West Oxfordshire Proposed Submission Local Plan 2011-2031

Chipping Norton Strategy

9.4.31 Having regard to the profile and key issues outlined above, the strategy for the Chipping Norton sub-area is set out below. Regard should also be had to the emerging Chipping Norton Neighbourhood Development Plan.

Housing

9.4.32 In accordance with the overall strategy, the majority of future housing development within this sub-area will be located at Chipping Norton which is the District's third largest town and offers a good range of services and facilities. New housing in the rest of the sub-area will be limited to meeting local community and business needs and will be steered towards the larger villages.

9.4.33 It is anticipated that the overall housing requirement (1,800 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 9.3 - Anticipated Housing Delivery in the Chipping Norton Sub-Area

Chipping Norton sub-area indicative housing requirement

1,800

Homes already completed (2011 - 2014)

87

Existing planning commitments as of 1st February 2015 including:

  • Cromwell Park (96)
  • Penhurst School (101)
  • Rural exception sites (8)
  • Other permissions (164)

369

East Chipping Norton Strategic Development Area (SDA)

600

Identified SHLAA capacity

350

Windfall allowance (25 per year 2015 - 2031)

400

Total

1,806

 

Past completions, existing commitments, SHLAA sites and windfall

9.4.34 In the first three years of the plan period (2011 - 2014) a total of 87 homes have already been completed in the Chipping Norton sub-area. As of 1st February 2015, a further 369 homes already benefit from planning permission or resolution to grant permission subject to Section 106.

9.4.35 In addition, the Council's SHLAA (June 2014) has identified capacity for around 350 new homes on a number of sites in Chipping Norton. These are assessed in detail in the SHLAA (available separately) and include the following:

  • Land south of Walterbush Road/Cotswold Crescent
  • Former Castle View Care Home and Ambulance Station
  • Former Parker Knoll Site/Rockhill Farm London Road (see below)
  • Land at the Pillars, Banbury Road

9.4.36 The possible provision of housing on the former Parker Knoll site (which has been previously reserved for business use) would be dependent on an alternative replacement site being identified for business use elsewhere. A potential site for employment use exists to the north-east at Rockhill Farm on London Road (see Figure 9.11). Alternatively the Rockhill Farm site itself could itself be used for housing with the former Parker Knoll site brought forward for business use. Bringing them both forward for housing would not be appropriate given the identified need for additional business space.

9.4.37 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 reasonable estimate is that such schemes would provide 25 homes per year within the Chipping Norton sub-area over the remaining period of the Local Plan (2015 - 2031) thereby providing an additional 400 new homes.

Strategic Development Areas (SDAs)

9.4.38 Although there are some opportunities to redevelop brownfield land within Chipping Norton to provide new housing, this will not be sufficient to meet the indicative housing requirement for this sub-area. As such there is a need to consider potential options on the edge of the town. In this regard, the land to the east of the town is generally accepted as the only potential direction in which strategic growth can occur because the other sides of the town fall within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

9.4.39 The site has been subjected to rigorous assessment including Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and is considered to represent a sustainable development opportunity. Further explanation is provided below. Regard should also be had to relevant supporting background evidence.

Land East of Chipping Norton Strategic Development Area (SDA) - 600 homes (Chipping Norton Parish)

9.4.40 Land to the east of Chipping Norton which falls within Chipping Norton Parish has been identified as a potential option for growth throughout the preparation of this Local Plan. In response to the increased housing requirement suggested by the Oxfordshire SHMA (2014) the Council consulted on the inclusion of the site in a local plan consultation paper published in August 2014.

9.4.41 The draft allocation (500 homes) attracted a number of comments which have since been carefully considered. The Council's assessment of the site has been updated and the Council is satisfied that there are no reasons to preclude the site from the local plan.

9.4.42 The site represents a sustainable development opportunity to help meet the future housing needs of West Oxfordshire. It is located within comfortable walking and cycling distance of Chipping Norton Town Centre, it lies outside the AONB, is not affected by flooding or heritage assets and there are no significant constraints to the site coming forward. It is also owned primarily by Oxfordshire County Council who are actively promoting the site.

9.4.43 As such, this Local Plan allocates the land to the east of Chipping Norton for the provision of a sustainable urban extension. The indicative capacity of the site has been increased to 600 new homes in order to meet the overall housing target. It is considered that this quantum of development can be accommodated on the site without undue harm in terms of landscape impact subject to appropriate mitigation. It will also help to ensure the viability of a new primary school to be delivered as part of the allocation.

9.4.44 The proposed allocation is shown below (note: the extent of the developable area shown is indicative only).

9.4.45 Key considerations for this site include landscape impact, access arrangements, school capacity and the need to create a sustainable, mixed community that integrates effectively with the existing town.

9.4.46 In terms of landscape impact, it will be necessary to demonstrate though a landscape led approach to the siting, layout and mass and scale of the development that the proposed quantum of development can be accommodated without undue landscape and visual impact.

 Fig 9.12 Tank Farm SDA

 

9.4.47 With regard to access, it is unlikely that a vehicular access can be achieved through the existing residential area to the west or via the track to the south running adjacent to the secondary school. Vehicular access is therefore likely to be achieved from two points, via Trinity Road onto London Road and via Fowlers Barn onto London Road. The onus will be on the developer to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the County Council as highway authority that satisfactory vehicular access can be achieved.

9.4.48 In terms of school capacity, because primary school capacity in Chipping Norton and the surrounding areas is relatively limited, it is a requirement of any proposed development on this site that a new primary school will be provided. The site is close to the existing secondary school where there is adequate capacity to absorb additional pupil numbers.

9.4.49 With regard to the mix of uses on the site, given the scale of development proposed it is anticipated that this development will provide a balanced, mixed community with a new school, local centre and other supporting facilities. The scale and mix of uses in the local centre would be intended to meet the needs of the development and not compete with the Town Centre. There is also good potential for the development to include an element of additional business space.

9.4.50 Other facilities will be sought as part of the overall mix of development including open space, play facilities and any other requirements identified as being necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms.

 

Policy CN1 - East Chipping Norton Strategic Development Area (600 homes)

 

Land to the east of Chipping Norton to accommodate a sustainable, integrated community that forms a positive addition to the town, including:

a) about 600 homes with a balanced and appropriate mix of residential accommodation to meet identified needs, including affordable housing;

b) provision for additional business floorspace of around 1.5 ha as part of the overall quantum and mix of development;

c) the provision of appropriate landscaping measures to mitigate the potential impact of development;

d) satisfactoryvehicular access arrangements to be agreed in principle with the highway authority and demonstrated through a robust Transport Assessment (TA);

e) theprovision of a new primary school on-site (1.5FE (including foundation stage) with 2FE core facilities to enable future expansion of the school);

g) provision of local convenience shopping, community and leisure facilities through the creation of a local centre, with due consideration given to any potential impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre;

h) green space and biodiversity enhancements including arrangements for future maintenance;

i) appropriate measures to mitigate flood risk including the use of sustainable drainage methods to ensure that post-development surface water run-off rates are attenuated to achieve a reduction in greenfield run-off rates. The sustainable drainage systems should be designed to provide a biodiversity enhancement.

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

k) mitigation measures to ensure there is no detrimental impact on groundwater quality

l) supporting transport infrastructure, including proposals to mitigate the impact of traffic associated with the development, and incorporating a comprehensive network for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport with links to adjoining areas;

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

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

 

Employment

9.4.51 There is an identified shortage of business land in Chipping Norton. As such, a key element of the local strategy for the sub-area is to increase the supply of business land in suitable, accessible locations.

9.4.52 A number of opportunities have been identified including the proposed SDA to the east of the town which it is anticipated could provide around 1.5ha. In addition, there is the scope to utilise the former Parker Knoll site (1.95ha) and land at Rockhill Farm (2.75ha) for business use as well as the highway depot (0.4ha) and the remainder of the previous Local Plan allocation north of London Road (0.7ha). Total additional provision if all of these sites were to be used for business use would be around 7.3ha.

9.4.53 We will also support the retention of the existing older business sites on the western side of the town and other key employment sites within the rural areas. The principle of modernisation and improvement to ensure premises remain fit for purpose is supported.

9.4.54 New 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.

Transport

9.4.55 Transport is an important issue for the Chipping Norton sub-area. Key issues to address include the impact of HGV movements through the town centre on air quality and amenity, the existence of deficiencies in existing bus services, relatively poor pedestrian and cycling opportunities within the town and the surrounding area and car parking capacity.

9.4.56 In terms of HGV movements, Oxfordshire County Council have commissioned a feasibility study for the implementation of the lorry management measures identified in the Chipping Norton Air Quality Action Plan. They also propose to conduct a review of the environmental weight restrictions across the County paying particular attention to those areas which are subject to high and significant levels of HGV traffic. This will focus on places which currently do not have any restrictions in force including Chipping Norton.

9.4.57 We will therefore work in partnership with the County Council, Chipping Norton Town Council and other relevant parties to implement the necessary improvements to alleviate the impact of HGVs on the Town Centre.

9.4.58 In terms of bus service provision, Chipping Norton is reasonably well-served for a rural market town but there is scope for further enhancement. In the emerging Neighbourhood Plan the Town Council has identified the potential provision of a new bus terminal under their identified infrastructure requirements. We will therefore work with the Town Council, County Council and bus operators to improve the range, frequency and speed of bus services to key destinations as well as seeking to improve the quality and availability of waiting facilities and considering the potential provision of a new bus terminal. Where appropriate, we will seek the provision of improvements to bus services through new development either directly as part of the development or through an appropriate financial contribution.

9.4.59 In terms of walking and cycling, the relatively compact nature of the town means there is good scope for encouraging more active forms of travel which will also have a number of health benefits. We will work with the County Council to identify necessary improvements to facilitate the movement of pedestrians and cyclists in and around the town and surrounding areas including new and enhanced routes as well as the provision of cycle parking at key destinations.

9.4.60 Public car parking capacity in Chipping Norton will be further assessed in 2015 as part of the Council's emerging Parking Strategy. Improvements to the efficiency and availability of public car parking in Chipping Norton will be sought as appropriate.

Retail and Leisure

9.4.61 Chipping Norton is the main focus for retail and leisure activities within this sub-area. The town has a strong and diverse retail offer but remains vulnerable to out of centre development. We will through the Local Plan therefore seek to safeguard and reinforce the role of Chipping Norton Town Centre.

9.4.62 The High Street and Market Place are designated as a primary shopping frontage where the loss of shops will be resisted to help preserve this rural market town's character and vibrancy. Elsewhere secondary shopping frontages are defined as areas appropriate for a wider range shops, leisure uses and services which complement the shopping offer of the centre.

9.4.63 There may be potential for further proposals in the town centre although they must respect the historic burgage plots and maintain good pedestrian access to the High Street. Other shopping and leisure proposals will be supported where they further enhance the viability of the town centre as a whole.

9.4.64 Parking availability will be further assessed with any necessary improvements identified as appropriate.

Fig 9.13 Chipping Norton Town Centre

Environment and Heritage

9.4.65 The sub-area is environmentally sensitive containing a large proportion of AONB, areas of ancient woodland, historic parks and gardens and part of the Wychwood Project Area. In accordance with national policy and relevant policies of this Local Plan we will ensure that these areas are safeguarded from the harmful impact of inappropriate forms of development.

9.4.66 In accordance with Policy EH1 and national policy, any proposed development within the AONB will be expected to conserve landscape and scenic beauty and major developments will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrated that they are in the public interest.

9.4.67 The historic environment is also a key consideration in this sub-area with several Conservation Areas, scheduled monuments, historic parks and gardens 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

9.4.68 There are a number of identified infrastructure needs for Chipping Norton including additional public car parking, primary education, leisure facilities, library provision, play facilities, public transport improvements and pedestrian and cycle links.

9.4.69 Some of these will be provided directly as part of new developments (e.g. a new primary school as part of the proposed Strategic Development Area to the east of the town) whilst others will be provided indirectly through developer contributions and other potential sources of funding.

9.4.70 The IDP seeks to quantify the infrastructure improvements that will be 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. CIL revenues passed to local communities including the Town Council will be able to be spent on locally identified infrastructure priorities including those identified in the emerging Chipping Norton Neighbourhood Plan.

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

 

Policy CN2 - Chipping Norton Sub-Area Strategy

 

The focus of new housing, supporting facilities and additional employment opportunities will be Chipping Norton. 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 larger villages.

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

Delivery of around 1,800 new homes to be focused on Chipping Norton to include affordable housing and homes designed to meet a range of different needs including older people.

A strategic mixed-use development area of around 600 dwellings on the eastern side of Chipping Norton (see Policy CN1)

Retention and where appropriate modernisation of existing business premises together with the provision of additional business land of at least 4.5 hectares and up to 7.3 hectares located on the eastern side of the town.

conservation and enhancement of the town's landscape setting and heritage assets.

protection of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

working with the highway authority, the town council and other partners to reduce the impact of through traffic, especially lorries, upon the town centre and its air quality.

improving the range, frequency and speed of bus services to key destinations.

improving conditions throughout the town and surrounding areas for pedestrians and cyclists, including accessibility to bus and rail services.

a stronger town centre with new opportunities for retail and community facilities on land between High Street and Albion Street A primary shopping frontage is defined at the High Street and Market Place.

management of public car parking areas and the provision of adequate public car parking capacity to help support the town centre.

ensuring that new development makes appropriate and timely provision for necessary supporting infrastructure.

provision of new education and community facilities.

Redevelopment of suitable previously developed sites within the town provided they are not of high environmental value and the loss any existing use would not conflict with other relevant plan policies.

 

 

Fig 9.14 Chipping Norton Sub Area