West Oxfordshire Proposed Submission Local Plan 2011-2031

Burford-Charlbury Strategy

9.6.29 Having regard to the profile and key issues outlined above, the strategy for the Burford - Charlbury sub-area is set out below.


9.6.30 In accordance with the overall strategy, additional housing development in this sub-area will be focused primarily at Burford and Charlbury as designated rural service centres although given the relatively limited capacity of these settlements, some development is likely to be necessary in the larger villages.

9.6.31 The indicative housing requirement for this sub-area is 800 homes in the period 2011 - 2031. It is anticipated that this will be met through a combination of homes already completed, existing commitments, sites identified in the Council's SHLAA and windfall development. No sites are proposed to be allocated through the Local Plan at this stage. This is summarised in the table below.

Table 9.5 - Anticipated Housing Delivery in the Burford - Charlbury Sub-Area

Burford - Charlbury sub-area indicative housing requirement


Homes already completed (2011 - 2014)


Existing planning commitments as of 1st February 2015 including:

  • Rural exception sites (5)
  • Other permissions (184)


Identified SHLAA capacity


Windfall allowance (25 per year 2015 - 2031)





Past completions, existing commitments, SHLAA sites and windfall

9.6.32 In the first three years of the plan period (2011 - 2014) a total of 132 homes have already been completed in the Burford - Charlbury sub-area. As of 1st February 2015, a further 189 homes already benefit from planning permission or resolution to grant permission subject to Section 106.

9.6.33 In addition, the Council's SHLAA (June 2014) has identified capacity for around 84 new homes. These are assessed in detail in the SHLAA (available separately) and include the following:

  • Tanners Lane, Burford
  • Burford Cottage Hospital
  • Land south of Sheep Street, Burford
  • South of Milton Road, Shipton U Wychwood

9.6.34 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 Burford - Charlbury sub-area over the remaining period of the Local Plan (2015 - 2031) thereby providing an additional 400 new homes.


9.6.35 This is an important area in terms of employment, catering for almost 15% of the District's job opportunities. There are however few large employment sites and the emphasis is on relatively small-scale industrial estates and offices, many in converted buildings and within or on the edge of the towns and larger villages.

9.6.36 The proposed strategy is essentially to maintain the status quo. No specific sites have been identified for additional business land provision but there is an expectation that small-scale opportunities will continue to come forward over the period of the Local Plan on an organic basis both through the conversion of existing buildings and through small-scale development within or adjacent to the rural service centres and villages.

9.6.37 Where new buildings are proposed in rural locations it will need to be demonstrated that the business need cannot be met through the conversion of existing buildings or through the use of existing premises or land in more sustainable locations including designated service centres.

9.6.38 In accordance with Policy E1, proposals to improve the effectiveness of existing business sites will be supported where commensurate with the scale of the town or village and the character of the area. Existing sites will be safeguarded and non-business uses only permitted where a number of criteria can be met.

9.6.39 The current high levels of home-working in this area are recognised and will be supported further by ensuring that all new development has access to superfast broadband. Well-conceived farm diversification projects will be supported in principle subject to the requirements of Policy E2.


9.6.40 There are a number of transport issues to address in this area. In terms of the local highway network, a key issue to address is the impact of HGV movements through Burford which sits on the A361 and is thus a key through-route for freight traffic.

9.6.41 In this regard, the County Council intends to conduct a review of environmental weight restrictions across the County with a particular focus on those locations which are subject to high and significant levels of HGV traffic and do not have any current restrictions in place including Burford. We will therefore work with the County Council to further investigate measures that may be necessary to alleviate the impact of HGV traffic through Burford.

9.6.42 In terms of rail, we will work in partnership with the County Council and other partners including Network rail and train operators to develop the Oxfordshire Rail Strategy. This will help to identify necessary improvements to the stations along the Cotswold line that fall within this sub-area. A particular focus will be on ensuring adequate parking capacity is available and that connections to stations and the facilities available are improved wherever possible.

9.6.43 With regard to bus services, again we will work with the County Council to deliver improvements to the range and frequency of bus services available in this area and will seek developer contributions towards these improvements. We will also look at the quality of waiting facilities available including the availability of cycle parking.

9.6.44 In terms of active travel, we will seek to maintain and enhance the extensive network of paths, bridleways and quiet roads which currently provide routes for walking, cycling and riding in this area. Necessary measures to improve safety will be sought where appropriate including through developer funding.

9.6.45 The availability of public parking will be further considered through the Council's emerging parking strategy. At Burford where there is a known capacity issue, opportunities to improve the efficient use of available car parking and increase capacity will be taken where appropriate.

Retail and Leisure

9.6.46 In terms of retail, the key focus will be Burford. Here, the loss of shops within the town will be resisted in order to maintain its vitality and viability. Opportunities to enhance retail provision within the town will be supported in principle subject to Policy E6.

9.6.47 Elsewhere in the sub-area, local retail uses and other community facilities will be safeguarded in accordance with Policy E5.

Fig 9.18 Burford Town Centre

Environment and Heritage

9.6.48 This is an environmentally sensitive area, the vast majority of which falls within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Other sensitivities include the Wychwood Project Area, Conservation Target Areas, and several areas of ancient woodland.

9.6.49 Proposals within or affecting the AONB will be determined in accordance with Policy EH1 and the NPPF. 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.

9.6.50 The Council will work with partners in relation to Conservation Target Areas and where appropriate, development will be expected to make a positive contribution either directly or through a financial contribution.

9.6.51 This is an important area in terms of heritage and 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.


9.6.52 Infrastructure capacity is an important issue for this area. In addition to the transport related requirements outlined above the other key issue for this area appears to be primary school capacity. Like the rest of the District, there is also need for more affordable housing and housing for older people.

9.6.53 Some infrastructure improvements will be provided directly as part of new developments whilst others will be provided indirectly through developer contributions and other potential sources of funding. The IDP seeks to quantify the infrastructure improvements that will needed to support the planned level and distribution of growth set out in the Local Plan.

9.6.54 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 will be able to be spent on locally identified infrastructure priorities.

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


Policy BC1 - Burford - Charlbury Sub-Area Strategy


The focus of new development will be Burford and Charlbury.

Development in these rural service centres will be of an appropriate scale and type that would help to reinforce the existing service centre role. Development elsewhere will be limited to meeting local housing, 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 about 800 new homes to include affordable housing and homes designed to meet a range of different needs including older people.

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

protection and enhancement of the historic environment and heritage assets

protection and enhancement of the Upper Windrush Valley and Wychwood Project Area

enhancing public transport and pedestrian and cycle routes and infrastructure together with managing car parking to reduce car use for short journeys

avoiding development which will increase the risk of flooding and working with partners such as the Environment Agency to deliver flood mitigation measures

support for additional small-scale employment opportunities including sustainable tourism and rural diversification

Ensuring development has access to superfast broadband to facilitate home-working

seeking the retention and development of local services and community facilities throughout the sub-area and ensuring Burford Town Centre remains vibrant through resisting the loss of shops and other town centre uses, and promoting an increase in the availability and efficient use of parking provision in appropriate locations

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

The Council will work in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council to consider appropriate measures to mitigate the impact of HGV traffic on Burford.