in the Local Plan. This will form the basis upon which future decisions regarding the provision of new or improved infrastructure will be made along with the Council's CIL regulation 123 list once introduced.

9.3.98 In accordance with Policy OS5, we will seek to ensure that all new development within the Carterton sub-area is supported by appropriate and timely provision of necessary supporting infrastructure.

 

Policy CA3 – Carterton Sub-Area Strategy

 

The focus of new housing, supporting facilities and additional employment opportunities will be Carterton. New development in the rest of the sub-area will be limited to meeting local community and business needs and will be steered towards the rural service centre and larger villages.

Proposals for development in the sub-area should be consistent with the strategy which includes:

delivery of around 2,600 new homes to be focused on Carterton and to include affordable housing and homes designed to meet a range of different needs including older people.

redevelopment of existing sub-standard MOD housing including a Strategic Development Area of about 200 dwellings (net) at REEMA Central (see Policy CA1)

satisfactorily accommodating the needs of RAF Brize Norton and of local communities and visitors and working with RAF Brize Norton to meet their needs and ensure their impacts are mitigated wherever possible

retention of remaining land for businesses (5ha) at West Oxfordshire Business Park and Ventura Park. Working in partnership with the Town Council and landowners to identify further opportunities for business land provision within and adjoining Carterton with the aim of delivering at least 10 hectares of high quality business land over the period of the Local Plan

a stronger and more attractive and well-connected town centre in accordance with the Carterton Town Centre development strategy (Policy CA2)

working with the highway authority, the Town Council and other partners to improve connections between Carterton and the primary road network and deliver necessary strategic transport improvements including the upgrading of the B4477 Minster Lovell Road to A-road standard and supporting complementary measures plus the provision of west facing slip roads at the junction of the B4477 and A40. Developer contributions and other potential sources of funding will be sought as appropriate.

Enhancing the frequency and coverage of bus services to key destinations as well as the quality of waiting facilities and improving conditions throughout the town for pedestrians and cyclists.

maintaining, enhancing and extending the green buffer on the northern edge of Carterton including between Carterton and Brize Norton village

protection and enhancement of the biodiversity and leisure value of the Shill Brook Valley

protection and enhancement of the character and setting of Carterton and the identity of neighbouring villages

avoiding development which will be at risk of or increase the risk of flooding and working with landowners/developers and partners such as the Environment Agency to deliver flood mitigation measures

ensuring that new development makes appropriate and timely provision for necessary supporting infrastructure, including provision of new green infrastructure, community and leisure facilities

working with the River Thames Alliance, support tourism and leisure proposals which are sensitive to and where appropriate enhance the ecological, landscape and heritage value of the River Thames.

 

Fig 9.10 Carterton Sub Area