West Oxfordshire Local Plan 2031 - PROPOSED MAIN MODIFICATIONS

West Oxfordshire Local Plan 2031 - MAIN MODIFICATIONS

SECTION 9 - STRATEGY AT THE LOCAL LEVEL

9. Strategy at the Local Level

9.1.1 For the purpose of this Local Plan, the District has been divided into five sub-areas based on landscape characteristics and local catchment areas for key services and facilities. These are:

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

9.1.2 The five sub-areas are illustrated on the map below.

 Figure 9.1 - Sub-Area Plan

9.1 Sub Area Plan

Witney Sub Area

9.1.3 In this section of the Local Plan we consider each sub-area in turn, identifying the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing them and setting out the strategy for addressing these.

Witney Sub-Area

9.2.1 This is the smallest of the five-sub areas covering an area of around 7,000 hectares. However, it is the most heavily populated, containing around 33,000 people. The majority of residents (28,000) live in Witney a vibrant and historic market town famed for its association with the blanket industry. Witney is the District's largest town, acting as the main service centre and offering a broad range of housing and employment opportunities as well as key services and facilities including retailing, health care, leisure and culture.

9.2.3 The rest of the sub-area comprises a number of villages and hamlets on the fringes of Witney including Crawley, Hailey, Minster Lovell, Ducklington, South Leigh and Curbridge. Although these places offer some local facilities they naturally look to Witney for most essential services.

Figure 9.2 - Witney Sub-Area

Housing

9.2.4 Most of the existing housing in this sub-area is located in Witney (around 12,000 dwellings) which has experienced major growth over the last 30 years, more than doubling its population. Much of this growth has been accommodated through successive urban extensions in the post-war era, to the north, west and east of the town.

9.2.5 Property prices are relatively high (although not as high as some parts of the District) and there is considerable housing need[1] with about 550 households on the housing waiting list having identified Witney as their preferred location. The County Council has also identified Witney as its priority location for the provision of specialist housing for adults with care and support needs.

9.2.6 Whilst there are some further opportunities for housing within the built up area of the town Witney, these are relatively limited and to accommodate future housing needs there is a need to develop on the fringes of the town on Greenfield land. This needs to be carefully balanced with the need to protect the town's setting and the separate identity of nearby villages. There are some further development opportunities within the rest of the sub-area although these are relatively modest in scale.

1. People who cannot afford to buy or rent a suitable property at market prices [back]

Employment

9.2.7 The Witney sub-area plays an important economic role containing around 35% just over 30% of the District's employment opportunities (almost 15,000 jobs) and almost 30% of the District's economically active residents[2] . Notably, there are more job opportunities than resident workers[3] . Whilst this is to be expected given the size and role of Witney, it does suggest a need to increase housing supply in order to provide a better balance of homes and jobs.

2. conomic snapshot and outlook report [back]
3. conomic snapshot and outlook report [back]

9.2.8 Witney is the main economic centre in the District and its role as a centre for blanket manufacturing was important in the town's expansion. Today the economy is diverse with a range of shopping, leisure and tourist facilities and accommodation, several small employment sites throughout the town and large employment estates on the southern and western edges. The town retains a strong manufacturing and engineering presence, and the availability of good quality employment sites on the western side of the town has attracted significant investment, including some high technology manufacturers linked to the Oxford Bioscience Cluster.

9.2.9 Around 10 hectares of land remains on several sites within the large employment area to the west of the town. However, much of this is earmarked for the future expansion of existing businesses meaning it is not available to facilitate inward investment from outside of the District. An additional 10 hectares is proposed as part of the committed urban extension at West Witney (see Figure 9.6) and will meet a significant proportion of future business land requirements in the town, benefitting from improved access onto the A40 via a new junction at Down's Road (see below). In the longer-term, the delivery of this new junction could also unlock further employment land potential to the west of Down's Road.

Transport

9.2.10 Transport is a key issue for the Witney sub-area which contains a number of important and well-used routes including the A40 the A4095 and A415. Although Witney has the best road connections and bus services in the District context, traffic congestion is a significant problem due to high car use particularly for journeys outside of Witney.

9.2.11 Improvements to the Ducklington Lane junction were implemented by Oxfordshire County Council in 2014 to help improve traffic flow, but problems persist in the historic core of the town around Bridge Street where the town's single river crossing creates a 'bottleneck' that causes delays to journey times and poor air quality.

9.2.12 A further key issue is the A40. Currently access to the A40 at Witney is relatively limited and the route is also heavily congested at peak times between Eynsham and the edge of Oxford. The A40 problems are seen as a major constraint to inward investment into the District as well as a great inconvenience for those sitting in long queues every day. A recent An award of £35m through the Local Growth Fund will be used to facilitate deliver improvements comprising a new park and ride at Eynsham and an eastbound bus lane from the park and ride toward Oxford. Longer-term improvements to the A40 have also been identified although funding is yet to be secured. but at this stage the scope and nature of those improvements has not been determined 

9.2.13 Relieving congestion through investment in transport infrastructure is not only important in terms of public amenity and air quality, it is also essential to unlocking future housing provision and sustainable economic growth.

Retail and Leisure

9.2.14 Witney is the primary shopping and a key leisure destination serving West Oxfordshire and beyond. With the historic Market Place and High Street at its core, the centre retains its market town character and has a large number of independent and national multiple retailers as well as service uses. The town centre is performing well, maintaining a strong market share with low vacancy rates.

9.2.15 Major developments including the Marriott's Walk town centre expansion and the extension to the Woolgate Centre have enhanced the shopping and leisure offer of the town. The availability of free car parking is a significant attraction over competing centres but car park capacity is already under pressure.

9.2.16 Evidence suggests there is capacity for additional shopping provision in Witney in the medium and longer term and recommends a strategy of phased development to reinforce the role of the town centre in the context of increasing competition elsewhere, such as Oxford.

Environment and Heritage

9.2.17 Witney grew up as a valley settlement near crossing points of the River Windrush. The river and associated floodplain forms a significant green corridor that is an important part of the character of the town and its historic setting as well as an ecological and recreational resource. The Windrush Valley is a designated Conservation Target Area (CTA) and includes the Windrush in Witney Project Area which provides guidance for the management of the area in order to protect and enhance its special landscape, character, ecological, cultural and recreational value.

9.2.18 Immediately to the south of the town is the Lower Windrush Valley Project Area, an area that has been transformed by sand and gravel extraction. The project was set up in 2001 and is a jointly funded initiative that seeks to strengthen and develop the evolving landscape of the valley, protect and enhance biodiversity, improve opportunities for countryside access and raise awareness of the issues that influence the valley environment.

9.2.19 Whilst representing a significant asset, the River Windrush and its tributaries create a flood risk and there have been several flood events in the Witney area with particularly severe flooding in July 2007.

9.2.20 The landscape surrounding the town is a mix of valley floor, valley side and open ridge and is generally sensitive to new development. Land to the north and east rises to form a prominent ridge which is a backdrop in many views to and from the town and where there are remnants of the ancient landscape of the Wychwood Forest.

9.2.21 In terms of the historic environment, as described above, Witney is an historic market town, famed for its association with the blanket industry with some of the former mill buildings having now been converted to new uses. A Conservation Area washes over much of the central area of the town and there are several scheduled monuments and numerous listed buildings. A number of the smaller settlements surrounding Witney also have designated Conservation Areas.

Infrastructure

9.2.22 Infrastructure provision within this sub-area is naturally focused on Witney as the District's main town. Witney offers a significant range of infrastructure including key roads, public transport, schools, health care, museum, library, sports pitches, informal open space, allotments, leisure centre and so on.

9.2.23 The growth of Witney in recent years has placed these services and facilities under increasing pressure and careful consideration is needed in terms of the impact of additional housing and business growth. This is a particularly important consideration for Witney which is intended to accommodate the majority a significant proportion of future development in the District to 2031.

Scope for Future Expansion

9.2.24 Opportunities for major development within the built up area of the town are relatively limited. This means that development on the fringes of the town will be required to meet future needs. Land to the west of the town (north Curbridge) is already committed and will deliver 1,000 homes and 10 hectares of new business land. The remaining options considered through the Local Plan process are to the south, east, north-east and north of the town. Opportunities for major development within the built up area of the town are relatively limited. This means that development on the fringes of the town will be required to meet future needs. Land to the west of the town (north Curbridge) is already committed by way of a resolution to grant planning permission subject to Section 106. The outline application anticipates 1,000 homes and 10 hectares of new business land but it is quite possible that a modest increase in the number of homes (e.g. to around 1,100) could be achieved as detailed planning applications are dealt with. The remaining strategic options considered through the Local Plan process are to the south, east, north-east north and further west of Witney. There are some further development opportunities within the rest of the sub-area although these are relatively modest in scale.

Key Issues - Summary

9.2.25 Drawing on the brief profile outlined above we can identify a number of key issues and challenges to be addressed in relation to the Witney sub-area. These include:

  • This is the smallest of the five sub-areas but is the most densely populated with most people living in the main town Witney;
  • Witney is a key service centre with other nearby settlements looking to it for their principal needs;
  • Witney is a vibrant and historic town and the protection of its setting and the individual identities of nearby villages is a key consideration;
  • Major housing development has taken place at Witney in the last 30 years doubling the population;
  • Property prices although not as high as some parts of the District are still high compared to the national average;
  • There is a high level of affordable housing need with Witney being the preferred location for almost half of the Council's housing waiting list;
  • Witney is a priority location for the provision of specialist housing for adults with care and support needs;
  • This sub-area plays an important economic role, particularly Witney which provides most of the District's job opportunities and economically active residents with a particularly strong presence of manufacturing and engineering;
  • There is currently an imbalance of homes and jobs with more job opportunities than resident workers;
  • Although there is additional business space available, much of this is already earmarked for the expansion of existing businesses rather than inward investment;
  • Witney is a key shopping and leisure destination with scope for additional shopping provision in the medium to long-term although parking capacity in the Town Centre is an issue at peak times;
  • Traffic congestion is a key issue for this area both in the centre of Witney and on the A40 toward Oxford;
  • Flood risk is an important issue due to the presence of the River Windrush;
  • This is an environmentally sensitive area with a number of local designations and a small element of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB);
  • There are significant mineral resources (sand and gravel) within the Lower Windrush Valley and the after-use of quarry sites presents good opportunities for suitable forms of informal recreation;
  • Heritage is also The conservation and enhancement of the historic environment is an important issue in this area which includes many heritage assets such as with a number of Conservation Areas, Scheduled Monuments and Listed Buildings;
  • There is an extensive range of infrastructure primarily at Witney but major growth in recent years has placed this under increasing pressure and future development will need to ensure that appropriate measures are put in place;
  • Relatively limited development opportunities within Witney mean that the development of Greenfield land on the edge of the town will be required to meet future needs. There are some further development opportunities within the rest of the sub-area although these are relatively modest in scale.

Strategy

9.2.26 Having regard to the profile and key issues outlined above, the strategy for the Witney sub-area is set out below. Regard will also be given to any adopted (made) Neighbourhood Plans in the sub-area.

Housing

9.2.27 In terms of future housing provision the indicative requirement for this sub-area is 3,700 4,400 new homes in the period 2011 - 2031. In accordance with the overall strategy, the majority of these new homes will be located at Witney which is ranked as the District's most sustainable settlement[4] and offers a number of opportunities for further development.

9.2.28 It is anticipated that the overall requirement will be met through a combination of homes already completed (2011 - 2014), existing commitments, sites identified in the Council's SHLAA [5] , windfall development and two allocated Strategic Development Areas (SDAs). This is summarised in the table below. It is anticipated that the overall requirement will be met through a combination of homes already completed (2011 - 2016), existing commitments, windfall development, two allocated Strategic Development Areas (SDAs) and two 'non-strategic' housing allocations. This is summarised in the table below. Further sites will also be identified through any subsequent review of this Local Plan.

Table 9.1 - Anticipated Housing Delivery in the Witney Sub-Area

Witney sub-area indicative housing requirement

3,700

Homes already completed (2011 - 2014)

154

Existing planning commitments as of 1st February 2015 including:

  • West Witney (1,000)
  • Coral Springs (185)
  • Buttercross Works (148)*
  • Springfield Nursery (36)
  • Other permissions (198)

1,567

East Witney Strategic Development Area (SDA)

400

North Witney Strategic Development Area (SDA)

1,000

Identified SHLAA capacity

164

Windfall allowance (25 per year 2015 - 2031)

400

Total

3,685

Table 9.1 - Anticipated Housing Delivery in the Witney Sub-Area

Witney sub-area indicative housing requirement

4,400

Homes already completed (2011 - 2016)

422

Existing large planning commitments as of 1st September 2016 (10 or more units) including:

  • West Witney (1,000)
  • Burford Road, Witney (260)
  • Coral Springs (155)*
  • Buttercross Works (16)*
  • Springfield Nursery (36)
  • Land at Northfield Farm, Witney (11)
  • Standlake Road, Ducklington (24)
  • Dark Lane, Witney (14)
  • Land at Thorney Leys, Witney (26)

1,542

Existing small planning commitments as of 1st September 2016 (less than 10 units)

133

East Witney Strategic Development Area (SDA)

450

North Witney Strategic Development Area (SDA)

1,400

Woodford Way Car Park, Witney

50

Land West of Minster Lovell

85

Anticipated windfall (2016 - 2031)

304

Total

4,386

*remaining units forming part of a larger scheme

4. West Oxfordshire Settlement Sustainability Report 2014 [back]
5. Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) [back]

Past completions, existing commitments, SHLAA sites and windfall

9.2.29 In the first three years of the plan period (2011 - 2014) a total of 154 homes were completed in the Witney sub-area. As of 1st February 2015, a further 1,567 homes are already committed[6] through the planning process. The largest of these sites is West Witney (north Curbridge) which was allocated as a reserve site in the adopted Local Plan and will deliver 1,000 new homes plus 10 hectares of new employment land In the first five years of the plan period (2011 - 2016) a total of 422 homes were completed in the Witney sub-area. As of 1st September 2016, a further 1,675 homes are already committed through the planning process[7] . This includes 1,542 homes on larger sites (i.e. 10 or more units) and 133 homes on smaller sites (i.e. less than 10 units). The largest committed site is the proposed West Witney (north Curbridge) urban extension which was allocated as a reserve site in the adopted Local Plan and is currently the subject to a resolution to grant outline consent subject to Section 106. The outline consent envisages the provision of 1,000 new homes plus 10 hectares of new employment land although it is possible that through detailed planning applications the number of new homes could increase to around 1,100.

9.2.30 In addition, the Council's SHLAA (June 2014) identifies capacity for around 164 new homes on a number of sites in Witney. These include:

  • Bus Depot and Garage, Corn Street
  • Scrap Yard, West End
  • Welch Way
  • Thames Water Depot, Dark Lane
  • Woodford Way car park
  • Land at the Woolgate Centre

9.2.31 It is also considered appropriate to include a 'windfall' allowance to cater for unidentified sites expected 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 Witney sub-area over the remaining period of the Local Plan (2015 - 2031) thereby providing an additional 400 new homes. In addition to past completions and existing commitments it is reasonable to include a 'windfall' allowance to cater for unidentified sites expected to come forward for housing over the period of the Local Plan. Based on past evidence of historic rates of windfall delivery by sub-area, it is reasonable to expect delivery of at least 304 units from unidentified windfall sites in the period 2016 - 2031.

6. i.e. already benefit from planning permission or a resolution to grant planning permission subject to a legal agreement i.e. already [back]
7. i.e. already benefit from planning permission or a resolution to grant planning permission subject to a legal agreement [back]

Strategic Development Areas (SDAs)

9.2.32 Because there is relatively limited capacity for further housing development within the built up area of Witney, it will be necessary for development to take place on undeveloped land on the edge of the town. Land to the west of Witney (north Curbridge) was identified as a reserve site in the previous Local Plan and is now a firm commitment, expected to deliver at least 1,000 homes within the plan period and possibly more as detailed planning applications are dealt with. in the period up to 2023 at a rate of around 150 per year.

9.2.33 Throughout consultation on this Local Plan, views have been sought on four furtheroptions for expanding Witney including land to the south, east, north-east and north of the town. Following detailed consideration and analysis, the Council has concluded that land to the east of Witney which falls within Witney Parish and land to the north of Witney which falls within Hailey Parish, represent the most sustainable options for future strategic growth. As such it is proposed that these sites are allocated for 400 homes and 1,000 homes respectively. Throughout the preparation of this Local Plan, a number of other options for strategic extensions to Witney have been considered including land further land to the west, south, east, north-east and north of the town. Following detailed consideration and analysis, the Council has concluded that land to the east of Witney which falls within Witney Parish and land to the north of Witney which falls within Hailey Parish, represent the most sustainable options for future strategic growth. As such it is proposed that these sites are allocated for 450 homes and 1,400 homes respectively.

East Witney Strategic Development Area (SDA) - 400 450 homes (Witney Parish)

9.2.34 Land to the east of Witney is allocated for the delivery of 400new homes. The site has no significant environmental or heritage constraints, is well-located in relation to the Town Centre and provided the extent, scale and design of development is sensitively controlled, will not have a significant landscape impact. Importantly, the development will be required to deliver west facing slip roads at the Shores Green junction onto the A40 which will allow traffic using the junction to travel both east and west. Land to the east of Witney is allocated for the delivery of 450 new homes. The site has no significant environmental or heritage constraints, is well-located in relation to the Town Centre and provided the extent, scale and design of development is sensitively controlled, will not have a significant landscape impact. Importantly, the west facing slip roads at the Shores Green junction onto the A40 will need to be delivered alongside the development in order to help manage the impact of the development.

9.2.34a The Shores Green improvements allow traffic using the junction to travel both east and west. A financial contribution towards the slip roads has already been secured from another housing development north of Burford Road in Witney and the East Witney SDA provides another mechanism by which the slip roads can be delivered. The development itself is able to deliver the 'off-slip' through a planning obligation and an appropriate financial contribution will be sought towards the 'on-slip' potentially as part of a wider strategic transport infrastructure fund/package for Witney.

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

Figure 9.3 - East Witney Strategic Development Area (SDA)

9.3 East Witney

9.2.36 The allocation is split across two separate sites. A small parcel of land served off the Stanton Harcourt Road will provide a limited development of around 30 homes. The inclusion of this land within the allocation will help to facilitate the provision of links to the Town Centre across the Windrush Valley thereby increasing the integration of the overall development with the existing built area. It will also provide early revenue for the developer to help fund the infrastructure needed to bring forward the larger part of the site.

9.2.37 The remaining homes (c. 370 c. 420) will be provided on the land known as Cogges Triangle, subject to consideration of the likely traffic impact on Witney in particular Bridge Street and an agreed strategy for the delivery of the Shores Green junction improvements. The precise quantum of development on both sites will depend on a number of issues including landscape and heritage impact, surface water run-off and traffic impact. A balanced mix of housing types including affordable housing will be sought together with the provision necessary infrastructure to mitigate the impact of the development.

 

Policy WIT1 - East Witney Strategic Development Area (400 450 homes)

 

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

a) about 400 450 homes with a balanced and appropriate mix of residential accommodation to meet identified needs, including affordable housing. This will include c.30 homes on land adjacent to Stanton Harcourt Road (subject to landscape impact and flood risk) and c.370 420 homes on land at Cogges Triangle (subject to landscape impact and surface water run-off).

ai) comprehensive development to be led by an agreed masterplan.

b) development to be phased in accordance with the timing of provision of supporting infrastructure and facilities with the including the necessary improvements to the Shore's Green junction onto the A40 and related highway measures. to be delivered prior to the completion of any housing on the Cogges Triangle part of the site.

c) the provision of other 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, including a particular emphasis on improving the linkages across the Windrush Valley into the town centre consistent with the aims and objectives of the Windrush in Witney Project.

d) the provision of appropriate landscaping measures to mitigate the potential impact of development and associated infrastructure.

e) the provision of appropriate financial contributions towards primary and secondary education capacity enhancements.

f) biodiversity, landscape and public access enhancements within the Lower Windrush Valley including arrangements for future maintenance.

g) provision of appropriate green infrastructure including allotments.

h) appropriate measures to mitigate traffic noise.

hi) the conservation, and enhancement where possible, of the setting of the Cogges Scheduled Monument and the Witney and Cogges Conservation Area.

hii) the investigation, recording and safeguarding of the known and potential archaeological significance of the Area prior to any development taking place. The results of the investigation and recording should inform the final layout of the development and be deposited in a public archive.

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

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

North Witney Strategic Development Area (SDA) - 1,000 1,400 homes (Hailey Parish)

9.2.38 Land to the north of Witney is allocated for the delivery of 1,000 1,400 homes. The site is considered to be well-related to the main services and facilities of Witney, has no major ecological or heritage constraints and based on the proposed quantum of growth, will not have a significant landscape impact. Importantly, the development will be required to deliver require the delivery of the West End Link (WEL) a second river crossing for Witney together with a new northern distributor road connecting Hailey Road to New Yatt Road and onto Woodstock Road.

 

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

Figure 9.4 - North Witney Strategic Development Area (SDA)

 9.4 North Witney

 

9.2.40 The site comprises two separate parcels, a larger area of land (49ha) between Hailey Road and New Yatt Road and a smaller parcel between New Yatt Road and Woodstock Road (7ha). It is anticipated that the smaller site will deliver up to 200 homes with the remaining 800 homes being provided on the larger site. The proposed site allocation comprises three separate parcels of land, a larger area of land (c. 49ha) between Hailey Road and New Yatt Road a parcel between New Yatt Road and Woodstock Road (c. 7ha) and a smaller parcel of land west of Hailey Road (c. 4ha). It is anticipated that across the allocation as a whole, around 1,400 homes could be provided but the quantum of development on each parcel will depend to an extent on the proposed primary education arrangements.

9.2.40a The land west of Hailey Road could be used for new housing (around 100 homes) or alternatively could be used to expand Witney Community Primary School (as an alternative to a new school being provided within the North Witney SDA) thereby freeing up development capacity within the main site area.

9.2.40b In addition to the proposed site allocation shown on Figure 9.4, there may also be some potential for further development on the land further north between New Yatt Road and Woodstock Road. The site has not been promoted for development through the Council's housing land availability assessment and has therefore not been included within the allocation but in principle may be suitable subject to there being a demonstrable benefit e.g. in terms of improved highway access arrangements and Green Infrastructure provision.

9.2.41 Key considerations for this site include flood risk, ecology, landscape impact, traffic transport impact, deliverability and phasing. Consideration of the archaeological significance of the area, including historic landscape, will also be needed.

9.2.42 In terms of flood risk, evidence[8] suggests that there is scope to reduce surface water run-off from the site itself through the use of sustainable drainage and potential off-site enhancements. The site promoter has identified land to the north of the SDA boundary which could be used for the purpose of off-site storage. Although the associated West End Link falls within an area of designated floodplain, it is classed as ‘essential infrastructure’ and there are no sequentially preferable alternatives available (other than the A40/Shores Green slip roads scheme which is also being taken forward).

 

8. North Witney and WEL Level 2 Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (2015) [back]

9.2.43 Importantly, the West End Link could offer the potential to serve a 'dual' role not only in terms of transport but also in terms of flood risk mitigation - the concept of which has the support of Oxfordshire County Council and the Environment Agency. Any development proposal will need to be supported by a detailed Flood Risk Assessment (FRA).

9.2.44 With regard to ecology, evidence[9] suggests that both the site and the West End Link have no significant ecological constraints and that the proposed development presents a number of opportunities to deliver positive enhancements.

9.2.45 In terms of landscape impact, evidence[10] prepared in support of the Local Plan suggests that the proposed quantum of development (1,000 homes) is able to be accommodated on the site without undue adverse impact. A detailed landscape and visual impact assessment would however be required in support of any future application. In terms of landscape impact, evidence[11] prepared in support of the Local Plan suggested that the originally proposed quantum of development (1,000 homes) was able to be accommodated on the site without undue adverse impact. Taking account of the additional development capacity provided by the inclusion of land west of Hailey Road, a modest increase in the extent of the developable area to the north (see Figure 9.4) and slightly higher density assumptions, it is considered that around 1,400 homes can be delivered on the site whilst ensuring an acceptable degree of impact in landscape terms. A detailed landscape and visual impact assessment would however be required in support of any future application to determine the most appropriate form and layout of development which would ultimately influence final housing numbers.

9. North Witney and WEL Preliminary Ecological Assessment (2015) [back]
10. Kirkham Associates Landscape and Visual Review of Submissions for Carterton and Witney Strategic Development Options (2012) [back]
11. Kirkham Associates Landscape and Visual Review of Submissions for Carterton and Witney Strategic Development Options (2012) [back]

9.2.46 Traffic impact is a key consideration and any development will need to be supported by a detailed Transport Assessment (TA) and Travel Plan. Evidence[12] prepared in support of the Local Plan suggests that whilst not eliminating congestion in the central core of Witney around Bridge Street, the provision of the West End Link and Northern Distributor Road will, in combination with other strategic highway measures proposed at Witney, have a number of tangible benefits as well as mitigating the impact of the proposed development.

9.2.47 In terms of deliverability, there are no known constraints in terms of land assembly to prevent the site coming forward and evidence prepared in support of the Local Plan[13] suggests that the scheme is a financially viable proposition.

9.2.48 As a large site, development of the North Witney SDA is likely to fall into a number of phases. There is already a current planning application on part of the site for 200 dwellings which is likely to form 'Phase 1' (subject to a comprehensive masterplan/delivery framework for the whole site). Because of the lead-in times associated with larger strategic sites, it is likely that the With regard to phasing, it is proposed that the larger part majority of the site will be phased to come forward later in the plan period after 2021 unless delivery can be accelerated. This phased approach will Delivery of the bulk of development in the medium to long-term would however offer the following advantages:

  • help to ensure that housing delivery is provided evenly across the whole of the Local Plan period;
  • ensure the traffic transport impact of the scheme is minimised by allowing for the new A40/Down’s Road junction and A40/Shores Green improvements to come forward first;
  • allow time for the east and west Witney schemes to come forward in advance (and thereby avoid market saturation in the Witney area); and
  • allow time for the West End Link element of the scheme to be phased in appropriately as an integral part of the development. ahead of the majority of development coming forward
12. Technical Note: Witney Development and Infrastructure Strategic Modelling (White Young Green October 2014) [back]
13. Aspinall Verdi – SDA appraisal North Witney (2015) [back]

 

 

Policy WIT2 - North Witney Strategic Development Area (1,000 1,400 homes)

 

Land to the north of Witney to accommodate a sustainable, integrated community that forms a positive addition to Witney, including:

a) about 1,000 1,400 homes with a balanced and appropriate mix of residential accommodation to meet identified needs, including affordable housing;.This will include c.200 homes on land between New Yatt Road and Woodstock Road and c.800 homes on land between Hailey Road and New Yatt Road

ai) comprehensive development to be led by an agreed masterplan;

b) development on the larger part of the site between New Yatt Road and Woodstock Road to be phased to come forward in the period post-2021 in accordance with the timing of supporting infrastructure and facilities including delivery of the West End Link and Northern Distributor Road;

c) the provision of other 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 including the town centre and other key destinations;

d) the provision of a new primary school on-site (1.5FE (including foundation stage) with 2FE core facilities to enable future expansion of the school together with financial contributions towards secondary school capacity as appropriate;

d) the provision of a new primary school on-site ( 2FE including nursery) on a 2.2ha site together with financial contributions towards secondary school capacity as appropriate. Alternatively, provision to be made for the expansion of Witney Community Primary School together with financial contributions towards secondary school capacity as appropriate;

di) the conservation and where possible enhancement of the setting of the grade II listed Middlefield Farmhouse and dovecote and the Witney and Cogges and Hailey Conservation Areas;

dii) the investigation, recording and safeguarding of the known and potential archaeological significance of the Area prior to any development taking place. The results of the investigation and recording should inform the final layout of the development and should be deposited in a public archive;

e) the provision of appropriate landscaping measures to mitigate the potential impact of development including a positive landscape framework to create a new town edge;

f) retention of important on-site hedgerows and plantation woodland;

g) biodiversity enhancements including arrangements for future maintenance;

h) provision of appropriate green infrastructure including allotments;

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. This may include consideration of 'off-site' solutions. The sustainable drainage systems should be designed to provide a biodiversity enhancement.

j) all development should be steered to areas at least flood risk within Flood Zone 1 and flood alleviation measures to reduce flood risk associated with the Hailey Road Drain should be incorporated where appropriate.

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

l) ensuring that the design and construction of the West End Link has no harmful undue impact on heritage assets and biodiversity and provides for mitigation and enhancements to biodiversity where feasible;

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

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

Alternative Options for Strategic Growth at Witney

9.2.49 Two other main options have been considered for the expansion of Witney including land to the south and land to the north east of the town. Having regard to the overall housing requirement and evidence prepared in support of the Local Plan[14] these sites have not been allocated. In terms of alternative strategic directions of growth at Witney, several other options have been considered including land to the south and land to the north east of the town as well as land to the west of Downs Road. Having regard to the overall housing requirement and evidence prepared in support of the Local Plan[15] these sites have not been allocated at this point but will be re-considered as part of any subsequent review of this Local Plan.

9.2.50 Land to the south of Witney which straddles the boundaries of Ducklington and Curbridge Parishes, whilst physically proximate to the town centre and main employment areas in the south is segregated from the town by the A40. There are concerns regarding noise, odour and landscape impact and unlike the alternative options, the scheme would not deliver any strategic highway improvements for Witney.

9.2.51 Land to the north east of Witney which straddles the boundaries of Witney Parish and South Leigh Parish is highly sensitive in terms of landscape impact and importantly, in terms of deliverability, there is some uncertainty in relation to the assembly of land needed to provide satisfactory access arrangements onto Jubilee Way.

9.2.51a Land to the west of Downs Road is at present rather divorced and isolated from the existing built area of Witney. However, when the committed urban extension at West Witney (North Curbridge) is completed, the context of the site will change and it could potentially form a logical urban extension to the town. It would provide a good opportunity for additional business land capitalising on the existing employment focus along Downs Road as well as the improved access to be provided by new junction onto the A40. There may also be potential for new housing as part of a comprehensive mixed-use scheme.

9.2.51b Any strategic development in this location would be likely to necessitate relocation of part of the Witney Lakes golf course. Potentially this could be re-provided to the north-west of the existing course, providing a permanent buffer to Minster Lovell. Land to the west of Downs Road is therefore identified as an 'area of future development potential (employment and housing)' - see Figure 9.6.

9.2.51c The potential allocation of this area of land will be considered alongside other reasonable alternatives (including those outlined above) through any subsequent review of this Local Plan.

14. West Oxfordshire Assessment of Strategic Site Options Update (February 2015); Sustainability Appraisal of Pre-Submission Draft West Oxfordshire Local Plan (Enfusion February 2015) [back]
15. West Oxfordshire Assessment of Strategic Site Options Update (February 2015); Sustainability Appraisal of Pre-Submission Draft West Oxfordshire Local Plan (Enfusion February 2015); SA Addendum Report (Enfusion 2016); SHELAA (2016) [back]

Non-Strategic Housing Allocations

9.2.51d In order to help meet identified housing needs, in addition to the two strategic development areas outlined above, two smaller site allocations are proposed in the Witney sub-area; Woodford Way Car Park at Witney and Land to the west of Minster Lovell, near Witney.

Woodford Way Car Park (50 homes)

9.2.51e This site is currently in use as a surface level car park close to the centre of Witney on Woodford Way. It is a highly sustainable location for residential development being within easy walking and cycling distance of a broad range of services and facilities. The principle of residential development on the site has previously been accepted through a planning permission although this has now lapsed. The proposed site allocation is shown in Figure 9.4a below.

Figure 9.4a - Woodford Way Car Park - TO BE ADDED

9.2.51f Whilst not available in the short term, it is reasonable to expect that a residential scheme could come forward on this site within the plan period most likely as part of a mixed-use scheme including other suitable and compatible town centre uses. The southern part of the site falls within Flood Zone 2 and is a key consideration for any future redevelopment.

9.4a Woodford Way 

 

Policy WIT2a - Woodford Way Car Park, Witney

 

Land at Woodford Way Car Park to accommodate around 50 new homes either as part of a residential or mixed-use scheme with other compatible town centre uses whilst retaining an appropriate amount of public car parking.

Key issues to be addressed as part of any development proposal will include:

a) provision of a mix of house types and tenures including affordable housing in accordance with Policy H3 - Affordable Housing;

b) making efficient use of the site in terms of density and layout recognising the irregular site boundary and the need to provide passive supervision of the footpath along the southern boundary;

c) consideration of appropriate flood risk avoidance/mitigation;

d) appropriate provision of and contributions towards supporting infrastructure;

e) the need to provide a strong frontage to Woodford Way whilst ensuring that the height and design of any proposed buildings has regard to the topography of the site and the potential impact on adjoining occupants including in particular the single storey bungalows to the west of the site;

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.

Land west of Minster Lovell (85 homes)

9.2.51g This is a greenfield site currently in agricultural (arable) use on the western side of Minster Lovell near Witney. The site is just under 8 ha in size in total but the southern portion of the site would be designated as public open space. The anticipated number of dwellings is around 85. Minster Lovell is a sustainable settlement close to Witney and also offering its own range of service and facilities.

9.2.52h Importantly, the site is next to an existing area of relatively dense, more modern development that is not characteristic of the historic core of Minster Lovell which has a very linear form and single plot depths running along the B4477 reflecting the chartist origins of the settlement. The scale of proposed development is such that it would integrate with rather than dominate the existing village. The development also offers the opportunity to enhance the western edge of the settlement on the approach to Minster Lovell along the B4047 Burford Road. The proposed allocation is shown in Figure 9.4b below.

9.2.52i The site is the subject of a current planning application demonstrating clear developer interest in bringing the site forward in the short-term. Key considerations for the site include the mitigation of landscape and visual impact including views from the Cotwolds AONB to the north, ensuring effective integration with the existing village and the need to reflect the existing pattern of development including the provision of open space on the southern portion of the site.

 

Policy WIT2b - Land West of Minster Lovell

 

Land to the west of Minster Lovell to accommodate around 85 new homes as part of a sustainable, integrated extension of the existing village.

Key issues to be addressed as part of any development proposal will include:

a) provision of a mix of house types and tenures including affordable housing in accordance with Policy H3 - Affordable Housing;

b) the provision of primary vehicular access from the B4047;

c) protecting key views from the Cotswold AONB to the north of the site;

d) effective integration with the existing village including consideration of any pedestrian and cycle linkages;

e) a positive enhancement of the western edge of Minster Lovell including the approach from the west along the B4047;

f) development layout that respects the existing built form to the east of the site;

g) appropriate provision of and contributions towards supporting infrastructure;

h) provision of open space on the south of the site to take account of the existing public open space on Ripley Avenue;

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

j) 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;

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

Employment

9.2.52 The Witney sub-area plays an important role in terms of the West Oxfordshire economy, with Witney itself accommodating a significant proportion of the District's job opportunities.

9.2.53 In accordance with the overall strategy, Witney will be the main a key focus for additional business and employment opportunities over the period of the Local Plan. There is 10 hectares of existing business land to the west of the town but much of this is unavailable having been set aside for the expansion of existing businesses. An additional 10 hectares of new business floorspace will be provided as part of the committed urban extension at West Witney (north Curbridge).

9.2.53a In the longer term, there may be potential for further business land provision to the west of Downs Road. Part of the land adjoins an existing industrial area which includes number of leading local employers including Chris Hayter Transport and Stewart Milne Timber Systems. A further extension of this area to the south and west would be logical in planning terms and could provide the opportunity to deliver an additional road connection between Downs Road and the B4047. There is also scope for additional business land to be provided around the new Downs Road/A40 junction.

9.2.54 It is anticipated that the provision of new employment land could also facilitate the upgrading of Witney's existing employment land stock through the provision of modern business premises enabling

businesses to move and expand. There is for example considerable potential for redevelopment of the Station Lane employment estates in the medium to longer term.

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

9.2.56 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

9.2.57 Transport is a key issue for the Witney sub-area which includes a number of key routes. Congestion within the town and further afield on the A40 are known to be significant problems. The Local Plan therefore proposes a number of measures to help alleviate congestion and improve the flow of vehicular traffic.

9.2.58 A number of strategic highway improvement schemes are proposed to complement the improvements that were made to the Ducklington Lane junction in 2014. These include:

  • A40/Downs’s road Road junction – the provision of a new ‘all movements’ junction onto the A40 at Downs’ Road to the west of Witney. This will be delivered as part of the committed urban extension to the west of Witney (north Curbridge).
  • A40/Shore’s Green Western Slip Roads - the provision of west facing slip roads at the Shore’s Green junction onto the A40 to the east of Witney. This will be delivered facilitated by new development including primarily as part of the proposed East Witney Strategic Development Area (SDA)
  • West End Link Road (WEL) – the provision of a new road link between Woodford Way and West End creating a second river crossing for Witney. This will be facilitated by new development including primarily delivered as part of the proposed North Witney Strategic Development Area (SDA)
  • Northern Distributor Road - the provision of a new road link between Hailey Road and Woodtock Road via New Yatt Road. This will be delivered as part of the proposed North Witney Strategic Development Area (SDA)

9.2.59 It is anticipated that this 'package' of strategic highway improvements will help to mitigate the impact of planned housing and business growth in Witney and provide a significant improvement to the flow of vehicles in and around the town. It is proposed that a strategic transport strategy and fund will be created for Witney in conjunction with the County Council as highway authority. Other 'non-strategic' highway improvements will be sought as appropriate through new development including those identified in the IDP.

9.2.60 Provision will also be made for improved public transport provision in the Witney sub-area including the frequency and coverage of bus services. This will be accompanied by measures to promote the use of public transport including improved waiting facilities and cycle parking.

9.2.61 Improvements to pedestrian and cycle routes and the provision of new routes will be sought where appropriate. This will include the potential provision of a new cycle route between Witney and Carterton as identified in the IDP.

9.2.62 Parking capacity will be kept under review with additional provision to be sought from new developments where necessary. Parking will also be managed in order to try and reduce car use for short journeys.

Retail and Leisure

9.2.63 Witney will be the focus for new retail and leisure provision. Our retail assessment has identified capacity for additional shopping provision in the medium and longer term and recommends a strategy of phased development to reinforce the role of the town centre in the context of increasing competition elsewhere, such as Oxford. In accordance with national policy and Policy E6, new town centre development in Witney will follow the 'town centre first approach'.

9.2.64 A strong and diverse town centre will be maintained with a good mix of independent and national multiple retailers. Further town centre development will be accommodated through phased and organic extension of the Woolgate shopping centre and at Welch Way, opposite Marriott's Walk in a way which strengthens the connecting High Street as the primary pedestrian route and strong shopping core reinforcing the town centre as a whole.

9.2.65 A primary shopping frontage, where the loss of shops will be resisted, is defined linking Marriott's Walk and Woolgate. Elsewhere, such as at the Market Square and Corn Street, there are opportunities to continue to promote these areas for shopping, leisure and cultural uses, including the Corn Exchange, hotels, restaurants and performing arts. These areas are designated secondary shopping frontages.

9.2.66 We will seek to raise the profile of Witney as a visitor destination investigating opportunities for additional accommodation and visitor related facilities such as coach drop off and waiting facilities. There is a need to enhance the market town character and ensure that the centre remains attractive and accessible to all through investment in the public realm, particularly in the Market Square and Corn Street.

9.2.67 This will be enabled by developer contributions or other funding and may include opportunities for public art. The provision and management of free car parking is significant to the attractiveness of the town centre. Significant new development which creates additional car parking demands in the town centre will be required to contribute to increasing public car parking provision alongside improvements to bus, pedestrian and cycle infrastructure.

9.2.68 In the remainder of the sub-area, existing retail and leisure facilities will be safeguarded and any new facilities will be modest in scale and appropriate to the function and setting of the village in which they are proposed.

 

Policy WIT3 - Witney Town Centre Strategy

 

The overall objective is to maintain and enhance Witney Town Centre providing an accessible, attractive and diverse shopping, visitor and evening economy offer and the principal shopping and leisure destination for West Oxfordshire and the surrounding area. This will be achieved by:

- Maintaining a strong and diverse shopping core with a good mix of retailers, focused on the High Street as the main pedestrian route and connector between the Woolgate and Marriotts Walk shopping centres. A primary shopping frontage is defined between these shopping centres and along the High Street where the loss of shops will be resisted.

- Promoting the Market Square and Corn Street areas as shopping, leisure and cultural quarters, whilst avoiding excessive concentrations of uses that could impact on amenity or vitality. Secondary shopping frontages are defined in these and other areas. The loss of town centre uses from secondary shopping frontages will be resisted.

- Investigating opportunities for phased, organic extension of the Woolgate shopping centre and at Welch Way to meet retailer needs, well connected to and strengthening the High Street.

- Maintaining and enhancing the Market Square as an attractive public space which can be used for other purposes at other times.

- Seeking to raise the profile of Witney as a visitor destination, investigating opportunities for additional accommodation and improved visitor facilities such as coach drop off/waiting areas.

- Conserving and enhancing the special interest of the Witney Conservation Area and the significance of the other heritage assets in the town.

- Enhancing the historic market town character and public realm by seeking to ensure investment in paved areas, street furniture, signage and shop fronts and through the provision of appropriate servicing and waste collection arrangements.

- Ensuring the town centre, as a key destination, remains accessible, through the provision and management of car parking and through enhancing public transport, pedestrian and cycle routes and infrastructure.

- In the Buttercross/Church Green area south of Corn Street and Langdale Gate, the further intensification of shopping or commercial development will be resisted except where the proposed use would be incidental to the primary permitted use of the building (e.g. working at home).

Development proposals which significantly increase car parking demand will be expected to make appropriate public car parking provision or provide equivalent financial contributions.

9.5 Witney Town Centre

Environment and Heritage

9.2.69 The Witney sub-area is environmentally sensitive including part of the Cotswolds AONB, the Upper and Lower Windrush Conservation Target Areas, the Windrush in Witney Project Area and the Lower Windrush Valley Project. It also includes some areas of ancient woodland.

9.2.70 In determining future development proposals, the Council will have significant regard to the potential impact on the environment, particularly where the proposed development would affect a designated area. 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.

9.2.71 Where applicable, development will be expected to have regard to the aims and objectives of the Windrush in Witney Project and Lower Windrush Valley Project and where appropriate, make a positive contribution either directly as part of the development or through an appropriate financial contribution.

9.2.72 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 conserve or enhance the District's heritage assets and their significance and settings.

Infrastructure

9.2.73 Infrastructure capacity is a key consideration for this sub-area. Witney has accommodated significant growth in the last 30 years more than doubling its population. As the key focus for growth within the Local Plan, it is essential that further development at Witney is supported by appropriate investment in new and improved infrastructure.

9.2.74 A number of strategic transport improvements are set out above but other forms of supporting infrastructure will also be needed including education, health, open space, community facilities and so on.

9.2.75 Some of these will be provided directly as part of new developments (e.g. a new or expanded primary school as part of the north Witney SDA) whilst others will be provided indirectly through developer contributions and other potential sources of funding.

9.2.76 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.

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

 

Policy WIT4 - Witney Sub-Area Strategy

 

The focus of new housing, supporting facilities and additional employment opportunities will be Witney. 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 3,7004,400 new homes to be focused on Witney and to include affordable housing and homes designed to meet a range of different needs including older people.

- a Strategic Development Area of around 400450 dwellings on the eastern side of Witney (see Policy WIT1)

- a Strategic Development Area of around 1,0001,400 dwellings to the north of Witney (see Policy WIT2)

- a non-strategic housing allocation of 50 dwellings on Woodford Way Car Park, Witney (see Policy WIT2a)

- a non-strategic housing allocation of 85 dwellings on land west of Minster Lovell (see Policy WIT2b)

- expansion of employment opportunities in the town through the retention and modernisation of existing sites, development of remaining available employment land (10ha) and the provision of further employment land (at least 10ha) on the western edge of Witney to provide sufficient space for business expansion, relocation and inward investment

- land to the west of Down's Road identified as an 'area of future long-term development potential' to include consideration of opportunities for new housing and employment to meet identified development needs beyond 2031.

- continuing to work with Oxfordshire County Council and landowners/developers to deliver improvements to key highway infrastructure to reduce traffic and pollution in the historic core and to improve the general flow of traffic and access to primary transport routes, with priority on delivering the A40/Downs Road junction (all traffic movements), Shore's Green junction (west facing slip roads) the West End Link and Northern Distributor Road and other supporting highway improvement measures

- 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 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

- protection and enhancement of the market town character and setting of Witney, neighbouring villages and the Windrush Valley, including the particularly vulnerable gap between Witney and Ducklington

- development on land within or where it would be visible from the Windrush in Witney Policy Area will be required to protect and enhance the intrinsic landscape, character, ecology and cultural value of the valley

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

- Conservation and enhancement of the historic environment

- ensuring that new development makes appropriate and timely provision for necessary supporting infrastructure, including new transport, education, health, green infrastructure and other community facilities in accordance with the IDP

 

 9.6 Witney Sub Area Strategy

Carterton Sub Area

Carterton Sub-Area

9.3.1 This is the second smallest of the five sub-areas covering just over 13,000 hectares. It is however well-populated containing around 25,000 people, the majority of which (16,000) live in Carterton, a relatively modern town which during the last 100 years has grown from an area of small holdings to become the second largest town in West Oxfordshire.

9.3.2 Carterton offers a good range of services and facilities including a country park, leisure centre, employment, housing and retail. Part of the town's rapid growth has been associated with the nearby airfield, now the country's main RAF transport base (RAF Brize Norton) and an integral part of the local community employing around 7,300 workers, a substantial number of whom live on the base or in Carterton. up to 4,000 personnel of which approximately 2,000 live on the base.

9.3.3 There are a scattering of villages outside of Carterton, the largest being Bampton which has a relatively small population of about 2,500 but enjoys a good range of community activities and available services and is a designated rural service centre. Other settlements include Brize Norton, Shilton, Alvescot, Filkins, Langford, Clanfield, Kelmscott and Aston.

Figure 9.7 - Carterton Sub-Area

Housing

9.3.4 Most of the existing housing within this sub-area is located in Carterton. Military housing was built in the town after the Second World War, followed by extensive areas of private housing from the 1980s to recent times. Housing was primarily built within the low density structure of the original settlement until this century when the North East Carterton Development Area (Shilton Park) extended the town onto adjoining agricultural land providing around 1,500 new homes. A further 1,000 950 new homes are currently proposed through two committed schemes on the edge of Carterton including 700 to the east and 250 to the north-west.

9.3.5 Although many RAF service personnel live on the base, there are several areas of MOD housing within Carterton including the areas around Stanmore Crescent (REEMA Central) and Northwood Crescent (REEMA North) as well as land around York Road, Carr Avenue, Lyneham Close, Northolt Road and Bovingdon Road. These areas are illustrated on Figure 9.10. Some of this housing is built at low density and poorly designed. and theThe redevelopment of MOD housing has been highlighted as a priority throughout the preparation of this Local Plan and it is important to the successful progress of Carterton as a thriving town.

9.3.5a If areas of older, low density poor quality MOD housing are able to be redeveloped, it would provide additional housing to meet identified needs and would also improve the appearance and perception of the town. New homes in central locations would also support the vitality and viability of the Town Centre and local services and facilities including Carterton Community College.

9.3.6 One of the sites (REEMA North) has recently been cleared to provide 200 new homes for service personnel. Once the development is complete (expected in 2016) the adjoining site (REEMA Central) will be made available to the open market for potential redevelopment for housing. One of the MOD sites (REEMA North) has recently been cleared to provide 200 new homes for service personnel. The development had originally been expected to be complete in 2016 but has been delayed for funding reasons. In terms of dwelling numbers, it is reasonable to consider that through a more innovative design and improved housing mix, more than 200 homes could be provided on the site. Discussions with the MOD are ongoing about a potential way forward for this site.

9.3.6a Part of the adjoining site (REEMA Central) has been declared surplus to MOD requirements and made available to Annington Homes who are currently progressing a market housing scheme of 135 dwellings (net gain of 81 dwellings). The remainder of the site is likely to be made available to Annington Homes over the course of the plan period.

9.3.6b The Council will work pro-actively with the MOD, Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and Annington Homes in order to maximise the delivery of new housing on the two REEMA sites and to further investigate the possibility of other areas of old military housing stock being made available for redevelopment at higher densities and to improved design standards.

9.3.7 House prices in Carterton are relatively low compared with other parts of the District though there is still a significant need for affordable housing with 149 people on the Council's waiting list having identified the town as their preferred location.

9.3.8 The low density nature of the older housing in Carterton and the relatively large plot sizes has led to pressure for infill development in recent years.

Employment

9.3.9 The Carterton sub-area plays an important economic role within the District. The main sector of the local economy is Government services which accounts for 26% of total employment. This is largely a reflection of RAF Brize Norton which lies immediately to the south of the town and employs around 4,000 5,800 personnel, 1,200 contractors and 300 civilian staff. The second largest sector is distribution (including retail) at 17%. Manufacturing is relatively poorly represented compared to West Oxfordshire as a whole comprising just 6.5% of employment in this area.

9.3.10 Economic activity rates are high at over 80%. However, there is an imbalance of homes and jobs with the number of resident workers outweighing the number of jobs. Carterton has 24% of the District's economically active population compared with just 13% of the District's employment. Witney by contrast only accounts for 29% of the District's economically active population, but for 35% of the jobs. It is likely therefore that many Carterton residents will be looking to Witney as a source of employment[16] .Economic activity rates are high at over 80%. As is the case with the other sub-areas, there is an imbalance of homes and jobs with the number of resident workers outweighing the number of jobs, however in the Carterton sub-area this imbalance is most pronounced with almost 3,000 more economically active workers than jobs. Carterton has 24% of the District's economically active population and around 21% of the District's employment. Witney by contrast accounts for over 30% of the District's jobs. Many Carterton residents currently look to Witney as a source of employment[17] .

16. West Oxfordshire Economic Snapshot and Outlook Report CAG (2015) [back]
17. West Oxfordshire Economic Snapshot and Outlook Report CAG (2015) [back]

9.3.11 In terms of existing business land provision, Carterton accommodates several large employment sites including the Carterton South Industrial Estate built in the 1970s and the more recent Ventura Park and West Oxfordshire Business Park.

9.3.12 Although Carterton has witnessed some renewal of its industrial stock in recent times (e.g. Ventura Park) and has a range of buildings to suit varied needs, the availability of small, starter units is limited.

9.3.13 In terms of undeveloped business land, there is a relatively limited supply currently with around 1.5 acres (0.6ha) available at Ventura Park, and 7.9 acres (3.2ha) at West Oxfordshire Business Park. The Town Council has expressed a desire to increase the supply of available business land in Carterton in order to attract additional inward investment, capitalising on the aviation linkages with RAF Brize Norton. This is a key aim of the emerging Carterton masterplan and is supported by the Council's economic evidence[18] which suggests that Carterton should be identified as a priority location for new employment land provision.

18. West Oxfordshire Economic Snapshot and Outlook Report CAG (2015) [back]

Transport

9.3.14 Transport is an important issue for the Carterton sub-area which includes a number of key routes including the A361 and A4095 with the A40 running along the northern edge of the area. Carterton is relatively remote from the primary road network and whilst the A40 is a short distance to the north, it can only be accessed via 'B' roads including the B4020 Shilton Road and B4477 Brize Norton Road. Access to Witney can be achieved via the A4095 Bampton Road but this necessitates vehicles having to travel through Brize Norton village.

9.3.15 The County Council’s transport aspiration is to improve access to Carterton from the A40 to help unlock economic potential and better need serve the needs of RAF Brize Norton. The B4477 Brize Norton Road has been identified in the County Council’s draft Local Transport Plan (LTP4) as the preferred route for upgrading to ‘A’ road standard together with the promotion provision of west facing slip roads at the A40 junction.

9.3.16 In terms of public transport, Carterton is well served by bus services including the premium S1 and S2 services to Witney and Oxford. Of those commuting out of Carterton to work, around 17% travel by bus. Oxfordshire County Council have identified a number of potential improvements to bus services in the Carterton sub-area including improvements to the frequency of services to Witney and Oxford, improved frequency of buses to Swindon, new bus stops close to the RAF main gate and improving the environment and quality of bus stops along these routes, pedestrian and cycle paths to them and the facilities available such as cycle parking. The area has no rail services.

9.3.17 As a relatively small town, walking and cycling are realistic and attractive travel options in Carterton. Of those living and working in the town, 30% travel by foot and 20% by bicycle. Carterton already has a good pedestrian and cycle network which is well used, particularly by RAF personnel, but the links through older parts of the town and out to the countryside are incomplete. The County Council's draft Local Transport Plan (LTP4) seeks to improve and promote this network and identifies a number of potential new routes within the town as well as the provision of a high quality cycle route between Carterton and Witney.

Retail and Leisure

9.3.18 Carterton has a relatively small town centre for its size, primarily serving a convenience and service role. The food retail offer is good with three supermarkets located close to the town centre. However, the town centre lacks a varied choice and range of non-food retailers and provides only a limited number of multiple retailers. As a result, a significant amount of shopping trade leaks to other centres such as Witney and the centre remains vulnerable to out of centre development.

9.3.19[19] Evidence suggests that there is scope to provide an enhanced range and choice of non-food retailers in Carterton Town Centre and that this should be a priority for the Local Plan. It also highlights the potential to enhance the leisure offer through the provision of bars and restaurants to increase visitor numbers and dwell time.

9.3.20 Importantly, due to the nature of the town centre environment, Carterton is less constrained than the historic town centres of Witney and Chipping Norton and therefore has good physical capacity to accommodate future retail and leisure proposals.

9.3.21 Evidence[20] suggests there is also potential to improve the quality of the town centre environment, an objective that has also been identified in design work undertaken on behalf of the Town Council in 2013 and more recently in the emerging Carterton masterplan.

9.3.22 Leisure facilities in Carterton include the Carterton Leisure Centre and the Kilkenny Lane Country Park running along the northern edge of the town. The leisure centre was built in 2003 and has a considerable area of land to the rear of the site earmarked for an extension although funding is required. The Country Park was established in 2005 and there is scope to further extend it (as is proposed as part of the committed urban extensions to the east and north-west of the town).

19. West Oxfordshire Retail Study (2012) [back]
20. West Oxfordshire Retail Study (2012) [back]

9.3.23 The provision of additional sports pitches at Carterton for leisure use is a long-standing objective of the Town Council and the Council's evidence confirms that there is a shortage of playing pitches serving the town[21] .

Environment and Heritage

9.3.24 There are relatively few environmental considerations within this sub-area compared to other parts of the District. Much of the area to the south of Carterton is however designated as a 'mineral consultation area' due to the presence of extensive sand and gravel resources.

9.3.25 The extraction of minerals in the Lower Windrush Valley in the east of the sub-area has significantly altered the landscape with large areas of riverside pasture now used for recreation, tourism and nature conservation through the Lower Windrush Valley Project. There are also mineral resources to the north of Carterton including Burford Quarry (limestone) and Whitehill Quarry (limestone). an active limestone quarry (Burford Quarry).

21. West Oxfordshire Retail Study (2012) [back]

9.3.26 The River Thames runs along the southern boundary of the sub-area and presents positive potential opportunities for tourism and leisure uses although must also be considered in terms of the flood risk it presents. Flood risk is also an issue for other locations within the sub-area including some of the villages which are particularly vulnerable.

9.3.27 Running along the western boundary of Carterton is the Shill Brook Valley which is a designated biodiversity conservation target area. Conservation Target Areas (CTAs) are the most important areas for wildlife conservation where targeted conservation action will have the greatest benefits. In planning terms they represent areas of ecological opportunity and potential improvements to the District's CTAs are highlighted in the draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP).

9.3.28 Noise from RAF Brize Norton is an important environmental consideration in this area. Carterton and the surrounding villages are adversely affected by aircraft movement. The airbase and level of activity will continue to reflect its major contribution to global activities although the replacement of some older aircraft has led to a reduction in the noise footprint for the base.it is anticipated that the replacement of the existing fleet of older aircraft will lead to a reduction in the noise footprint for the base.

9.3.29 This sub-area includes a number of important heritage assets including ancient woodland, Conservation Areas, scheduled monuments and numerous listed buildings notably in Shilton which still shows the layout of a 13th century Cistercian farming grange with the Grade II* listed Church of the Holy Rood, dovecote, other features and buildings.

Infrastructure

9.3.30 As the District's second largest town, Carterton offers a good range of services and facilities including a Leisure Centre, library, several primary schools, a secondary school, open space, sports pitches and health care facilities.

9.3.31 Careful consideration must be given to the impact of future development on the capacity of existing infrastructure. Other than transport, the main infrastructure requirements for Carterton relate to education and leisure.

9.3.32 Whilst Carterton currently has some spare capacity, the primary schools have experienced rapid growth in pupil numbers in recent years which will feed into the secondary school. The most recently built primary school, St. John the Evangelist Primary School provided as part of the Shilton Park development is rapidly filling up and does not have scope to accommodate any more children from new development. A new primary school will be provided as part of the committed housing scheme on land to the east of Carterton.

9.3.33 There is a very active secondary school in Carterton with expanding sixth form facilities although many older pupils travel to schools at Witney or Burford. The catchment of the secondary school will be extended to include the committed housing site to the east of Carterton which will help to support the provision of improved facilities at the school. Any further long-term significant development in Carterton may necessitate the expansion of the secondary school.

9.3.34 In the villages surrounding Carterton there is limited capacity within existing schools at present.

9.3.35 There is an identified need for a new fire station at Carterton (to be provided as part of the 700 unit urban extension east of Carterton) and the Town Council has identified a need for a new cemetery as well as additional open space.

Scope for Further Expansion

9.3.36 There are some good opportunities for further development within the built up area of Carterton and this is a key priority for the Local Plan. It is anticipated that the redevelopment of the two MOD sites, REEMA North and REEMA Central will deliver a net gain of around 400 500 new homes across the two sites (300 on REEMA north and 200 on REEMA central). Subject to the requirements of the MOD and viability considerations, there may also be some potential to redevelop other areas of MOD housing in Carterton over the period of the Local Plan. This would present the opportunity to increase densities and raise environmental and design standards. The Council will therefore work pro-actively with the MOD, Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and Annington Homes in order to further investigate the possibility of other areas of old military housing stock being made available for redevelopment.

9.3.36a There are also a number of areas of under-used land in and around the Town Centre which provide the opportunity to deliver modern, high quality and high density development in order to support the vitality and viability of the town centre. These sites provide the opportunity for residential or mixed-use development that would increase presence within the Town Centre supporting local services and facilities as well as the evening economy. The District Council will work proactively with the Town Council to deliver potential redevelopment schemes including the development of planning briefs for key sites.

9.3.37 Whilst there are opportunities within Carterton, in order to meet the identified housing requirement for this sub-area it will be necessary to expand the existing urban area through development on Greenfield land. It is anticipated that this will take place on two sites which are both already committed through the planning process including land to the east of Carterton (700 homes) and land to the north-west (316 250 homes).

9.3.38 Alternative options to the north, north-east and west of the town have been promoted through the Local Plan process and in the case of the latter through an outline planning application.

Key Issues - Summary

9.3.39 Drawing on the brief profile outlined above we can identify a number of key issues and challenges to be addressed in relation to the Carterton sub-area. These include:

  • A relatively small but well-populated sub-area most of whom live in Carterton, the District's second largest town.
  • Housing in Carterton is relatively inexpensive compared to other parts of the District but there is still a high level of affordable housing need.
  • RAF Brize Norton is a major influence on the town and an integral part of the local economy - there are opportunities to exploit the links with the base (e.g. attraction of aviation related industries to Carterton).
  • There has been pressure for infill development in recent years.
  • There may be some long-term potential to redevelop areas of MOD housing subject to service accommodation requirements and viability considerations.
  • There is currently an imbalance with the Carterton sub-area having the greatest excess of workers to jobs than any of the five sub-areas more workers than jobs which leads to out-commuting.
  • There is currently limited availability of business land opportunities within the town including a lack of small starter units.
  • The town centre offer is relatively poor given the size of the town. Food retail is well provided for but there is a lack of quality non-food retailers.
  • There is also a lack of other related leisure uses including bars, coffee shops and restaurants.
  • The Town Centre has the physical capacity to accommodate a range of new uses.
  • Carterton is relatively remote from the primary road network and can currently only be accessed via 'B' roads.
  • There is reasonable bus provision but no rail services within the sub-area.
  • As a relatively small town, the scope for walking and cycling in Carterton is good and there are some reasonable links already, however a number of improvements are needed.
  • This is an environmentally sensitive area including the presence of sand and gravel and limestone resources and flood risk.
  • There is potential to further enhance leisure and tourism opportunities along the River Thames which runs along the southern boundary of the sub-area.
  • The Shill Brook Valley is designated as a Conservation Target Area and presents the opportunity for enhancement.
  • The Country Park is a key local asset and has the potential to be expanded.
  • Noise from RAF Brize Norton is an important environmental consideration in this area.
  • There is increasing pressure on primary school capacity.
  • Secondary school capacity exists at present but there could be a need to expand in the future depending on levels of growth in the town.
  • There are a number of identified infrastructure needs for Carterton including additional playing fields, allotments, a cemetery and fire station.
  • Conservation and enhancement of the heritage assets within the sub-area.

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. Regard will also be given to any adopted (made) Neighbourhood Plans in the sub-area.

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 imbalance that exists between the number of economically active residents 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 where the number of jobs and economically active workers are much more closely aligned. 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. 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, allocated sites and windfall development. This is summarised in the table below. Further sites will also be identified through any subsequent review of this Local Plan.

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

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

Carterton sub-area indicative housing requirement

2,600

Homes already completed (2011 - 2014)

231

Existing large planning commitments as of 1st September 2016 (10 or more units) including:

  • Land east of Carterton (700)
  • North west Carterton (205)*
  • REEMA North (200)
  • Carterton Petrol Station (42)
  • New Road, Bampton (160)
  • Saxel Close, Aston (38)
  • Land north of Cote Road, Aston (41)
  • Linden House, Kilkenny Lane, Carterton (10)
  • Brooklands nurseries, Carterton (15)
  • 63 Burford Road, Carterton (3)*

1,414

Existing small planning commitments as of 1st September 2016 (less than 10 units)

75

REEMA North and Central Strategic Development Area (SDA)**

300

Land at Milestone Road, Carterton

200

Land at Swinbrook Road, Carterton

70

Anticipated windfall (2016 - 2031)

262

Total

2,552

*remaining units forming part of a larger scheme

** REEMA North is listed twice in the table as 200 units are already committed through a planning permission with the potential for a further 300 units across both REEMA North and REEMA Central in the period to 2031 i.e. 500 net gain in total.

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. In the first five years of the plan period (2011 - 2016) a total of 231 homes have already been completed in the Carterton sub-area. As 1st September 2016, a further 1,489 homes already benefit from planning permission or resolution to grant permission subject to Section 106. This comprises 1,414 on larger sites of 10 or more dwellings and 75 on smaller sites of less than 10.

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 316 250 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 (although there is considered to be scope for an increased number of dwellings through appropriate mix, design and layout).

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. 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 of historic rates of windfall delivery by sub-area, it is reasonable to expect delivery of at least 262 units from unidentified windfall sites in the period 2016 - 2031.

Strategic Development Areas (SDAs)Non-Strategic Housing Allocations

9.3.49 A single Strategic Development Area (SDA) isThree 'non-strategic' housing allocations are proposed within the Carterton sub-area including REEMA North and Central, Milestone Road, Carterton and Swinbrook Road, Carterton. 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)

REEMA North and Central (300 homes)

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. The REEMA North and REEMA Central sites are located close to the centre of Carterton, either side of Upavon Way. The REEMA Central site had a number of existing properties on it but has now been cleared with a view to providing 200 new homes for service personnel. That scheme had been intended to be completed in 2016 but has been delayed for funding reasons. The delay is considered to offer an opportunity to revisit the mix, design and layout of the permitted 200 home scheme with a view to potentially increasing the number of new homes to around 300.

9.3.50a Part of the site has already been made available to Annington Homes who are progressing a market housing scheme of 135 dwellings through a planning application (although 54 dwellings will be demolished meaning a net gain of 81 units). The remainder of the site is likely to be made available for redevelopment/infill within the period of the Local Plan.

9.3.51 The siteBoth sites are is previously developed land and is very close to the town centre. It They represents a sustainable development opportunity and its their potential redevelopment has been well-supported through previous consultation. Given the relatively high existing use value of the REEMA Central 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. Coupled with a potential increase of around 100 dwellings on the permitted REEMA North site, the net gain over and above the existing commitment (200 dwellings) would be around 300 homes. The proposed allocation is shown in Figure 9.8.

9.8 REEMA

9.3.53 In the longer term there may be some is 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. These are illustrated on the plan at Figure 9.10. We will work proactively with the MOD, DIO and Annington Homes to consider the potential for new housing on these sites to help support Carterton in particular the Town Centre and surrounding environs. 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 North and Central Strategic Development Area (SDA)

 

Land at REEMA North and 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 200 300 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.

Land at Milestone Road, Carterton (200 homes)

9.3.53a This is a relatively large site of around 6 hectares located in the south of Carterton just off Milestone Road. It is bordered by RAF Brize Norton to the south, an existing employment area to the east, a residential caravan park to the west and housing to the north. The site is Greenfield comprising generous plots to a number of existing properties fronting onto Milestone Road. Importantly the principle of residential development on the site has already been established through a number of previous permissions including a 65 bed nursing care home, 93 unit extra-care scheme and 105 open market dwellings (263 units in total). However, due to difficulties in relation to land assembly, those permissions have now been disposed of.

9.3.53b With the principle of residential development having been accepted, it is considered appropriate to allocate the site for housing development as part of this Local Plan. Because of the current problems of land assembly no reliance is placed on the site in terms of the short-term 5-year housing land supply but it is quite reasonable to expect the site to come forward within the period of the Local Plan. The proposed site allocation is shown in Figure 9.8a below.

9.3.53c Having regard to the size of the site it is reasonable to assume future delivery of around 200 residential units although the final number would of course be determined by the nature and mix of any application.

 

Policy CA1a Land at Milestone Road, Carterton

 

Land to the south of Milestone Road, Carterton to accommodate around 200 dwellings as a well-integrated and logical extension of the existing built form of the town.

Proposals for development should be consistent with the following:

a) provision of a mix of house types and tenures including affordable housing in accordance with Policy H3 - Affordable Housing;

b) provision of satisfactory vehicular accesses from Milestone Road via a through road and appropriate pedestrian and cycle connections;

c) appropriate provision of and contributions towards supporting infrastructure;

d) development to take account of the height, scale and density of surrounding buildings;

e) where necessary, provision of noise mitigation measures to take account of potential noise from RAF Brize Norton

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.

Land at Swinbrook Road, Carterton (70 homes)

9.3.53d This is a small Greenfield site of around 1.7 ha on the northern edge of Carterton. It adjoins a permitted residential scheme of 250 units which is currently being constructed by David Wilson Homes. The site was originally intended to come forward as a proposed extension of the David Wilson scheme to provide a further 66 dwellings. The site received a resolution to grant planning permission subject to a Section 106 legal agreement in July 2014 however it has not come forward due to land assembly problems and the application has been disposed of.

9.3.53e With the principle of residential development having been previously accepted, it is considered appropriate to allocate the site for housing development as part of this Local Plan. Because of the current problems of land assembly no reliance is placed on the site in terms of the short-term 5-year housing land supply but it is quite reasonable to expect the site to come forward within the period of the Local Plan. The proposed site allocation is shown in Figure 9.8b below.

9.3.53f The site is allocated for around 70 homes, similar to the previous resolution to grant outline consent but the final number will depend on the nature of any scheme that comes forward through the planning application process. Furthermore, there may be potential to incorporate further land to the north which is currently in use as allotments (subject to their relocation) and to the north east (Linden House) which already has planning permission for 10 units. If these sites were to be included capacity could be increased to around 120 units but for the purposes of the Local Plan housing requirement, delivery of 70 units has been assumed. Access to the site is achievable from the permitted (under construction) scheme to the south.

9.8b Swinbrook Road

 

Policy CA1b Land at Swinbrook Road, Carterton

 

Land to the east of Swinbrook Road, Carterton to accommodate around 70 dwellings as a well-integrated and logical extension of the existing built form of the town.

Proposals for development should be consistent with the following:

a) provision of a mix of house types and tenures including affordable housing in accordance with Policy H3 - Affordable Housing

b) provision of satisfactory vehicular access and appropriate pedestrian and cycle connections;

c) density, layout and form of development that integrates effectively with the adjoining residential scheme to the south of the site;

d) appropriate provision of and contributions towards supporting infrastructure including extension/enhancement of Kilkenny Country Park and/or provision or improvement of other sports/recreation facilities;

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

f) 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.

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

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[22] these sites have not been allocated. In terms of the future potential strategic expansion of Carterton, three main options have been considered including land to the north, north-east and west of the town. Whilst these areas of land have been identified as having some future development potential in the Carterton Masterplan, having regard to the overall housing requirement and evidence prepared in support of the Local Plan[23] these sites have not been allocated at this point but will be re-considered as part of any subsequent review of this Local Plan alongside any other reasonable alternatives.

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.

9.3.55a Land to the north east of Carterton which also falls within Brize Norton Parish is similarly poorly related to the town and more remote from the town centre. Parts of the site are also very open and elevated and development in this location would represent a significant incursion into open countryside.

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.

22. Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Site Assessment Matrix [back]
23. 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 Carterton Masterplan. 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. To help achieve this, land on the corner of Monahan Way and Carterton Road is allocated for employment use subject to the replacement of the existing leisure facilities currently on the site. This would deliver around 4 ha of business land and would create an effective business 'cluster' with the existing Ventura and West Oxfordshire business parks nearby. The allocation is however 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 the implementation of this allocation 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 promotion 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[24] . 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. The Town Council commissioned a masterplan for Carterton which was completed in 2015. It 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.

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

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 9.9).

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.

 

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.

 

 

Figure 9.9 - Carterton Town Centre Strategy

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, limestone resources to the north, 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 conserve 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 and fire station 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)

- redevelopment of existing sub-standard MOD housing including a non-strategic housing allocation of around 300 dwellings (net) at REEMA North and Central (see Policy CA1)

- a non-strategic housing allocation of around 200 dwellings at Milestone Road, Carterton (see Policy CA1a)

- a non-strategic housing allocation of around 70 dwellings at Swinbrook Road, Carterton (see Policy CA1b)

- 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. This will include the provision of around 4ha on land on the corner of Monahan Way and Carterton Road which is allocated for employment use subject to the relocation of the existing sports pitches (see Policy E1).

- 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 promotion 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

- Conservation and enhancement of the historic environment

- 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.

Chipping Norton Sub Area

Chipping Norton Sub-Area

9.4.1 This is the second largest of the five sub-areas covering just over 15,000 hectares. The population is however relatively low with just 13,000 residents half of which live in the hilltop town of Chipping Norton (or 'Chippy' as it is locally known). Chipping Norton is the third largest town in West Oxfordshire and occupies a prominent hill-top position on the eastern edge of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) within which most of the town is situated. Lying astride the 185m contour, Chipping Norton is one of the highest settlements of its size in southern England and offers extensive views to and from the surrounding countryside.

9.4.2 It is an historic market town which gained prosperity and importance as a centre of the wool and tweed industries. Combined with a rich heritage the town continues to possess a strong and vibrant community supporting its own theatre, a leisure centre with indoor pool (alongside retaining the community run outdoor swimming pool), a golf course and numerous sports clubs and societies. A youth centre has also opened.

9.4.3 Outside of Chipping Norton the remaining population within this sub-area live in a scattering of generally small villages and hamlets. Being surrounded by this rural hinterland and being relatively remote from larger towns, Chipping Norton acts as a service centre for residents, workers and visitors although does itself look to Banbury/Cherwell District for some services and facilities.

Figure 9.11 - Chipping Norton Sub-Area

Housing

9.4.4 Most of the housing within this sub-area is located in Chipping Norton (about 3,000 houses). New areas of Council housing were added in the post-war years on land to the south and west of the centre and private housing estates were built during the 1980s and 1990s. About 1,150 new homes have been added since 1976. Some of this has been through the redevelopment of large previously developed sites such as Parker Knoll and Bliss Mill, the former tweed mill now converted to flats.

9.4.5 House prices are relatively low compared with much of the District but housing affordability remains a key issue with around 98 of those on the Council's housing waiting list having identified Chipping Norton as their preferred location.

9.4.6 Elsewhere in the sub-area, Enstone (including Church Enstone and Neat Enstone) has seen a significant increase in the amount of housing during the 20th Century, with council house developments in the 1920s and 1950s and further development of market housing over the last 20 to 30 years. Middle Barton also saw considerable expansion in the latter half of the 20th century with the creation of new private and council estates.

Employment

9.4.7 Chipping Norton prides itself upon being a 'working town', although the number of people living and working in the town has decreased since the 2001 Census from over 50% to just 36%. Levels of home working in this sub-area remain high with around 35% of workers working at or mainly from home.

9.4.8 There are three well-used older employment estates on the western edge (including on part of the former railway line) and a modern business park to the east. The loss at the beginning of this century of the Parker Knoll furniture factory (over 400 jobs) was a significant blow. Employment opportunities have increased in recent years with the expansion of manufacturing firm Owen Mumford on the western side of the town.

9.4.9 There is very limited land available for new business development in Chipping Norton – an issue highlighted in the District Council’s latest economic evidence[25] . There is a small undeveloped plot of 0.1ha remaining at Cromwell Park, 0.4ha allocated in the 2006 Local Plan but unavailable at the highway depot off the Banbury Road just south of the new Aldi store and 2ha of previously permitted business land on the former Parker Knoll site also unavailable insofar as it is not being promoted by the landowner for employment use. There remains demand for additional business units, including good quality small industrial units and office space.    

 

25. West Oxfordshire Economic Snapshot and Outlook (2015) - CAG [back]

9.4.10 Elsewhere in the sub area there is a large mainly industrial area at Enstone Airfield and Lotus F1 has a significant facility just outside Middle Barton. In addition there are small industrial and business parks, many in converted farm buildings such as at Kiddington and Radford.

Transport

9.4.11 Transport is a key issue for this sub-area. Chipping Norton sits astride the crossing of the A44 and A361, with the heavily used lorry route to and from the Evesham area passing through the town centre and detracting from the quality of the centre. This has led to an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) being designated along the town centre roads and extending along Banbury Road.

9.4.12 An Air Quality Action Plan was approved in October 2008 and contains a range of measures aimed at improving air quality, primarily through reduction of HGV movements through promoting alternative routes. The requirement for a bypass for the town to ease the impact of lorries on the town centre has been previously assessed but not taken forward.

9.4.13 In terms of public transport, Chipping Norton is not served by rail but there is a railbus to nearby Kingham Station. Chipping Norton has a good range of bus services for a rural market town but there are some deficiencies in the service network.

9.4.14 In terms of pedestrian access, the close proximity between key locations have the potential to make positive contributions towards accessibility across Chipping Norton, though, this is hindered due to the topography and relatively poor connections within the residential areas. Legibility, way-finding and permeability are key issues, particularly within residential areas for pedestrians to access local services, schools, employment areas and the town centre.

9.4.15 There are no cycle links to Chipping Norton from the surrounding settlements and within the town some roads are too narrow for cycle paths. Although cyclists can use bridleways, restricted byways and byways (along with horse riders) these often do not connect up safely with roads that are safe to use. Some of the country lanes around Chipping Norton are quiet and attractive for cycling, but the main A and B roads are busier and less attractive.

9.4.16 The availability of public car parking in Chipping Norton has been identified as a key constraint affecting the vitality and viability of the town centre.

Retail and Leisure

9.4.17 Chipping Norton Town Centre contains a variety of shops and services, pubs and restaurants as well as a weekly market. These facilities primarily serve the day to day needs of residents of the town and surrounding villages but also attract passing tourist trade. The centre however has a good range of shops for a town of its size including national multiple and independent retailers.

9.4.18

Evidence[26] ` suggests that the town centre food shopping role is important and helps to support the range of other shops and services as people undertake linked trips to other shops in addition to their food shopping. The town’s convenience goods offer will be has been enhanced through an extension of the existing Co-op and the provision of an new Aldi supermarket on the Banbury Road. Evidence suggests there is little capacity for further convenience goods floorspace at Chipping Norton in the period to 2029. 

26. West Oxfordshire Retail Assessment (2012) [back]

9.4.19 In terms of non-food (comparison goods) shopping, Chipping Norton's offer is strong for a town of its size and evidence suggests that there is capacity to support additional comparison goods retail floorspace in the period to 2029.

9.4.20 At Enstone, facilities include a primary school, post office, general store, petrol filling station and two public houses. Facilities at Middle Barton include a primary school, a post office/general store, public house, three places of worship and a sports ground including a social club and tennis courts.

Environment and Heritage

9.4.21 This is an area of high limestone plateau (ironstone in the north-east) with several river valleys designated for their biodiversity value (Conservation Target Areas). The western part of this sub-area including most of Chipping Norton itself falls within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). There are a number of historic parks and gardens including the Great Tew Estate which comprises parkland of late-16th-century origin and Heythrop Park. A small proportion of the sub-area also falls within the designated Wychwood Project Area which aims to revive the landscape character and mix of habitats found in the area during the middle-ages.

9.4.22 Chipping Norton includes a number of locally listed and listed buildings including perhaps most notably the landmark Bliss Mill, a former tweed mill (Grade 2* listed building) now converted to flats. A Conservation Area covers much of the central area of the town.

Infrastructure

9.4.23 Other than the transport issues outlined above, one of the main infrastructure considerations in this sub-area is education. There are currently two primary schools in Chipping Norton, both faith schools and both nearing capacity. Whilst there are other primary schools in surrounding villages that take children from Chipping Norton, notably Kingham, these schools are also nearing capacity. There is adequate capacity at secondary school level.

9.4.24 Additional affordable homes are also needed but this has proved difficult to deliver in Chipping Norton. The size of the town has precluded the rural exception site approach used in villages and the former national site size threshold used in the adopted Local Plan has made most new residential schemes that come forward ineligible to contribute to affordable housing.

9.4.25 Library provision in the town is relatively poor and the emerging Chipping Norton Neighbourhood Plan identifies a local aspiration to address this through a civic space which also hosts IT services, public education, local history and well-being centre. Further infrastructure priorities that have been identified include increased car parking capacity, bus terminal, household recycling centre, improved pedestrian links and play areas for children including a skate park, outdoor gym, green spaces/pocket parks.

Scope for Further Expansion

9.4.26 The scope for further significant expansion at Chipping Norton is relatively limited. Much of the town and surrounding land to the north and west falls within the Cotwolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which whilst not precluding the possibility of development, clearly influences the ability of the town to grow.

9.4.27 Land to the east of the town is located outside of the AONB and offers the only opportunity for significant urban expansion.

9.4.28 Within the town there are a number of further development opportunities utilising previously developed (brownfield) land. A key site lies to the north of the town centre off Spring Street where the old hospital, ambulance station and care home will be redeveloped.

9.4.29 Outside Chipping Norton, opportunities for further development in the rest of the sub-area are relatively limited due to the nature and size of the settlements and lack of suitable and deliverable land for development.

Key Issues - Summary

9.4.30 Drawing on the brief profile outlined above we can identify a number of key issues and challenges to be addressed in relation to the Chipping Norton sub-area. These include:

  • A relatively large but sparsely populated sub-area with most people living in Chipping Norton, the District's third largest town.
  • Chipping Norton has an important heritage as a centre of the wool and tweed industries with an extensive Conservation Area and numerous listed buildings plus a scheduled monument. The conservation and enhancement of the historic environment is therefore an important issue in this area.
  • The area has a strong and vibrant community spirit.
  • Surrounding villages look to Chipping Norton which acts as a service centre although Chipping Norton itself looks to Banbury for higher order services and facilities.
  • Provision of new housing in the town has been relatively modest in the past.
  • Housing in Chipping Norton is relatively inexpensive compared to other parts of the District but there is still a high level of affordable housing need.
  • Chipping Norton is generally known as a 'working town' but the number of people living and working in the town has fallen from 50% to 36% since 2001.
  • Levels of home working in the area remain high with around 35% working at or mainly from home.
  • There is very limited business land available to meet future needs.
  • There is a potential opportunity for the modernisation of older employment land stock on the western side of the town.
  • HGV movements through the town are a significant issue in terms of amenity and air quality.
  • The town has no direct rail service although there is a rail bus to Kingham.
  • Bus services are reasonable for a rural market town but there is scope for enhancement.
  • There are no cycle routes into the town and routes within the town itself are poor.
  • The town offers good scope for walking given close the proximity of key locations but this is hindered by the topography of the town and poor connections.
  • Chipping Norton has a strong convenience goods (food) retail offer which supports the comparison goods (non-food) retail within the town through linked trips. There is limited capacity for further food retail floorspace but scope for additional non-food retail floorspace within the town.
  • The availability of adequate public parking capacity is a key constraint in Chipping Norton.
  • Chipping Norton as a main service centre offers a good range of services and facilities but a number of infrastructure requirements have been identified including additional primary school capacity, affordable housing, library provision and additional public car parking.
  • There is some potential for the utilisation of previously developed land within the town but not enough to meet future housing requirements and as such an urban extension will be needed.

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 will also be given to any adopted (made) Neighbourhood Plans in the sub-area. 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. It is anticipated that the overall housing requirement (2,400 homes) will be met through a combination of homes already completed, existing commitments, windfall development and an allocated Strategic Development Area (SDA). This is summarised in the table below. Further sites will also be identified through any subsequent review of this Local Plan.

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

Table 9.3 - Anticipated Housing Delivery in the Chipping Norton Sub-Area

Chipping Norton sub-area indicative housing requirement

2,400

Homes already completed (2011 - 2016)

165

Existing large planning commitments as of 1st September 2016 (10 or more units) including:

  • Cromwell Park, Chipping Norton (96)
  • Walterbush Road, Chipping Norton (228)
  • Chipping Norton War Memorial Hospital (14)
  • Penhurst School, Chipping Norton ( 93)*

431

Existing small planning commitments as of 1st September 2016 (less than 10 units)

123

East Chipping Norton Strategic Development Area (SDA)

1,400

Anticipated windfall (2016 - 2031)

207

Total

2,326

*remaining units forming part of a larger scheme

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. In the first five years of the plan period (2011 - 2016) a total of 165 homes have already been completed in the Chipping Norton sub-area. As of 1st September 2016, a further 554 homes already benefit from planning permission or resolution to grant permission subject to Section 106. This comprises 431 units on larger sites of 10 or more dwellings and 123 on smaller sites of less than 10. The largest of these sites at Walterbush Road, Chipping Norton (228 units) is currently under construction.

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. 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 of historic rates of windfall delivery by sub-area, it is reasonable to expect delivery of at least 207 units from unidentified windfall sites in the period 2016 - 2031.

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 1,400 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. The original draft allocation (500 homes) attracted a number of comments which were carefully considered. The Council's assessment of the site was updated and the site was subsequently allocated in the pre-submission draft Local Plan for 600 homes.

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. Given the locational advantages of the site and relative lack of policy and physical constraints, thorough consideration has been given to the advantages of significantly increasing the size of the allocation. Transport evidence commissioned on behalf of the District Council by Oxfordshire County Council has tested the implications of a much larger scheme of up to 1,500 dwellings and concludes that if supported by an eastern link road not only would the traffic impact of the additional growth be able to be mitigated but there could also be a diversion of a large proportion of HGV movements from Chipping Norton Town Centre, thereby possibly having a beneficial effect in terms of improving air quality - a key issue for the town.

9.4.43a Increasing the size of the allocation also provides the opportunity to bring in and incorporate the land to the north of the London Road much of which is already being actively promoted for development by various parties, thereby ensuring a comprehensive approach to development is achieved and providing the opportunity to deliver a significant quantum of new business floorspace (approximately 9 hectares) in a single, highly sustainable location with potential for further expansion in the longer term.

9.4.43b The physical extent and indicative capacity of the East Chipping Norton SDA has therefore been increased to 1,400 new homes in order to realise these advantages and to help meet the overall housing target which has increased significantly since the original draft Local Plan was submitted. Whilst it is a significant increase in housing numbers and employment land provision for this site it is considered that this can be successfully accommodated on the site without undue harm in terms of landscape impact subject to appropriate mitigation, albeit with an extension of the site boundary. It will also help to deliver an alternative strategic transport link for the town and help ensure the viability of a new primary school both of which will be delivered as integral parts of the allocation.

9.4.44 The proposed allocation is shown below (note: the extent of the developable area shown is indicative only). The proposed SDA allocation is shown below (note: the extent of the developable area and the route of the eastern distributor road shown is indicative only). The allocation envisages 200 new homes and 9 ha of business land on the land to the north of the London Road with the remaining 1,200 homes to be provided on the largest part of the site to the south of the London Road.

9.4.44a In connecting the London Road to the B4028/A361 the proposed eastern link road is likely to need to be routed across land in the ownership of the Town Council much of which is in use as allotments as well as an area of community woodland. The proposed SDA itself would provide an opportunity for any necessary relocation of the allotments. Comprehensive development of this area also provides the opportunity to link the London Road with the Banbury Road, thereby further increasing journey choice for vehicles and also ensuring good connections for the proposed business land (9 ha) north of the London Road.

9.4.45 Key considerations for this site include landscape impact, access arrangements (including the potential need to relocate the existing allotments if displaced), school capacity and the need to create a sustainable, mixed community that integrates effectively with the existing town. Given the extent of the proposed SDA, the Council wishes to achieve a comprehensive development and would support in principle the preparation of an overall masterplan for the area incorporating both land to the south and north of the London Road. This would allow for individual applications to potentially come forward for parts of the site in the shorter-term without prejudicing delivery of a more advantageous, comprehensive scheme.

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.

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. 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. In light of the increased size of the allocation, the initial proposal which was to provide vehicular access effectively through a cul de sac arrangement from two points, via Trinity Road onto London Road and via Fowlers Barn onto London Road will no longer be appropriate. Whilst these two points of access will still be needed, the size of the development is such that a 'through route' from north to south will be needed. 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 despite the increased size of the allocation.

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 and it is envisaged that this will be provided in a single 9ha location to the north of London Road in order to provide a good level of 'critical mass' and to allow for potential occupation by large format employers.

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 1,400 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 1,400 homes with a balanced and appropriate mix of residential accommodation to meet identified needs, including affordable housing;

ai) comprehensive development for the whole site including land north and south of London Road to be led by an agreed masterplan;

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

b) provision for additional business floorspace of around 9 ha on land to the north of London Road;

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

d) satisfactory vehicular access arrangements to be agreed in principle with the highway authority and demonstrated through a robust Transport Assessment (TA) to include the provision of an eastern link road connecting the Banbury Road to the B4026/A361 via London Road;

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

e) the provision of a new primary school on-site ( 2FE (including nursery ) on a 2.22ha site;

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 recognising that part of the sites falls within the Glyme and Dorn Conservation Target Area (CTA);

hi) the investigation, recording and safeguarding of the known and potential archaeological significance of the Area prior to the commencement of development. The results of the investigation and recording should inform the development and be deposited in a public archive;

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 including on the air quality management area (AQMA) 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.

o) Lighting proposals relating to the site will need to have due regard to the potential impact on the AONB, in particular the Rollright Stones Dark Skies Discovery Site.

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. As part of the East Chipping Norton SDA provision will be made for around 9 hectares of business land (B-class uses) on land to the north of London Road. The provision of a small business park in this location would be attractive to potential developers and occupants and would be adequate in size to meet currently identified needs. Further land exists to the east of the SDA boundary which could provide potential for further expansion for business use in the longer-term.

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. More recently on behalf of the District Council, Oxfordshire County Council have commissioned additional transport evidence for Chipping Norton to help inform the Local Plan. The report concludes that the provision of an eastern link road for Chipping Norton could have a beneficial impact on HGV movements through the town centre, potentially diverting a large percentage of HGV movements and thereby having a beneficial impact on air quality. The provision of this link road is therefore an integral element of the proposed East Chipping Norton Strategic Development Area (SDA).

9.4.57 We will therefore work in partnership with the County Council, Chipping Norton Town Council and other relevant parties to bring forward the East Chipping Norton SDA including the provision of the eastern link road and also to implement the other 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 was 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.

Figure 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 conserve 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 1,8002,400 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 1,400 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.

- Retention and where appropriate modernisation of existing business premises together with the provision of additional business land of 9 hectares to be provided as part of the East Chipping Norton SDA on land to the north of London Road.

- 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. This will include the provision of a new eastern link road to be delivered as an integral part of the East Chipping Norton Strategic Development Area (SDA).

- 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.

Eynsham Woodstock Sub Area

Eynsham - Woodstock Sub-Area

9.5.1 This is the third largest sub-area covering around 14,000 hectares and accommodating a population of around 21,000 people. The three main settlements are Eynsham, Long Hanborough and Woodstock. With a population of around 5,000, Eynsham is the fourth largest settlement in West Oxfordshire, located just south of the A40, half-way between Oxford and Witney and just beyond the western edge of the Oxford Green Belt. Eynsham is an important local service centre offering a wide range of facilities and employment. It has a particularly important role to play in meeting identified development needs due to the size of the settlement and its proximity and connections to Oxford City.

9.5.2 Long Hanborough developed as a linear village along the now A4095 and is one of the smaller designated service centres with a population of approximately 2,400. The village has a small number of shops and a reasonable range of other services and facilities. Primary school capacity is however an issue.

9.5.3 Woodstock is a historic town of national, if not international, renown. The old part of Woodstock is a well preserved example of a medieval town; a Conservation Area covers much of the central area and there are almost 200 listed buildings. The Blenheim World Heritage Site (WHS) abuts the western boundary of the conservation area and extends to the north and south of the town along the A44. The town has a very good range of services and facilities given its size (approximately 3,000 population) and good accessibility to Oxford. It can accommodate a reasonable scale of development, whilst protecting its important historic character and the setting of Blenheim Palace, in order to deliver affordable housing, enhance local services and reinforce its role as a service centre.

9.5.3a Long Hanborough developed as a linear village along the now A4095 and has a population of approximately 2,400. The village has a small number of shops and a reasonable range of other services and facilities. Given the residential schemes of 169 homes and 50 homes recently approved, the limited role of the settlement and its landscape setting, it is only suitable for very modest levels of further development.

9.5.4 The other larger settlements in this area include Freeland which despite losing some its facilities in recent years retains a primary school, two places of worship, a pub and playing fields and Standlake to the south which has a population of about 1,300 and a range of local services and facilities, particularly recreational activities.

Figure 9.15 - Eynsham - Woodstock Sub-Area

Housing

9.5.5 Eynsham experienced rapid expansion to the north after the A40 was constructed in the 1930s. Sub-division of the original burgage plots and intensification of development has also taken place within the medieval core, creating a compact and dense settlement. A development of 100 dwellings to the east and an affordable housing development completed to the west are the most significant residential developments to have taken place in recent years.

9.5.6 In Long Hanborough, areas of Council housing were built during the 1920s and 1930s lessening the linear form. Further estate style housing was built in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. More recently, limited new housing has been added to the village. House prices here are amongst the highest in the District reflecting the good level of accessibility with a Cotswold line railway station just to the east of the village.

9.5.7 At Woodstock, residential estates have been added to the historic core of the town since the 1930s, and particularly in the 50s and 60s. More recently the number of new houses built within the town has been relatively low although permission has been granted for new residential development to the east of the town adjacent to Marlborough school and significant developer interest remains on land to the south east of the town on land abutting the District boundary. At Woodstock, residential estates have been added to the historic core of the town since the 1930s, and particularly in the 50s and 60s. More recently the number of new houses built within the town has been relatively low although permission has been granted for new residential development to the east of the town adjacent to Marlborough school which is now under construction. There is also significant developer interest on other sites including land to the south east of the town which is the subject of a current application for 300 homes and is allocated for housing in this Local Plan (see Policy EW1a).

9.5.7a In Long Hanborough, areas of Council housing were built during the 1920s and 1930s lessening the linear form. Further estate style housing was built in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. More recently, limited new housing has been added to the village although there are now committed residential schemes of 169 homes and 50 homes respectively. There is a good level of public transport accessibility with a Cotswold line railway station just to the east of the village.

Employment

9.5.8 Employment opportunities in this area are focused at Eynsham, Long Hanborough and Woodstock. Eynsham provides a range of facilities including employment, with the large Oakfield industrial estate and Siemens located on the outskirts of the village. Evidence[27] suggests that Eynsham is a key employment location and alongside Witney, Carterton and Chipping Norton, should cater for the bulk of demand for business premises within the District.

9.5.9 Long Hanborough has a small number of shops, a reasonable range of other services and facilities and there is a sizeable and well used employment area to the east of the village located next to the railway station on the Cotswold line.

9.5.10 Blenheim Palace is the District's largest visitor attraction and a major contributor to the local economy, both in terms of employment and spending. Its location, immediately next to Woodstock, combined with the attractive character of the town itself, has resulted in tourism being especially important to Woodstock's livelihood. The town's dual role as a tourist centre and a service centre, for its own population and its hinterland, means there are several pubs, restaurants, hotels and tea shops, along with a good range of other shops. Outside of the town's central area there are a few specific employment sites including The Quadrangle a collection of barn conversions now offices and also the Owen Mumford factory and depot off Green Lane.

9.5.11 The proximity of this sub-area to Oxford Airport, Kidlington and Oxford with the major employment growth areas also to the south of Oxford, present a diverse range of opportunities within close distance including within the Oxfordshire knowledge spine suggesting the Eynsham - Woodstock area has a positive role to play in terms of economic development. As However, as a result, around 30% of workers in this sub-area travel to work in Oxford. This contributes towards traffic congestion along key routes including the A40 and A44.

27. West Oxfordshire Economic Snapshot and Outlook (2015) – CAG [back]

Transport

9.5.12 As outlined above, transport is a key issue for this sub-area. The A40 runs east-west through it and significant congestion occurs between Eynsham and Oxford at peak times. This also has a knock-on effect as drivers choose to avoid the A40 by using the A4095 through Long Hanborough and Bladon before joining the A44 just south of Woodstock. This leads to large volumes of through traffic in those villages and congestion on the A44 approaches to Oxford.

9.5.13 A further key issue for Eynsham is the congestion caused at peak times by the Swinford Toll Bridge to the south east as drivers opt to use the B4044 as a further alternative to the A40 for travel into and beyond Oxford.

9.5.14 Further pressure on the primary routes is caused by industrial traffic from the Lower Windrush area which often travels north, due to inadequate river crossings to the south (e.g. Newbridge).

9.5.15 Woodstock lies on the A44 and high through traffic levels (particularly lorries) have long been an issue for the town. An advisory route to divert freight traffic away from the A44 has been introduced and this has reduced some of the heavy goods traffic but not eliminated them.

9.5.16 Public transport availability in this area is good with railway stations at Tackley, Combe and Long Hanborough, the latter being one of the District’s largest and most well-used stations. Parking Car parking facilities have recently been expanded at Long Hanborough to improve capacity and there are aspirations for further station improvements including additional parking, a footbridge and new platform so that any trains extended from Oxford can terminate and turnaround. To fully realise the potential of the Cotswold line, further redoubling will be required at the eastern and western ends of the line, between Wolvercote Junction and Hanborough, and from west of Evesham towards Pershore. This would allow up to three trains per hour to Hanborough and/or Charlbury and two trains per hour between London and Worcester, with a journey time under two hours. lengthening, line redoubling and the provision of better station facilities.

9.5.17 Eynsham has access to very good bus services, with regular premium services to Oxford, Witney and Carterton. There is a need to improve bus journey times however through Eynsham and approaching the Wolvercote roundabout on the edge of Oxford. Funding of £35m has been made available through the local growth fund and will be used to implement improvements. The County Council has identified the possibility of a park and ride site at Eynsham. Woodstock is served by the S3 premium bus service to Oxford, Charlbury and Chipping Norton. Eynsham has access to very good bus services, with regular premium services to Oxford, Witney and Carterton. There is a need to improve bus journey times however through Eynsham and approaching the Wolvercote roundabout on the edge of Oxford. Funding of £35m has been made available through the local growth fund and will be used to implement improvements including the provision of a new park and ride site to the north of Eynsham, coupled with the provision of an eastbound bus lane between the park and ride and the Duke’s Cut canal bridge near Wolvercote. Woodstock is served by the S3 premium bus service to Oxford, Charlbury and Chipping Norton.

9.5.18 Public transport in the south of the sub area is more limited however, due to the relative isolation of settlements from the rail network and the lack of bus service provision between villages and key destinations.

9.5.19 Opportunities for walking, cycling and riding within the sub area are generally good due to the close proximity of Witney and Oxford to key settlements in the area, as well as public transport links for onward travel and key visitor destinations near to towns and villages. There is a dedicated cycle route running along the A40 from Witney to Oxford.

9.5.20 The availability of car parking in town centres, particularly Woodstock has been consistently highlighted as a key issue throughout consultation on the Local Plan.

Retail and Leisure

9.5.21 The widest retail offer is provided by Woodstock where the range of shops available belies the size of the town. The centre has a number of high quality shops, pubs, hotels, cafes and restaurants with a low level of vacancy underlining that it is performing relatively well but is reliant on the visitor economy. Despite this apparent prosperity, the loss of shops which meet the day to day needs of residents is an issue of local concern.

9.5.22 Long Hanborough has a small number of shops and Eynsham is an important local service centre also providing a number of shops. Leisure opportunities are available at Standlake where there is a cricket club, banger racing circuit and holiday park. Nearby Oxford presents a diverse range of services and facilities including extensive retail and leisure opportunities.

9.5.23 This sub-area contains two valuable water-based leisure resources: the River Thames and its tributaries and the Lower Windrush Valley. The remoteness, tranquillity and landscape sensitivity of the Upper Thames limits the opportunities for further major water based activities and riverside facilities but there is good potential for suitable forms of tourism and leisure activity.

9.5.24 The Lower Windrush Valley, particularly in the Stanton Harcourt/Standlake area, has long been associated with the extraction of sand and gravel and subsequent restoration to form lakes, providing an extensive area for windsurfing, fishing, watersports and bird watching. The Lower Windrush Valley Project sets out a series of proposals to help achieve landscape, nature conservation and leisure objectives, including the provision of a long distance path - The Windrush Way - linking Witney to the Thames Path.

Environment and Heritage

9.5.25 This is a sensitive area both in terms of the natural and historic environment. In relation to the natural environment, a small area of the northern part of the sub-area falls within the Cotswolds AONB, the eastern part is within the Oxford Green Belt and much of the south is designated as a mineral consultation area with restored sand and gravel pits which together with the River Windrush, form part of the Lower Windrush Biodiversity Target Area. The Standlake area is particularly vulnerable to flooding. Cassington Meadows is of international importance forming part of the wider Oxford Meadows, a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

9.5.26 There are conservation areas and a number of listed buildings in Long Hanborough, Eynsham and Woodstock. Of particular note is the Blenheim World Heritage Site (WHS) at Woodstock which abuts the western boundary of the conservation area and extends to the north and south of the town along the A44. Blenheim Park covers some 2,000 acres and was famously landscaped by 'Capability Brown'. Blenheim Palace itself is one of England's largest houses built between 1705 and c.1724. There are a number of other historic parks and gardens, conservation areas and scheduled monuments scattered across the sub-area.

Infrastructure

9.5.27 In addition to the transport issues outlined above, infrastructure considerations in this sub-area include primarily leisure and education. The Eynsham Parish Plan identified a number of leisure needs including an all-weather artificial turf pitch, whilst current needs in Woodstock appear to be a skateboard facility and development of an outdoor training area with an ATP. The District Council's priority in Woodstock is to support the community in looking at the feasibility of an outdoor floodlit training area or ATP plus additional changing accommodation and assist in maximising any external funding opportunities.

9.5.28 In terms of education, schools in this area are operating in line with the County Council's target level of spare places for rural areas but are generally nearing capacity. Schools experiencing particular pressure include Combe, Bladon and Long Hanborough.

9.5.29 Like the rest of the District, there is a need for more affordable housing and housing for older people.

Scope for Further Expansion

9.5.30 Although most future growth in the District will be focused in the Witney, Carterton and Chipping Norton sub-areas, the two, more rural sub-areas have a key role to play and it is essential that they accommodate an appropriate amount and type of development so as to not stagnate or decline and provide for local housing and economic needs. The greatest potential for further development in this sub-area is considered to be at the three rural service centres, Eynsham, Woodstock and Long Hanborough. Although a significant proportion of future growth in the District will be focused in the Witney, Carterton and Chipping Norton sub-areas, the two, more rural sub-areas have a key role to play and it is essential that they accommodate an appropriate amount and type of development so as to not stagnate or decline and provide for identified housing and economic needs.

9.5.31 At Eynsham there is some scope for further development within the existing built up area and on the fringe of the village including land to the west. The Council's evidence suggests that there is scope for additional business land provision to support the current economic role of Eynsham. This is particularly the case for the Eynsham - Woodstock sub-area given its proximity to Oxford and the Oxfordshire knowledge spine as well as the relatively good level of public transport available.

9.5.32 There is also some scope for further development at Long Hanborough although the capacity of the local primary school is a key consideration. At Woodstock whilst there is some scope for limited development within and on the fringe of the town, the potential impact on the historic fabric of the town in particular the Blenheim World Heritage Site is a key consideration. The greatest potential for further development in this sub-area is considered to be at Eynsham. Here, there is scope for a new strategic urban extension to the west of the village of around 1,000 homes. To the north of the A40 near Eynsham, land has also been identified as having the potential to create a new Garden Village of around 2,200 homes (with further scope for expansion in the longer term). The new village is to be designated as a rural service centre alongside Eynsham and Woodstock. The Council's evidence[28] suggests that there is scope for additional business land provision to support the current economic role of Eynsham and the Garden Village provides an excellent opportunity to deliver this alongside the provision of a large number of new homes.

9.5.32a At Woodstock, despite the sensitivities presented by the Blenheim Palace World Heritage Site (WHS) there are a number of sustainable development opportunities on the edge of the town including land to the south east and north of Woodstock. The potential impact on the historic fabric of the town in particular the Blenheim World Heritage Site is however a key consideration.

9.5.33 Opportunities for development elsewhere in the sub-area are relatively limited and in accordance with the overall strategy, will be focused on the larger villages. There is some scope for very modest levels of further development at Long Hanborough in addition to existing commitments. Long Hanborough offers fewer local services and facilities than Eynsham and Woodstock other than the railway station.

28. Economic snapshot and outlook report (CAG) [back]

Key Issues - Summary

9.5.34 Drawing on the brief profile outlined above we can identify a number of key issues and challenges to be addressed in relation to the Eynsham - Woodstock sub-area. These include:

  • This is the third largest sub-area and is well populated with most people living at the three main settlements of Eynsham, Woodstock and Long Hanborough.
  • House prices in this sub-area are amongst the highest in the District.
  • This area is an important source of employment providing around 25% of the District's total number of job opportunities. Eynsham in particular is an important location for business.
  • There are very strong linkages with Oxford, with a high proportion of residents working in the city and much of the economic activity forming part of the wider Oxford city region economy.
  • The area can play an important role in helping meet Oxford City's unmet housing needs alongside major infrastructure enhancements.
  • Tourism plays an important role in terms of the economy in particular at Woodstock.
  • Parking Car parking capacity is an important consideration in some locations including Woodstock.
  • Extensive sand and gravel resources in the lower Windrush Valley southern part of the sub-area mean this is a major area of mineral working much of which is designated as a mineral consultation area. Appropriate after-use of mineral sites is an important issue and opportunity.
  • There is severe traffic congestion on the A40 between Eynsham and Oxford at peak times and on other key routes including the A4095 and A44.
  • The area has good rail service availability with railway stations at Tackley, Combe and Long Hanborough.
  • There is potential to develop Hanborough Station as a stronger transport interchange, with additional parking, and improved access from the south.
  • There are also some good bus services available although less so in the southern part of the sub-area where access to key bus routes is less proximate and convenient.
  • This is an environmentally sensitive area including AONB, Green Belt, mineral consultation area and part of a special area of conservation (SAC).
  • The area is also important in terms of heritage with Conservation Areas and a number of listed buildings in Long Hanborough, Eynsham and Woodstock and the Blenheim World Heritage Site (WHS) at Woodstock. The historic environment needs to be conserved and enhanced.
  • There is an identified requirement for additional leisure provision in this area.
  • Availability of adequate school capacity to accommodate future development is an issue in some locations.
  • There is potential for further development primarily at the rural service centres of Long Hanborough, Eynsham and Woodstock
  • There is potential for further development primarily at the rural service centres of Eynsham Woodstock and the West Oxfordshire Garden Village.

Strategy

9.5.35 Having regard to the profile and key issues outlined above, the strategy for the Eynsham - Woodstock sub-area is set out below. Regard will also be given to any adopted (made) Neighbourhood Plans in the sub-area.

Housing

9.5.36 In accordance with the overall strategy additional housing development in this sub-area will be focused primarily at Eynsham, Long Hanborough and Woodstock as designated rural service centres, with any additional development steered mainly towards the larger villages. In accordance with the overall strategy additional housing development in this sub-area will be focused primarily at Eynsham, Woodstock and the West Oxfordshire Garden Village as designated rural service centres, with any additional development steered mainly towards the larger villages.

9.5.37 The indicative housing requirement for this sub-area is 1,600 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. The total indicative housing requirement for this sub-area is 5,550 homes. This comprises 2,800 homes to meet West Oxfordshire's identified housing needs and a further 2,750 homes to assist neighbouring Oxford City in meeting their needs. The additional requirement for Oxford City will apply in the period 2021 - 2031 (and will be treated separately for the purposes of 5-year housing land supply). It is anticipated that this overall sub-area requirement will be met through a combination of homes already completed, existing commitments, Strategic Development Areas (SDA), non-strategic housing allocations and windfall development. This is summarised in the table below. Further sites will also be identified through any subsequent review of this Local Plan.

Table 9.4 - Anticipated Housing Delivery in the Eynsham - Woodstock Sub-Area

Eynsham - Woodstock sub-area indicative housing requirement

1,600

Homes already completed (2011 - 2014)

315

Existing planning commitments as of 1st February 2015 including:

  • Land north of Marlborough School (58)
  • Rural exception sites (35)
  • Other permissions (297)

387

Identified SHLAA capacity

529

Windfall allowance (25 per year 2015 - 2031)

400

Total

1,631

Table 9.4 - Anticipated Housing Delivery in the Eynsham - Woodstock Sub-Area

Eynsham - Woodstock sub-area indicative housing requirement

5,550 (including 2,750 for Oxford City's unmet housing needs)

Homes already completed (2011 - 2016)

439

Existing large planning commitments as of 1st September 2016 (10 or more units) including:

  • Land south of the A4095 west of Long Hanborough (169)
  • Land north of Marlborough School (51)*
  • Street Farm, Tackley (26)
  • Park Farm, Standlake Road, Northmoor (15)
  • Pink Hill House, Southfield Road, Eynsham (16)
  • Land adjacent to Newland Street, Eynsham (13)
  • Church Road, Long Hanborough (50)
  • Land Between Wychwood House and Malvern Villas Witney Road, Freeland (41)
  • Freeland House, Freeland (40)
  • Eynsham Nursery and Garden Centre (77)
  • Home Farm, Grove Road, Bladon (27)

525

Existing small planning commitments as of 1st September 2016 (less than 10 units)

191

West Oxfordshire Garden Village Strategic Development Area (SDA)

2,200

West Eynsham Strategic Development Area (SDA)

1,000

Land north of Hill Rise, Woodstock

120

Land east of Woodstock

300

Land north of Banbury Road, Woodstock

250

Oliver's Garage, Long Hanborough

25

Myrtle Farm, Long Hanborough

50

Former Stanton Harcourt Airfield Main Road Stanton Harcourt

50

Anticipated windfall (2016 - 2031)

324

Total

5,474

*remaining units forming part of a larger scheme

 

Past completions, existing commitments, SHLAA sites and windfall

9.5.38 In the first three years of the plan period (2011 - 2014) a total of 315 homes have already been completed in the Eynsham - Woodstock sub-area. As of 1st February 2015, a further 387 homes already benefit from planning permission or resolution to grant permission subject to Section 106. In the first five years of the plan period (2011 - 2016) a total of 439 homes have already been completed in the Eynsham - Woodstock sub-area. As of 1st September 2016, a further 716 homes already benefit from planning permission or resolution to grant permission subject to Section 106. This comprises 525 units on larger sites of 10 or more dwellings and 191 on smaller sites of less than 10.

9.5.39 In addition, the Council's SHLAA (June 2014) has identified capacity for up to 529 new homes. These include:

  • Land at Church Road, Long Hanborough
  • Land west of Eynsham
  • Land east of Woodstock

9.5.40 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 Eynsham - Woodstock sub-area over the remaining period of the Local Plan (2015 - 2031) thereby providing an additional 400 new homes. 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 of historic rates of windfall delivery by sub-area, it is reasonable to expect delivery of at least 324 units from unidentified windfall sites in the period 2016 - 2031.

Strategic Development Areas (SDAs)

9.5.40a Two Strategic Development Areas (SDAs) are proposed in the Eynsham - Woodstock sub-area together with a number of smaller 'non-strategic' housing allocations. The two SDAs are the West Oxfordshire Garden Village, a new rural service centre to be created to the north of the A40 near Eynsham and West Eynsham a sustainable urban extension of Eynsham itself.

9.5.40b It is anticipated that the West Oxfordshire Garden Village will deliver around 2,200 new homes by 2031 which will contribute entirely towards meeting the housing needs of nearby Oxford City. As these new homes are solely intended to meet the housing needs of Oxford City and are envisaged as coming forward between 2021 - 2031 (unless delivery can be accelerated) they will be treated separately for the purposes of 5-year housing land supply.

9.5.40c The West Eynsham SDA will deliver around 1,000 new homes by 2031, a proportion of which (550 homes) will contribute towards meeting the housing needs of Oxford City with the remainder (450 homes) contributing towards West Oxfordshire's own identified housing needs. For the purposes of 5-year housing land supply it will be assumed that all of the 550 homes for Oxford's unmet need will come forward in the period 2021 - 2031 and will therefore be treated separately.

West Oxfordshire Garden Village Strategic Development Area (SDA) - 2,200 homes (Eynsham Parish)

9.5.40d Land to the north of the A40, near Eynsham is allocated for the delivery of around 2,200 homes by 2031. This will be taken forward in the form of a new 'Garden Village' based on broad principles established through the Garden City movement of the late 1800s. This will include a strong emphasis on the following:

  • Strong vision, leadership and community engagement;
  • Community ownership of land and long term stewardship of assets;
  • Provision of local employment opportunities;
  • Ensuring a broad mix of housing types and tenures including starter homes and opportunities for self-build;
  • Providing integrated and accessible transport opportunities;
  • Achieving high quality, imaginative and sustainable design;
  • Ensuring good levels of access to local community, recreational and shopping facilities particularly on foot and bicycle;
  • Generous provision of open space including a strong Green Infrastructure Network that incorporates existing features and provides effective links to surrounding areas;
  • The provision of opportunities for local residents to grow their own food including allotments

9.5.40e The site is primarily greenfield and largely in agricultural use at present although there some existing uses including commercial development on the southern boundary along the A40. The site has no significant physical or policy constraints and a significant proportion of the land identified is being actively promoted for development. It falls outside the Oxford Green Belt which lies immediately to the east.

9.5.40f Importantly, the suitability of the site for strategic development has been assessed in broad terms as part of countywide joint working carried out to determine the apportionment of unmet need from Oxford City. The site was considered against a number of alternative site options in West Oxfordshire and shown to be the most appropriate option in West Oxfordshire (together with land to the west of Eynsham) for providing additional housing to meet the housing needs of Oxford City. The suitability of the site has also been tested through the Council's Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) and as part of the Local Plan Sustainability Appraisal (SA) process alongside other reasonable alternatives.

9.5.40g The location of the site is such that it has a strong spatial relationship to Oxford and the Oxfordshire knowledge spine. This is reinforced by the Council's own economic evidence which highlights the close relationship of Eynsham with Oxford and its surrounding environs.

An indicative site boundary is shown below in Figure 9.15a. This boundary was used in a recent expression of interest submitted to Government for official 'Garden Village' status. It is however indicative and should not be taken as definitive at this point in time. The intention of the Council is to prepare more detailed policy guidance as a follow on to the Local Plan in the form of a separate 'Area Action Plan' (AAP).

9.5.40h Preparation of a separate AAP will provide the opportunity to consider in more detail the most appropriate extent of development, quantum and mix of uses and indicative layout etc. It will also provide the opportunity to consider matters of delivery and phasing which are critical to strategic development of this scale. A focussed Green Belt review should be undertaken as part of the Area Action Plan process to consider whether additional areas should be added to the Oxford Green Belt in the vicinity of the new Garden Village.

9.5.40i In terms of new housing provision, it is envisaged that the site will deliver at least 2,200 homes by 2031 although if the lead in time to construction can be accelerated, this number could be increased. The site also provides an opportunity to consider further development beyond 2031. This would need to be considered against other reasonable alternatives as part of any subsequent review of this Local Plan.

9.5.40j In accordance with Garden City/Village principles, a broad range of dwelling types and tenures will be sought including up to 50% affordable housing in line with Policy H3 (subject to viability considerations). The Council's objective is to secure at least 20% of the overall number of dwellings in the form of Starter Homes. There will also be a strong emphasis on the provision of opportunities for self-build in accordance with Policy H5 as well as consideration of the opportunity to provide accommodation for Gypies and Travellers in accordance with Policy H7.

9.5.40k In accordance with Garden City/Village principles, there will be a strong emphasis on the provision of high quality local employment opportunities in order to encourage increased self-containment and reduce the need for out-commuting. It is anticipated that the Garden Village will therefore incorporate a new science park of around 40 hectares in size in a prominent location close to the A40. This scale will provide long term capacity up to and beyond 2031.

9.5.40l Although there are a number of 'campus-style' science parks in Oxfordshire, there are currently none in West Oxfordshire. The provision of around 40 hectares of business land within the Garden Village will help to ensure it is a commercially viable prospect and has the necessary scale to operate as a science park. The principle of delivering a new science park in this location is supported by the Oxfordshire LEP and is reflective of the economic strength of Eynsham and its close relationship to Oxford and the Oxfordshire knowledge spine. It is complementary to the Northern Gateway proposals in Oxford.

9.5.40m In addition to significant provision of new housing and job opportunities, the Garden Village will deliver major transport improvements and improved connectivity by car, public transport, walking and cycling. This will be a key theme of the development in line with Garden City/Village principles.

9.5.40n In terms of public transport, the site will include a new park and ride site, funding for which has already been secured by Oxfordshire County Council through the Local Growth Fund (£35m). This funding award will also deliver an eastbound bus priority lane from the new park and ride site to Duke's Cut canal bridge near Wolvercote. Further long term improvements to the A40 have also been identified by Oxfordshire County Council which when implemented will further encourage the use of priority bus services along the A40.

9.5.40o Whilst the site not directly served by rail it is in close proximity to Hanborough Station which is only around 3km to the north at its nearest point. The proposed Garden Village therefore presents an excellent opportunity to provide high quality linkages with Hanborough Station, thereby capitalising on the station and line improvements that have already been made or are being proposed.

9.5.40p Whilst the details of any proposal will be worked up through an Area Action Plan, it is evident that there are a number of existing public rights of way between the Garden Village site and Hanborough Station that could be enhanced and extended or with dedicated provision for cyclists provided. Similarly there is an opportunity to enhance connections to the station by road including the possibility of a southern access point from Lower Road being provided. This could enable bus connectivity between Eynsham, the Garden Village and Hanborough Station. All of these measures would make a significant contribution towards encouraging residents of the Garden Village to use Hanborough Station for journeys by rail.

9.5.40q The size of the proposal is such that provision would also be made for supporting community uses including a new primary school together with a neighbourhood centre of a suitable scale to serve everyday needs of residents. In accordance with Garden City/Village principles the development will also be characterised by generous Green Infrastructure both formal and informal. This will include the provision of effective links to the surrounding countryside.

9.5.40r By ensuring good links across the A40 (e.g. an iconic feature bridge as suggested in the Council's Garden Village expression of interest) existing residents of Eynsham to the south will be able to access Tilgarsley to enjoy the services, facilities and amenities it will offer. Conversely, residents of the Garden Village will be able to access Eynsham and its services and facilities, thereby playing a complementary rather than a competing role.

Figure 9.15a - West Oxfordshire Garden Village Strategic Development Area (SDA)

Tilgarsley

 

Policy EW1a - West Oxfordshire Garden Village Strategic Development Area (2,200 homes)

 

Land to the north of the A40, near Eynsham to accommodate a free-standing exemplar Garden Village (Tilgarsley) including:

a) about 2,200 homes with a balanced and appropriate mix of house types and tenures to meet identified needs including affordable housing.

b) development taken forward in accordance with key Garden Village principles.

c) comprehensive development to be led by an Area Action Plan (AAP).

d) about 40 hectares of business land (B-class) in the form of a 'campus-style' science park.

e) provision of a new park and ride site (1,000 spaces) with associated eastbound bus priority lane along the A40.

f) the provision of up to two primary schools on site (2FE including nursery) on 2.22ha sites together with financial contributions towards secondary school capacity as appropriate.

g) the provision of other 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, including a particular emphasis on improving linkages to Hanborough Station and to Eynsham and on enhancing Hanborough Station as a transport interchange.

h) development to be phased in accordance with the timing of provision of supporting infrastructure and facilities.

i) the provision of appropriate landscaping measures to mitigate the potential impact of development and associated infrastructure.

j) biodiversity enhancements including arrangements for future maintenance.

k) provision of appropriate green infrastructure including allotments, open space, improvements to public rights of way and access to the wider countryside.

l) appropriate measures to mitigate traffic noise.

m) the investigation, recording and safeguarding of the known and potential archaeological significance of the Area prior to any development taking place. The results of the investigation and recording should inform the final layout of the development and be deposited in a public archive.

n) 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.

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

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

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

West Eynsham Strategic Development Area (SDA) - 1,000 homes (Eynsham Parish)

9.5.40s Land to the west of Eynsham is allocated for the delivery of 1,000 homes. A proportion of these new homes (550) will contribute towards the unmet housing need of Oxford City, with the remaining balance (450) contributing towards West Oxfordshire's own identified housing needs. The site is well-related to the main services and facilities of Eynsham including in particular Bartholomew Secondary School, Eynsham Village Hall and the Eynsham Medical Centre. It has no major physical or policy constraints to development although flood risk is an important consideration due to the presence of the Chil Brook which runs across parts of the site. The majority of the site is actively being promoted for development.

9.5.40t The former Eynsham Nursery and Garden Centre to the west of Eynsham has already secured planning permission for residential development of 77 new homes. There is also a current planning application pending determination for a further 160 homes on land immediately west of Willows Edge/Thornbury Road demonstrating clear developer interest.

9.5.40u The suitability of the site for strategic development has been assessed in broad terms as part of countywide joint working carried out to determine the apportionment of unmet need from Oxford City. The site was considered against a number of alternative site options in West Oxfordshire and shown to be the most appropriate option (together with land to the north of Eynsham, the site of the Garden Village expression of interest) for providing additional housing to meet the housing needs of Oxford City. The suitability of the site has also been tested through the Council's Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) and as part of the Local Plan Sustainability Appraisal (SA) process alongside other reasonable alternatives.

9.5.40v The potential for a western expansion of Eynsham has also been considered as part of the extensive work and consultation on the emerging Neighbourhood Plan for Eynsham. The proposed allocation is shown below.

9.5.40w The site is in multiple land ownerships and the majority has been promoted for development through the Council's Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA). Having regard to the size of the site, the constraints that exist in terms of flood risk and the requirement for other on-site uses including a new primary school, local centre and green infrastructure it is reasonable to expect delivery of around 1,000 new homes in this area.

9.5.40x A key consideration for this site is traffic impact not only in terms of the traffic impact of the proposed development but also the potential to deliver strategic transport improvements that would be of wider benefit to other residents and employees. In particular, a major urban extension such as this presents the opportunity to provide a new western link road for Eynsham serving the new development and also providing a strategic road connection from the A40 to the B4449 to the south, thereby providing additional journey choice and also helping to remove unnecessary through-traffic.

9.5.40y The provision of this link road will be sought as an integral part of comprehensive development to the west of Eynsham. Appropriate consideration will also need to be given to the relationship between proposed access arrangements onto the A40 from this site and from the proposed Garden Village to the north.

9.5.40z A further key consideration for the site is the provision of effective pedestrian and cycle links to encourage sustainable travel into Eynsham and beyond including the West Oxfordshire Garden Village to the north of the A40. Any development in this area will need to be supported by a detailed Transport Assessment (TA) and Travel Plan.

9.5.41a As a major urban extension into open countryside, landscape impact is a key consideration but compared to other alternative site options, this area is not overtly sensitive and if planned and designed properly, the impact of development is capable of being effectively mitigated. A detailed landscape and visual impact assessment would be required in support of any future application to determine the most appropriate form and layout of development which would ultimately influence final housing numbers.

9.5.41b In terms of deliverability, whilst the site is in multiple ownerships, the majority is being actively promoted for development and can therefore be considered to be available. In terms of viability, the Council's evidence suggests that a scheme of 1,000 homes in this area would be viable taking account of the likely infrastructure costs including those associated with the western link road and a new on-site primary school.

 

Policy EW1b - West Eynsham Strategic Development Area (1,000 homes)

 

Land to the west of Eynsham to accommodate a sustainable integrated community that forms a positive addition to Eynsham, including:

a) about 1,000 homes with a balanced and appropriate mix of house types and tenures to meet identified needs including affordable housing.

b) comprehensive development to be led by an agreed masterplan.

c) provision of a new western link road funded by and provided as an integral part of the development and taking the opportunity to link effectively with the existing road network on the western edge of the village.

d) the provision of a new primary school on-site (1.5FE including nursery) on a 2.22 ha site to enable future expansion together with financial contributions towards secondary school capacity as appropriate.

e) the provision of other supporting transport infrastructure, including proposals to mitigate the impact of traffic associated with the development in particular the impact on the existing village, and incorporating a comprehensive network for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport with links to adjoining areas, including a particular emphasis on improving linkages into Eynsham, to the West Oxfordshire Garden Village and into the surrounding countryside.

f) development to be phased in accordance with the timing of provision of supporting infrastructure and facilities.

g) the provision of appropriate landscaping measures to mitigate the potential impact of development and associated infrastructure.

h) biodiversity enhancements including arrangements for future maintenance.

i) provision of appropriate green infrastructure including allotments.

j) the investigation, recording and safeguarding of the known and potential archaeological significance of the Area prior to any development taking place. The results of the investigation and recording should inform the final layout of the development and be deposited in a public archive. Particular consideration will need to be given to the scheduled monument adjacent to the B4449.

k) 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.

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

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

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

Alternative Options for Strategic Growth in the Eynsham - Woodstock Sub-Area

9.5.41c As part of the assessment of strategic options undertaken in partnership with the other Oxfordshire authorities, consideration has been given to two other 'strategic' options for growth in the Eynsham - Woodstock sub-area, land at Barnards Gate and land to the east of Woodstock (the majority of which is located in neighbouring Cherwell District).

9.5.41d The Barnard Gate site is located to the north of the A40 between Witney and Eynsham. The assessment and analysis undertaken as part of the joint working on unmet need identified a number of sensitivities and the site was not subsequently included as a preferred option for meeting Oxford's housing needs. Effectively it is a less suitable option than the land to the north of the A40 which has been identified to assist Oxford.

9.5.41e Land to the east of Woodstock lies partly within West Oxfordshire and primarily within Cherwell District. Whilst the joint work on unmet need concluded that the site had some merit it also had a number of important sensitivities not least the potential impact on the Blenheim Palace World Heritage Site (WHS). The District Council considers that a smaller development on the portion of the site which is within West Oxfordshire is appropriate and this plan identifies an allocation of 300 homes. There is also a current planning application on the site.

Non-Strategic Housing Allocations

9.5.41f In order to help meet identified housing needs in addition to the two strategic development areas, six smaller site allocations are also proposed in the Eynsham - Woodstock sub-area. These include:

  • Land East of Woodstock (300 homes)
  • Land north of Hill Rise, Woodstock (120 homes)
  • Land north of Banbury Road, Woodstock (250 homes)
  • Land at Myrtle Farm, Long Hanborough (50 homes)
  • Oliver's Garage, Long Hanborough (25 homes)
  • Former Stanton Harcourt Airfield (50 homes)

Land East of Woodstock (300 homes)

9.5.41g This is a greenfield site of around 16 ha on the south eastern edge of Woodstock currently in agricultural (arable) use. The site immediately adjoins existing residential development to the west, is bordered to the north by sports pitches associated with the Marlborough School, to the east by open countryside and to the south by the A44 and beyond that the grounds of Blenheim Palace which is a designated World Heritage Site (WHS). The eastern boundary of the site forms the administrative boundary between West Oxfordshire and neighbouring Cherwell District.

9.5.41h The site is in a single ownership (the Blenheim Estate) and has previously been promoted through the Council's housing land availability assessment which has concluded that it is suitable in principle for residential development. The District Council previously allocated the site for mixed-use development during the preparation of the 2011 Local Plan but the site was removed at the request of the Inspector who felt at that time that the scale of the proposed development was excessive. The site is the subject of a current hybrid planning application submitted by the Vanbrugh Unit Trust and Pye Homes on behalf of the estate.

9.5.41i Whilst it is clearly a sensitive site given the importance of the approach to Woodstock and the proximity of the Blenheim Palace WHS, it is reasonable to conclude that residential development in this location represents a sustainable development opportunity which if designed, managed and implemented properly, presents an excellent opportunity to deliver a high quality housing scheme in close proximity to the central core of Woodstock which ranks as one of the District's most sustainable settlements in terms of the availability of shops, services and facilities. The proposed site allocation is shown in Figure 9.15c below.

9.5.41j The site has no major physical constraints as it is relatively flat and access can be achieved directly from the A44. It is not within the Green Belt, is not within an area of flood risk and is not within the Cotswolds AONB. A key consideration is the potential impact of development on the setting of the WHS but that is not considered to be an absolute constraint to development provided it is addressed sensitively.

9.5.41k For the reasons outlined above, the land east of Woodstock is allocated for the provision of around 300 new homes. Policy EW1c below applies.

 

Policy EW1c - Land East of Woodstock (300 homes)

 

Land to the east of Woodstock, north of the A44 Oxford Road to accommodate around 300 dwellings as a well-integrated and logical extension of the existing built form of the town.

Proposals for development should be consistent with the following:

a) provision of a mix of house types and tenures including affordable housing in accordance with Policy H3 - Affordable Housing.

b) ensuring that development does not have a harmful impact on designated heritage assets and the setting of the Blenheim Palace World Heritage Site (WHS).

c) positive enhancement of the approach to Woodstock from the south east.

d) provision of satisfactory vehicular access onto the A44 Woodstock Road and appropriate pedestrian and cycle connections.

e) appropriate provision of and contributions towards supporting infrastructure;

f) biodiversity enhancements including arrangements for future maintenance.

g) 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 and not cause harm to the Blenheim Park SSSI.

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

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

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

Land north of Hill Rise, Woodstock (120 homes)

9.5.41l This is a greenfield site located on the northern approach into Woodstock along the A44 Manor Road. It adjoins existing residential development at Hill Rise and Vanbrugh Close to the west and south which acts as a buffer to the Blenheim Palace WHS to the west. To the north and east of the site is open countryside which slopes gently down towards a valley associated with the River Glyme.

9.5.41m The site is primarily within agricultural use with the exception of a small parcel of land in the southern part of the site which is in use as a children's play area. Notably, relocation of this play area would provide the opportunity to create a vehicular access into the site from Vermont Drive/Vanbrugh Close as well as improving a more modern play facility for local children. Depending on the scale of development there may also be scope to provide a vehicular access directly onto the A44 to the north of the existing houses at Hill Rise.

9.5.41n The site is in a single ownership (the Blenheim Estate) and has been promoted for development through the Council's Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA). Through the site assessment process the Council has concluded that the site is suitable for development. As the site is in the same ownership as land at east Woodstock (Policy EW1c) which is the subject of a current planning application, this site may come forward later in the plan period.

9.5.41o The site has no major physical or policy constraints to development. Vehicular access can be achieved via several potential points and the site is within comfortable walking and cycling distance of the centre of Woodstock providing the opportunity for effective pedestrian and cycle links. The site is not within the Cotswolds AONB or Oxford Green Belt and is not within a defined area of flood risk.

9.5.41p Whilst relatively proximate to the Blenheim Palace WHS, any potential impact on its setting would be mitigated by the existing development adjoining the western and southern edges of the site. Whilst a public right of way crosses the site from north to south, this could be effectively incorporated into the design and layout of any development as appropriate.

9.5.41q A key consideration for the site is landscape impact given that this is a relatively large greenfield site on the edge of Woodstock. However, compared to other site options the landscape sensitivity of this site is considered to be relatively modest with the site very much reading as part of the existing settlement thereby providing the ability to integrate effectively with the existing built form in this location. The design and layout of any scheme and any landscape impact mitigation would need to be considered and agreed on the basis of a full landscape and visual impact assessment. The proposed site allocation is shown in Figure 9.15d below.

9.5.41r In light of the lack of physical and policy constraints to development the site is allocated for the provision of around 120 homes.

 

Policy EW1d - Land north of Hill Rise, Woodstock (120 homes)

 

Land to the north of Hill Rise, Woodstock to accommodate around 120 dwellings as a well-integrated and logical extension of the existing built form of the town.

Proposals for development should be consistent with the following:

a) provision of a mix of house types and tenures including affordable housing in accordance with Policy H3 - Affordable Housing.

b) ensuring that development does not have a harmful impact on the setting of the Blenheim Palace World Heritage Site (WHS).

c) provision of satisfactory vehicular accesses and appropriate pedestrian and cycle connections including appropriate accommodation of the existing public right of way through the site.

d) appropriate provision of and contributions towards supporting infrastructure;

e) replacement/enhancement of the existing children's play area and public open space adjacent to Rosamund Drive.

f) biodiversity enhancements including arrangements for future maintenance.

g) 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.

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

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

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

Land North of Banbury Road, Woodstock (250 homes)

9.5.41s This is a greenfield site located on the northern edge of Woodstock between Green Lane and Banbury Road. The site is in agricultural use and has been put forward for potential development by the landowner, the Blenheim Estate. To the west of the site is an employment site occupied by Owen Mumford an important local employer. To the south of the site is the existing, primarily residential edge of Woodstock which runs in an irregular form along Green Lane and Banbury Road which subsequently forms the eastern edge of the site with open countryside beyond. To the north of the site is open countryside.

9.5.41t The site is in a single ownership (the Blenheim Estate) and has been promoted for development through the Council's Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA). Through the site assessment process the Council has concluded that the site is suitable for development. As the site is in the same ownership as land at east Woodstock (Policy EW1c) which is the subject of a current planning application, this site may come forward later in the plan period. The site has no major physical or policy constraints to development. Vehicular access can be achieved via Banbury Road and the site is within comfortable walking and cycling distance of the centre of Woodstock providing the opportunity for effective pedestrian and cycle links. The site is not within the Cotswolds AONB or Oxford Green Belt and is not within a defined area of flood risk.

9.5.41u Whilst a public right of way crosses part of the site, this could be effectively incorporated into the design and layout of any development as appropriate. A key consideration for the site is landscape impact given that this is a relatively large greenfield site on the edge of Woodstock. However, compared to other site options the landscape sensitivity of this site is considered to be relatively modest with the site being relatively self-contained and well-screened from wider views. The design and layout of any scheme and any landscape impact mitigation would need to be considered and agreed on the basis of a full landscape and visual impact assessment. The proposed site allocation is shown in Figure 9.15e below.

9.5.41v The site adjoins the Glyme and Dorn Conservation Target Area (CTA) and is close to the Woodstock Water Meadows for which there is a Management Plan and Action Plan. As such the site offers excellent potential for biodiversity enhancement and informal recreation. Importantly a residential scheme in this location would also provide the opportunity to deliver improved vehicular access to the Owen Mumford employment site allowing for a more direct connection between Green Lane and Banbury Road than currently exists.

9.5.41w In light of the lack of physical and policy constraints to development the site is allocated for the provision of around 250 homes.

 

Policy EW1e - Land north Banbury Road, Woodstock (250 homes)

 

Land to the north of Banbury Road, Woodstock to accommodate around 250 dwellings as a well-integrated and logical extension of the existing built form of the town.

Proposals for development should be consistent with the following:

a) provision of a mix of house types and tenures including affordable housing in accordance with Policy H3 - Affordable Housing.

b) provision of satisfactory vehicular access from Banbury Road and Green Lane and appropriate pedestrian and cycle connections including incorporation of the existing public right of way across the site.

c) appropriate provision of and contributions towards supporting infrastructure;

d) ensuring that development does not have a harmful impact on the setting of the Blenheim Palace World Heritage Site (WHS) including key views.

e) biodiversity enhancements including arrangements for future maintenance. Development will be required to make a positive contribution towards the adjoining Conservation Target Area (CTA).

f) 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.

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

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

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

 

Land at Myrtle Farm, Long Hanborough (50 homes)

9.5.41x This is a greenfield site of around 2.5 hectares located close to the centre of Long Hanborough along the northern edge of the settlement. It has been promoted for development through the Council's Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA). The site is in a single land ownership and has no significant physical or policy constraints to development.

9.5.41y It adjoins an area of recent development at Corn Hyde and Myrtle Close. Vehicular access to the site can be achieved via an existing turning head in Corn Hyde. The site is adjoined to the east by a small supermarket with associated surface level car parking. To the north is open countryside which can be glimpsed past the church from the A4095 although the site is effectively screened by an existing mature field boundary. The site is currently in agricultural use.

9.5.41z The Council's assessment of the site has concluded that is a suitable and deliverable opportunity. It is centrally located within Long Hanborough providing convenient access to available services and facilities. Satisfactory vehicular access can be achieved. The site is not within the Cotswold AONB (although is relatively close so that the setting of the AONB is a consideration) or Oxford Green Belt and is not within a Conservation Area (although it does adjoin one to the west). The site is flat and self-contained from wider views. It does not fall within an area of designated flood risk and is available for development. The proposed site allocation is shown in Figure 9.15f below.

9.5.42a In light of the lack of physical and policy constraints to development the site is allocated for the provision of around 50 homes.

 

Policy EW1f - Land at Myrtle Farm, Long Hanborough (50 homes)

 

Land at Myrtle Farm to the east of Corn Hyde, Long Hanborough to accommodate around 50 dwellings as a well-integrated and logical extension of the existing built form of the village.

Proposals for development should be consistent with the following:

a) provision of a mix of house types and tenures including affordable housing in accordance with Policy H3 - Affordable Housing.

b) provision of satisfactory vehicular access and appropriate pedestrian and cycle connections.

c) appropriate provision of and contributions towards supporting infrastructure;

d) retention and enhancement of the existing vegetation along the northern site boundary to ensure effective screening of the development from wider views.

e) 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.

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.

Oliver's Garage, Long Hanborough (25 homes)

9.5.42b This is a previously developed site within the existing built up area of Long Hanborough that is currently in use as a garage with associated ancillary uses. The site is around 0.75 hectares in size and capable of accommodating around 25 new homes depending on the type, mix and layout. Whilst not currently available the site has been promoted for development through the Council's Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) and is understood to be potentially available in the medium-term.

9.5.42c The Council's assessment of the site has concluded that it is a suitable and developable opportunity for new housing provision in Long Hanborough in a relatively central location that provides convenient access to the services and facilities available in the village. Vehicular access to the site already exists from the A4095 and there are no major physical or policy constraints to prevent the redevelopment of the site. Whilst it would represent the loss of a small local employment site this would be offset to a large extent by the provision of new homes in highly sustainable location and on a previously developed (brownfield) site. The proposed site allocation is shown in Figure 9.15g below.

9.5.42d In light of the lack of physical and policy constraints to development the site is allocated for the provision of around 25 homes.

 

Policy EW1g - Land at Oliver's Garage, Long Hanborough (25 homes)

 

Land at Oliver's Garage, Long Hanborough to accommodate a small high quality development of around 25 dwellings as a well-integrated and logical redevelopment of an existing use within the built area of the village.

Proposals for development should be consistent with the following:

a) provision of a mix of house types and tenures including affordable housing in accordance with Policy H3 - Affordable Housing.

b) making efficient use of the site through an appropriate density of development and innovative, high-quality design.

c) appropriate provision of and contributions towards supporting infrastructure.

d) consideration of any potential decontamination mitigation measures necessary as a result of the existing garage use of the site.

e) provision of satisfactory vehicular access and appropriate pedestrian and cycle connections.

f) connection to the mains sewerage network which includes infrastructure upgrades where required.

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

Former Stanton Harcourt Airfield (50 homes)

9.5.42e This site is located on the southern edge of Stanton Harcourt and comprises part of a former airfield that was used during World War II. A number of airfield buildings remain on the site in varying condition. The majority of buildings are unused although a small number are used for low-key storage and industrial uses.

9.5.42f To the south of the site is an existing recreation area containing football and cricket pitches. To the east of the site is primarily agricultural land with a small number of residential properties along Steady's Lane. There is also a small cemetery adjoining Main Road which forms the eastern site boundary. To the north of the site is further existing residential development and a parcel of undeveloped agricultural land. To the west is a mixture of different uses including a capped landfill site, scheduled monument and a series of restored gravel pits. The proposed site allocation is shown in Figure 9.15h below.

9.5.42g The site adjoins the Conservation Area but does not fall within it. There is a public right of way running across the centre of the site from east to west. The site has been promoted to the Council for development through the Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) and the Council's assessment of the site concludes that it is a suitable and deliverable development opportunity. The site has no major physical or policy constraints to prevent development coming forward and comprises previously developed land (in part) in a relatively sustainable location with good access to a range of local services and facilities. The site is the subject of a current planning application.

9.5.42h In light of the lack of physical and policy constraints to development the site is allocated for the provision of around 50 homes.

9.15h Stanton Harcourt Airfield

 

Policy EW1h - Former Stanton Harcourt Airfield (50 homes)

 

Land at the former Stanton Harcourt Airfield, Stanton Harcourt to accommodate a high quality development of around 50 dwellings as a well-integrated and logical redevelopment of an existing previously developed site adjacent to the existing settlement edge.

Proposals for development should be consistent with the following:

a) provision of a mix of house types and tenures including affordable housing in accordance with Policy H3 - Affordable Housing.

b) provision of satisfactory vehicular access and appropriate pedestrian and cycle connections.

c) appropriate provision of and contributions towards supporting infrastructure;

d) positive incorporation of any defining site characteristics and features of historic significance to the former role of the site as an airfield.

e) appropriate measures to ensure there are no potential issues arising from land contamination associated with the site and the adjoining landfill.

f) 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.

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

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

Employment

9.5.41 The Council's economic evidence highlights the importance of the Eynsham - Woodstock sub-area for employment and business. This area has a skilled resident workforce a number of whom are employed in managerial positions and has a strong functional relationship with Oxford City and the Oxford City Region. It is anticipated that as part of the West Oxfordshire Garden Village to the north of the A40, near Eynsham, a new 'campus-style' science park of around 40 hectares in size will be created as part of a comprehensive mixed-use development. This will create a large number of new jobs and a business opportunity that does not currently exist in West Oxfordshire. It will help to ensure that the District is able to play a complementary role to the Oxfordshire knowledge spine, presenting the opportunity for high-technology university spin-outs and development and research opportunities.

9.5.42 No other site allocations are proposed at this stage but the Council will work with landowners and developers as well as Town and Parish Councils to identify suitable opportunities in appropriate, sustainable locations. including through the anticipated early review of this Local Plan. These will be focused on the rural service centres with a particular focus on Eynsham. Existing sites will be safeguarded in accordance with Policy E1 and the Council will support in principle the potential modernisation of existing business premises to ensure they remain fit for purpose.

9.5.43 Further employment opportunities will be able to come forward in this area through the redevelopment, intensification and expansion of existing employment sites and small scale rural diversification schemes.

9.5.44 The importance of the tourist economy particularly to Woodstock is recognised and appropriate uses to reinforce that role will be supported in principle. The Council will also work with relevant partners to further investigate the opportunity for appropriate forms of tourist activity relating to the River Thames.

Transport

9.5.45 Transport is an important issue in this area. Traffic congestion on the A40 and A44 is severe at peak times. HGV movements through Woodstock have long been a concern for the town. Rail connectivity is relatively good with a number of stations on two lines. However, bus services in some areas are relatively limited and those available in the larger settlements including Eynsham experience journey time delays due to congestion on the A40 and surrounding road network. Walking and cycling opportunities are reasonable including a high quality link from Eynsham to Oxford along the A40. There is however scope for further enhancement. Parking is a key consideration with capacity at Woodstock having been highlighted through consultation as a particular concern.

9.5.46 In terms of the highway network, we will work in partnership with the County Council to take forward necessary improvements with the A40 being the top priority. The award of £35m through the Local Growth Fund offers the potential to make a significant improvement to the current situation which would have benefits for other areas if traffic using those could be encouraged to remain on the A40 instead of seeking alternative quicker routes. We will work with the County Council and other relevant partners to deliver a new park and ride site of around 1,000 spaces is delivered to the north of Eynsham as part of the West Oxfordshire Garden Village proposal. This will be coupled with the provision of a new eastbound bus lane towards Oxford. We will also work with the County Council to help identify an appropriate strategy for delivering the longer-term improvements to the A40 that have been identified including additional dualling between Witney and Eynsham and a westbound bus lane between Eynsham park and ride and the edge of Oxford. ensure the funding is used in a timely and effective manner. The IDP identifies the potential provision of a park and ride site at Eynsham which could come forward as part of a package of improvement measures.

9.5.47 We will also work with the County Council to consider what measures could be introduced to reduce the impact of HGV traffic at Woodstock.

9.5.48 In terms of public transport we will work with rail providers and other relevant parties to consider any necessary enhancements to stations and station facilities including car parking availability. A key priority is Hanborough Station as this is expected to play a key, supporting role in relation to the development of the Garden Village with the potential for excellent bus, pedestrian and cycle connectivity between the two. We anticipate Hanborough Station developing into a highly effective transport hub, coupled with improved vehicular access, parking capacity and station facilities and will work with relevant partners to help deliver this aspiration. With regard to bus services we will seek to ensure that the coverage, frequency and speed of bus services within this sub-area is maximised. The County Council has aspirations to upgrade existing bus stops, enhance frequencies, improve journey times and where appropriate, we will seek public transport improvements from new development either directly or through a financial contribution. The bus route from Woodstock to Burford through Long Hanborough and Witney will be promoted, to provide better access to key tourist destinations and the national rail network.

 

 

9.5.49 Active travel will be positively encouraged to capitalise on the proximity of this sub-area to Oxford City. Existing pedestrian and cycle routes will be safeguarded and opportunities for new and enhanced routes will be identified. Where appropriate, we will seek walking and cycling schemes from new development either directly or through a financial contribution. Initial work has been instigated by a local group called 'bikesafe' looking at the potential to introduce a dedicated cycle route along the B4044 Eynsham Road. The Council will work with the group and other relevant partners including the County Council to further consider the merits and possibility of this scheme being taken forward.

9.5.50 Parking capacity will be further considered through the Council's emerging Parking Strategy and any necessary enhancements will be incorporated into the Council's IDP.

Retail and Leisure

9.5.51 The primary focus for retail and leisure provision will be the rural service centres with a particular focus on Woodstock and Eynsham. A Town Centre boundary is defined for Woodstock (see Figure 9. 16) and the loss of shops of other town centre uses within the centre will be resisted. New retail proposals will be considered in accordance with the Town Centre first approach set out in Policy E5 and the NPPF.

Figure 9.16 - Woodstock Town Centre Boundary

9.5.52 Suitable and compatible forms of leisure will be positively encouraged in this area. We will work with the County Council, mineral operators and the Lower Windrush Valley Project in relation to leisure uses within the Lower Windrush Valley.

9.5.53 The Council will work with partners including the Environment Agency and the River Thames Alliance, to optimise the leisure and tourism potential of the River Thames and its tributaries, while conserving and enhancing the ecological landscape and heritage value. Better access including car parking is one element that could be improved to support leisure and recreation.

Environment and Heritage

9.5.54 This sub-area has a number of environmental sensitivities including part of the Oxford Green Belt, the Oxford Meadows SAC nearby, part of the Cotswolds AONB, several areas of ancient woodland and the Lower Windrush Valley Conservation Target Area. This sub-area has a number of environmental sensitivities including part of the Oxford Green Belt, part of the Oxford Meadows SAC, part of the Cotswolds AONB, several areas of ancient woodland and six Conservation Target Areas.

9.5.55 Proposals affecting the Green Belt will be determined in accordance with national policy. 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.

9.5.56 The Council will work with partners in relation to the Lower Windrush Valley CTA and where appropriate, development will be expected to make a positive contribution either directly or through a financial contribution.

9.5.57 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 conserve or enhance the District's heritage assets and their significance and settings. Particular regard will be had to the Blenheim Palace World Heritage Site.

Blenheim Palace World Heritage Site

9.5.58 Following international evaluation, in 1987 the Blenheim Palace World Heritage Site was 'designated' by the 11th Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Helsinki. UNESCO's operational guidelines state that 'World Heritage Sites are places of outstanding universal value to the whole of humanity.

9.5.59 Outstanding universal value means cultural and/or natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries.' Through the designation, UNESCO recognised that Blenheim Palace and its landscaped Park represented a new style of planning and architecture which went on to have a great influence worldwide. The Palace is set in a Park designated by 'Capability' Brown, regarded as a masterpiece of the highest order and widely considered to be a 'naturalistic Versailles'. Together, the Palace and the Park are unique in the world.

9.5.60 World Heritage Sites are designated heritage assets of the highest importance. In line with the NPPF, the OUV of the Blenheim Palace World Heritage Site, its setting, integrity and authenticity, will be protected, conserved and enhanced and its sustainable use promoted[29] .

29. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/425 [back]

9.5.61 The Site is a valuable asset of local, national and international significance, providing a wide variety of benefits, including contributing to conservation, biodiversity, access and a sense of community and place. There are also substantial economic benefits to West Oxfordshire and the surrounding region, with, for example, Blenheim attracting over 600,000 tourists each year and bringing investment into local businesses. The Estate itself is one of the largest employers in the area.

9.5.62 A World Heritage Management Plan has been produced for Blenheim Palace which aims to sustain and conserve the OUVs of the Site, recognising the wide variety of possible benefits achievable through positive management. The Plan is a pioneering document, delivering both the requirements of a World Heritage Site Management Plan and those of a Heritage Management Plan in one integrated approach. Given its importance in helping to sustain and enhance the significance of the World Heritage Site, the involvement of key stakeholders and its on-going monitoring and reviewing, the Management Plan is a material planning consideration when assessing development proposals in accordance with relevant policies of the Local Plan.

9.5.63 The Blenheim Palace World Heritage Management Plan:

  • sets out a vision for the sustainable future of the historic, scenic, scientific, cultural and social qualities of Blenheim Palace and Park, such that it will protect both World Heritage Site designation and the National Heritage designation;
  • provides guidance to the Estate trustees and their advisers on practical management planning, to help plan and prioritise tasks and to inform annual financial and operational plans;
  • ensures the careful maintenance and conservation (and enhancement where possible) of the Palace and Park, its associated buildings and grounds, informed by continued historical and scientific research;
  • adopts an holistic approach to conservation of the site which balances its many and varied qualities;
  • encourages high standards in the restoration of historic features and design of any appropriate new developments, features or landscaped areas which may be proposed in the future.

9.5.64 The vision for Blenheim Estate in the Management Plan is to:

  • maintain and manage the Palace and Park to preserve and enhance their character and, where necessary, repair significant buildings or replant parts of the Park in accordance with the objectives of the Management Plan;
  • use management practices that are consistent with the above and which are designed to conserve the heritage qualities of the plan area and its OUV through appropriate and sustainable policies and practices;
  • protect the existing opportunities for public access including existing public rights of way within the Park and the access arrangements to the Palace and grounds;
  • enhance the qualities of visitor facilities and achieve new levels of excellence in visitor management and related experiences as one of the UK's top tourism destinations;
  • interpret and present the history of Blenheim Palace and Park to a larger and more diverse audience, and continue to promote high quality education programmes.

9.5.65 UNESCO emphasise the importance of protecting 'the immediate setting' of a World Heritage Site and of 'important views and other areas or attributes that are functionally important as a support to the Property'. The Management Plan considered these issues and concluded that one of the unique qualities of the Site is that it is self-contained.

9.5.66 The Palace and Park are contained within walled grounds. The Blenheim Palace wall extends around the boundary of the World Heritage Site and is some nine miles in length. Views into it and from it are largely obscured by the wall, by trees and by undulating topography of the landscape.

9.5.67 There are, however, a number of places from where there are important views both into and from Blenheim Palace. These are identified in the Management Plan and reproduced at Figure 9.16a below. The setting of the site will be protected through Policy EW1 (see below) and also through other designations: Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Ancient Woodland, Oxford Green Belt and Conservation Areas at Woodstock and Bladon.

Figure 9.16a - Blenheim Palace WHS Key Views

9.16a Blenheim WHS Key views

 

Policy EW1 - Blenheim World Heritage Site

 

The exceptional cultural significance (Outstanding Universal Value) of the Blenheim World Heritage Site will be protected, promoted and conserved for current and future generations.

Accordingly, proposals which conserve and enhance the attributes and components that comprise the Outstanding Universal Value of the Site, as identified in the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value Statement and in line with the Blenheim Palace World Heritage Site Management Plan, will be supported.

In accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework, great weight will be given to the conservation of the World Heritage Site and any harm or loss to its significance will require clear and convincing justification. development Development proposals that would lead to substantial harm to or loss of those attributes and components of the Site will be unacceptable, unless it can be demonstrated that any such harm or loss is necessary to achieve substantial public benefit that outweigh that harm or loss. Such harm will be wholly exceptional. Where development proposals would lead to less than substantial harm to those attributes and components, that harm will be weighed against the public benefits of the proposals.

When assessing the impact of a proposed development on the Outstanding Universal Value, great weight will be given to the conservation and enhancement of the Outstanding Universal Value and to the integrity and authenticity of the World Heritage Site.

Consideration of impact will be made of proposals within, or potentially affecting, the World Heritage Site and its setting, including areas identified as being of special importance for the preservation of long distance views to and/or from the Site (as shown on the Blenheim Palace Management Plan). Particular regard will be given to the design quality of the proposal (including scale, form and massing), its relationship to context (including topography, built form, views, vistas and effect on the skyline) and the implications of the cumulative effect of changes.

By helping to sustain and enhance the significance of the World Heritage Site, the Blenheim Palace Management Plan is a material consideration in assessing development proposals. Proposals relating to the World Heritage Site should seek to support the aims and objectives of the Management Plan.

Infrastructure

9.5.68 Infrastructure capacity is an important issue for this area. In addition to the transport related requirements outlined above other identified issues include leisure and education. Like the rest of the District, there is a need for more affordable housing and housing for older people.

9.5.69 Some of these 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.

9.5.70 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.

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

 

Policy EW2 - Eynsham - Woodstock Sub-Area Strategy

 

The focus of new development will be Eynsham, Long Hanborough and Woodstock.

The focus of new development will be Eynsham, Woodstock and the West Oxfordshire Garden Village.

Development in these rural service centres will be of an appropriate scale and type that would help to reinforce/create 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 1,600 5,550 new homes to include affordable housing and homes designed to meet a range of different needs including older people. This will include the provision of 2,800 homes to meet West Oxfordshire's housing needs and a further 2,750 (from 2021 - 2031) homes to meet the needs of Oxford City.

- a Strategic Development Area (SDA) of around 2,200 homes to the north of the A40 near Eynsham to be delivered in the form of a new Garden Village (see Policy EW1a).

- a Strategic Development Area (SDA) of around 1,000 homes to the west of Eynsham (see Policy EW1b)

- a non-strategic housing allocation of 300 homes on land east of Woodstock (see Policy EW1c)

- a non-strategic housing allocation of 120 homes on land north of Hill Rise, Woodstock (see Policy EW1d)

- a non-strategic housing allocation of 250 homes on land north of Banbury Road, Woodstock (see Policy EW1e)

- a non-strategic housing allocation of 50 homes on land at Myrtle Farm, Long Hanborough (see Policy EW1f)

- a non-strategic housing allocation of 25 homes on land at Oliver's Garage, Long Hanborough (see Policy EW1g)

- a non-strategic housing allocation of 50 homes on the former Stanton Harcourt Airfield (see Policy EW1h)

- provision of additional business land focused primarily on the rural service centres with a particular focus on Eynsham to help meet future requirements and capitalise on the proximity of this sub-area to Oxford and the Oxfordshire 'knowledge spine'. This will include the provision of a new campus-style science park of around 40 ha to be delivered as an integral part of the West Oxfordshire Garden Village.

- support for rural employment opportunities including sustainable tourism and rural diversification.

- seeking to alleviate traffic congestion issues on the A40 including through the provision of a new park and ride site at Eynsham and associated bus priority measures along the A40 as part of the Oxford Science Transit project.

- enhancing public transport and pedestrian and cycle routes and infrastructure together with managing car parking to reduce car use for short journeys. This will include a particular focus on facilitating the delivery of improvements to Hanborough Station and appropriate vehicular, pedestrian and cycle connections to the station including from the Garden Village.

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

- protection of the Oxford Green Belt and Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

- protection conservation and enhancement of historic and community assets including in particular the safeguarding of the Blenheim World Heritage Site and its setting (see Policy EW1).

- working with the highway authority, the town council and other partners to reduce the impact of through traffic in local settlements including HGV movements through Woodstock.

- seeking the retention and development of local services and community facilities throughout the sub-area including consideration of a new GP surgery for Woodstock on the site of the police station in Hensington Road.

- ensuring Woodstock 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 car parking provision in appropriate locations.

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

- 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.

In the Lower Windrush Valley the Council will continue to work with the Lower Windrush Valley Project and County Council as the MineralsPlanning Authority to identify appropriate opportunities for tourism and leisure development. Proposals which complement the rural character of the area will be supported and where possible deliver comprehensive long term recreational access, community or nature conservation benefits.

Burford Charlbury Sub Area

Burford - Charlbury Sub-Area

9.6.1 This is the largest of the sub-areas covering an area of almost 22,000 hectares. It has a predominantly rural character and is relatively sparsely populated with just 13,000 residents. The area includes a network of small and medium sized towns and villages, none larger than 3,000 residents. The vast majority of the area is within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and many of the towns and villages have extensive conservation areas and numerous listed buildings.

Figure 9.17 - Burford - Charlbury Sub-Area

9.6.2 There are two designated rural service centres within this sub-area; Burford and Charlbury. With a population of 1,300 Burford is the smallest of the District's service centres but has a level of services which belies its size and is one of West Oxfordshire's most popular tourist attractions. With a population of just under 3,000, Charlbury lies in the centre of West Oxfordshire on the Cotswolds rail line.

9.6.3 Other larger settlements in this area include the villages of Milton under Wychwood and Shipton under Wychwood (population of 1,500 and 1,300 respectively). Stonesfield has a population of about 1,500 and has a thriving community spirit, with a range of local services and facilities. It is popular with walkers and cyclists being a focus of rural footpaths and bridleways, including the Oxfordshire Way.

Housing

9.6.4 The existing housing stock in this sub-area is relatively evenly distributed with no single major large settlement. In Burford, there have been no sites allocated for residential development since the late 1980s. The environmental quality of the town makes it a desirable place to live but restricts the availability of suitable sites for new housing. These factors combine to make housing in Burford particularly expensive.

9.6.5 Charlbury remained largely unchanged until the 20th century with three quarters of the houses in the town having been built since 1900 and well over half since 1950. From 1981 to 1996 almost 200 new homes were built and since then a further 100 homes have been added to the town including 44 affordable homes. Housing affordability is a key issue in this area.

9.6.6 Milton under Wychwood has seen the addition of more modern development than its neighbour Shipton under Wychwood and although dispersed at its edges, the main part of the village is relatively densely developed. At Shipton, former dispersed hamlets have now been largely consolidated by linear infill and modern estate development. The settlement therefore has a relatively dense core but is dispersed at its edges, open spaces between forming key parts of the settlement character.

9.6.7 Stonesfield has seen considerable consolidation of development in the past with redevelopment of farmyards and conversion of barns for housing primarily during the 1980s. There has been only limited new build in recent years as few opportunities remain for residential intensification.

Employment

9.6.8 As a predominantly rural area, employment opportunities in this sub-area are relatively limited but there are a number of small industrial estates and offices, many in converted buildings and within or on the edge of the towns and larger villages. A significant isolated employment site exists at Leafield Technical Centre with a long association with motorsport.

9.6.9 At Charlbury, there are now few employment sites within the built up area although some local employment is provided nearby, for example adjacent to the railway station and within Cornbury Park. Shipton and Milton under Wychwood both have small employment areas with a number of small business units.

9.6.10 This sub-area provides around 6,000 jobs, 12.5% of the District total. This sub-area provides around 5,600 jobs, 13.4 % of the District total. The resident workforce is highly skilled with a large proportion in professional occupations or holding managerial positions. The area is characterised by high-levels of home working with around 35% of workers working at or mainly from home. This helps to keep a reasonable job/workforce balance. Compared to the eastern parts of the District, there is less commuting to Oxford and adjoining areas.

Transport

9.6.11 Key road links in this area include the A40 which runs along the southern edge of Burford, the A361 linking Burford with Swindon and Chipping Norton and the A424 linking Burford with Stow on the Wold. At Burford, HGV transport is a significant concern for local people as freight traffic travels through the town along the A361.

9.6.12 This sub-area is the best served in terms of rail services with the Cotswold line running along the Evenlode Valley and passenger stations at Kingham, Shipton under Wychwood, Ascott under Wychwood, Charlbury and Finstock. Oxfordshire County Council is in the process of developing a rail strategy informed by a rail demand forecasting exercise in 2013. Consultation is expected in 2015. Two of the identified strategic priorities include the completion of the Cotswold line redoubling project (the remaining single-track section between Charlbury and Wolvercote Junction) and enhancing access to local rail stations by supporting appropriate expansion in car parking and the provision of secure and accessible cycle parking.

9.6.12 This sub-area is the best served in terms of rail services with the Cotswold line running along the Evenlode Valley and passenger stations at Kingham, Shipton under Wychwood, Ascott under Wychwood, Charlbury and Finstock. In their Local Transport Plan (LTP4) Oxfordshire County Council identify the Cotswold line as a strategic priority including further capacity and service enhancements. Charlbury is identified as the busiest station on the line with passenger numbers up 30% since 2002. The strategy identifies the potential for further growth with the introduction of an hourly service in December 2018. It identifies a number of specific improvements to Hanborough Station and more general improvements along the rest of the line include further redoubling at the eastern and western ends of the line, ensuring appropriate levels of car parking are available and improving bus and cycle links to encourage multi-modal travel.

9.6.13 The availability and frequency of bus services is variable. Services through Charlbury are good, with hourly direct services to Woodstock, Oxford, Witney and Chipping Norton. Bus services in Burford are less well developed, although there is a service to Woodstock via Witney and Long Hanborough Station.

9.6.14 There are many opportunities for active travel in the sub area with an extensive network of paths, bridleways and quiet roads providing routes for walking, cycling and riding. There are however, safety issues on fast and busy roads which could be addressed through improved infrastructure.

Retail and Leisure

9.6.15 There are retail and leisure opportunities across the sub-area including in particular Burford town centre which has a relatively high number of shops, hotels, pubs and restaurants catering for the tourist and visitor market and meeting the everyday needs of local residents. The town has very low vacancy rates and whilst evidence[30] suggests there is no need to plan for new retail development in Burford, it recommends that the loss of existing shops is resisted to protect its vitality and viability. The availability of car parking to support the town centre is another key issue.

9.6.16 Charlbury also has a variety of leisure and social activities for its residents and a range of shops and local services and facilities. The range of shopping and employment in the town has however diminished over time, despite a growth in the town's population.

9.6.17 The Wychwoods each have a reasonable range of services and facilities and share some services such as the purpose-built GP surgery, located in Shipton, and the primary school located between the two villages. Each village has a post office and several shops, community hall and recreation ground. Stonesfield also has a range of local services and facilities.

Environment and Heritage

9.6.18 This area is particularly environmentally sensitive being covered almost entirely by the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Burford falls within the Upper Windrush Valley Landscape character area which has been described as an area that is highly attractive, remarkably unspoilt and with a rural character. The Upper Windrush is rich in biodiversity and is designated a Conservation Target Area. Wychwood Forest (part National Nature Reserve) is the basis of an extensive project[31] to restore the landscape character and mix of habitats associated with this former royal hunting forest.

9.6.19 Charlbury has a very strong landscape and environmental setting, lying as it does in the Cotswolds AONB and the Wychwood Project Area. With Charlbury lying in the catchment area for the River Evenlode, and with a number of spring-fed tributaries of the Evenlode flowing through or close to the town, the exceptional rainfall experienced during summer 2007 resulted in flooding within the area.

9.6.20 This is an area particularly rich in biodiversity with Stonesfield Common Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) to the south and west. The village of Shipton under Wychwood sits within a sensitive valley side context within an extensive conservation area and within the Cotswolds AONB. The northern part of the village is subject to significant flooding constraints.

9.6.21 The area is also significant in terms of the historic environment. Much of Burford is covered by a Conservation Area and is home to a number of listed buildings. There is evidence of settlement in the Charlbury area since Neolithic and Bronze ages and an extensive Conservation Area covers the built-up area of the town, plus its immediate setting. Many of the Cotswold stone buildings are listed for their architectural or historic interest.

9.6.22 Shipton is designated a Conservation Area and contains many listed structures and unlisted vernacular buildings. Much of Stonesfield has been built in the Cotswolds vernacular with stone walls and slate roofs and has been designated a Conservation Area.

Infrastructure

9.6.23 Despite being predominantly rural, this sub-area is reasonably well served by infrastructure which meets primarily local needs. There is a range of shops and services available in Burford, Charlbury, Stonesfield and the Wychwoods as well as in some of the other smaller villages including Kingham.

9.6.24 The main considerations appear to be improvements to public transport including bus and rail and primary education provision where pressure on school capacity is expected to continue in most schools in this area.

Scope for Further Expansion

9.6.25 Although it is environmentally sensitive, this area has good transport links and a range of existing infrastructure which meets primarily local needs. It is appropriate therefore that some future growth takes place here. However, it must be recognised that opportunities for development are relatively limited and the planned scale of growth therefore needs to be appropriate.

9.6.26 In Burford, the Town Council is keen to see an increase in the housing stock to provide some affordable housing to enable younger families to live in the town, secure the future of the primary school and increase the supply of key workers. Whilst there is some scope to provide additional dwellings within the built up area, the setting of the listed buildings and conservation area is a key sensitivity, limiting large scale intensification. There are no large previously developed sites in need of redevelopment. The development potential of land surrounding Burford is heavily constrained by the sensitivity of the landscape although there is scope for an extension of the built-up area to the east. The development potential of land surrounding Burford is heavily constrained by the sensitivity of the landscape although there may be some scope for a small scale extension of the built-up area.

9.6.27 At Charlbury, capacity for further housing within the town is also limited. There are no large previously developed sites and the historic core forms a tight settlement with little potential for new housing, even on small sites. Even within the post-war housing estates, there are few possibilities for intensification of development. The sensitivity of Charlbury's strong landscape and environmental setting mean that significant development on the fringes of the town is unlikely to be acceptable although there is some scope for additional development at Charlbury as well as the Wychwoods and Stonesfield of an appropriate scale and type. The sensitivity of Charlbury's strong landscape and environmental setting mean that significant development on the fringes of the town is unlikely to be acceptable. There is some scope for additional development at the Wychwoods and Stonesfield of an appropriate scale and type.

30. Retail Needs Assessment Update (2012) [back]
31. www.wychwoodproject.org [back]

Key Issues - Summary

9.6.28 Drawing on the brief profile outlined above we can identify a number of key issues and challenges to be addressed in relation to the Burford - Charlbury sub-area. These include:

  • This is a geographically large, predominantly rural area, characterised by a network of small and medium towns and villages.
  • There are two designated service centres including Burford and Charlbury. Burford whilst relatively small in population offers a good range of services and facilities and is a vitally important tourist destination for West Oxfordshire.
  • The area is highly environmentally sensitive with most of it falling within the AONB and including a number of other designations such as the large area of ancient woodland to the south west of Charlbury.
  • The area is also historically important with several historic parks and gardens and many settlements covered by conservation areas and characterised by a number of listed buildings.
  • There has been relatively little past housing delivery compared to other parts of the District, reflecting the environmentally sensitive nature of the area and poor connectivity of some parts.
  • There are very limited opportunities for significant housing development in this area.
  • This is an important area in terms of employment with a large proportion of people employed in professional and managerial positions and accommodating almost 15% 12.5% of the District's job opportunities.
  • The focus tends to be small industrial estates and offices, many in converted buildings and within or on the edge of the towns and larger villages.
  • The area is characterised by high levels of home working and less commuting towards Oxford compared to the eastern parts of the District.
  • The area includes a number of key road links including the A40, A361 and A424. A particular issue is the movement of HGVs through the historic centre of Burford which causes a number of problems including noise and vibration.
  • Rail services are good with a number of settlements located along the Cotswold line although a number of enhancements are needed identified including redoubling between Charlbury Hanborough and Wolvercote as well as improving access to stations and the availability of facilities including adequate car parking capacity.
  • Bus services are variable with better provision at Charlbury compared to Burford.
  • There are good opportunities for active travel with a network of rural footpaths and bridleways including the Oxfordshire Way.
  • In terms of retail and leisure a number of the settlements in this area have facilities to meet the needs of local residents. Burford has a particularly strong retail offer geared towards tourists as well as local residents. Evidence suggests there is a need to resist the loss of shops in Burford and also address the issue of parking capacity in order to sustain the vitality and viability of the town.
  • Pressure on primary school capacity is an important consideration for this area.

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. Regard will also be given to any adopted (made) Neighbourhood Plans in the sub-area.

Housing

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. The indicative housing requirement for this sub-area is 1,000 homes in the period 2011 - 2031. It is anticipated that this will be met through a combination of homes already completed, existing commitments, allocated sites and windfall development. 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

800

Homes already completed (2011 - 2014)

132

Existing planning commitments as of 1st February 2015 including:

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

189

Identified SHLAA capacity

84

Windfall allowance (25 per year 2015 - 2031)

400

Total

805

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

Burford - Charlbury sub-area indicative housing requirement

1,000

Homes already completed (2011 - 2016)

207

Existing large planning commitments as of 1st September 2016 (10 or more units) including:

  • Land south of Church Street, Kingham (16)
  • Charity Farm, Woodstock Road, Stonesfield (37)
  • Land east of Farley Corner, Farley Lane, Stonesfield (13)
  • New Road, Kingham (10)
  • Land north of Little Lees, Charlbury (22)
  • Rushy Bank, Charlbury (25)
  • Land south of High Street, Milton under Wychwood (62)
  • The Old Brewery, Priory Lane, Burford (10)

195

Existing small planning commitments as of 1st September 2016 (less than 10 units)

122

Land north of Woodstock Road, Stonesfield

50

Land east of Burford

85

Land north of Jeffersons Piece, Charlbury

40

Land south of Milton Road, Shipton under Wychwood

44

Anticipated windfall (2016 - 2031)

283

Total

1,026

 

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. In the first five years of the plan period (2011 - 2016) a total of 207 homes have already been completed in the Burford - Charlbury sub-area. As of 1st September 2016, a further 317 homes already benefit from planning permission or resolution to grant permission subject to Section 106. This comprises 195 units on larger sites of 10 or more dwellings and 122 on smaller sites of less than 10.

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. 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 of historic rates of windfall delivery by sub-area, it is reasonable to expect delivery of at least 283 units from unidentified windfall sites in the period 2016 - 2031.

Non-Strategic Housing Allocations

9.6.34a In order to help meet identified housing needs four non-strategic site allocations are proposed in the Burford - Charlbury sub-area. These include:

  • Land north of Woodstock Road, Stonesfield (50 homes)
  • Land east of Burford (85 homes)
  • Land north of Jeffersons Piece, Charlbury (40 homes)
  • Land south of Milton Road, Shipton under Wychwood (44 homes)

Land north of Woodstock Road, Stonesfield (50 homes)

9.6.34b This is a greenfield site on the eastern edge of Stonesfield immediately to the north of the Woodstock Road. It abuts existing residential development to the west, sports pitches, tennis courts and a detached property/farm buildings to the north with open countryside to the east. To the south is a linear strip of development with a residential scheme currently under construction to the south (Charity Farm). The site is currently in agricultural (arable) use but has been put forward for residential development through the Council's Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA).

9.6.34c The site is relatively flat although slopes gently upwards to the north. Vehicular access can be achieved directly from the Woodstock Road. Pedestrian and cycle connections could be provided at numerous points including to provide access to the sports pitches to the north.

9.6.34d Whilst a development of the scale proposed (50 homes) on an edge of settlement site such as this would clearly have a degree of impact, the site is not affected by any major physical or policy constraints other than the fact that it lies within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). In this respect, national policy (the NPPF) states that 'great weight should be given to conserving landscape and scenic beauty in National Parks, the Broads and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which have the highest status of protection in relation to landscape and scenic beauty'. It goes on to state that planning permission should be refused for major developments in these designated areas except in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrated they are in the public interest.

9.6.34e Consideration of such applications should include an assessment of:

  • the need for the development, including in terms of any national considerations, and the impact of permitting it, or refusing it, upon the local economy;
  • the cost of, and scope for, developing elsewhere outside the designated area, or meeting the need for it in some other way; and
  • any detrimental effect on the environment, the landscape and recreational opportunities, and the extent to which that could be moderated.

9.6.34f In terms of the need for the development, the provision of 50 new homes on this site would make a significant contribution towards meeting identified housing needs in West Oxfordshire. There would also be some benefit to the local economy during the construction phase.

9.6.34g In terms of the scope for developing elsewhere, the Burford - Charlbury sub-area is washed over by a significant proportion of AONB designation. This in itself means that to meet future housing requirements, some development within the AONB will be necessary. Stonesfield falls entirely within the AONB and as such any development within or on the edge of the village will need to be judged against the national policy considerations outlined above.

9.6.34h In terms of any detrimental effect, it is considered that the site is suitable for development and can be brought forward without undue harm subject to proper consideration of any sensitivities including in particular landscape impact. The site is not prone to flooding, lies outside the Conservation Area and is not subject to any specific environmental constraints. In terms of recreational opportunities the development also provides an opportunity to increase the extent of the open space that currently exist to the north of the site, thereby providing a significant benefit to new and existing residents. The proposed site allocation is shown in Figure 9.17a below.

9.6.34i In light of the lack of physical and policy constraints to development the site is allocated for the provision of around 50 homes together with an expansion of the existing open space to the north of the site.

9.17a Woodstock Road, Stonesfield

 

Policy BC1a - Land north of Woodstock Road, Stonesfield (50 homes)

 

Land to the north of Woodstock Road, Stonesfield to accommodate around 50 dwellings as a well-integrated and logical extension of the existing built form of the town.

Proposals for development should be consistent with the following:

a) provision of a mix of house types and tenures including affordable housing in accordance with Policy H3 - Affordable Housing

b) provision of satisfactory vehicular access and appropriate pedestrian and cycle connections;

c) density, layout and form of development that integrates effectively with the adjoining residential area to the west and achieves a positive improvement to the main eastern approach into Stonesfield.

d) appropriate provision of and contributions towards supporting infrastructure;

e) expansion and incorporation of the existing public open space to the north of the site.

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

g) 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.

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

Land east of Burford (85 homes)

9.6.34j This is a greenfield site on the eastern edge of Burford. It is currently in agricultural (arable) use. Notably the site is surrounded on three sides by existing residential development including Orchard Rise to the north, Frethern Close/Wysdom Way to the south and Barns Lane to the west. The site sits in a fairly elevated position being on the 125m/130m AOD contour and sloping gently down towards the north east corner and the Witney Road.

9.6.34k The site is not within a designated area of flood risk and is not affected by any public rights of way or known heritage assets. It is also in close proximity to the centre of Burford with a range of services and facilities within comfortable walking distance. The popularity of Burford and the relative absence of housing delivery in recent years is likely to lead to strong demand for housing in this location. Key considerations for this site are the landscape and visual impact of development, vehicular access arrangements and the fact that the site is located within the Cotswolds AONB and Conservation Area.

9.6.34l In terms of landscape and visual impact, whilst the site comprises relatively high ground, it is relatively well-screened from wider views. Whilst views of the site can be achieved from the north east when travelling along the A361 these are relatively fleeting and it is considered that development of the site if handled carefully would read as part of the existing settlement edge rather than an incongruous and harmful extension. Any application would need to be supported by a detailed landscape and visual impact assessment and a landscape-led approach to the development would need to be achieved.

9.6.34m In terms of access there are a number of options. It is envisaged that the primary vehicular access would be taken from the north east corner onto the Witney Road. Whilst there are gradient issues to address the extent of the land ownership involved should enable an acceptable vehicular access to be achieved. If addressed imaginatively and flanked with a small number of high quality dwellings, this also presents the opportunity to provide a gateway entrance to Burford from the east. Secondary vehicular accesses may also be achieved from Frethern Close/Wysdom Way to the south and Barns Lane to the west (although the narrow nature of this route would mean a very limited number of dwellings could be served from here).

9.6.34n With regard to the fact the site is within the AONB, as outlined previously, national policy considerations must be taken into account. In this regard, the proposed development would help to meet identified housing needs and in particular would help to address the relative lack of new housing supply in Burford in recent years. It would also have a beneficial effect in terms of the local economy during the construction phase.

9.6.34o In terms of the scope for developing elsewhere or meeting the need in another way, the majority of Burford (except land south of the A40) is washed over by the Cotswolds AONB designation. Any development within or on the edge of the town will therefore fall within the AONB and the scope for avoiding it does not exist other than south of the A40 where the Council's assessment of land availability has been unable to find any suitable sites.

9.6.34p Finally it is considered that development of this site would not have a detrimental effect on the environment, landscape or any recreational opportunities. The site is not subject to any significant environmental constraints and is not used for recreational purposes indeed any development would provide the opportunity for an enhancement e.g. the provision of publicly accessible open space. As outlined previously, whilst landscape impact is a key consideration, it is not considered to be an insurmountable issue subject to more detailed site analysis and a landscape-led approach to any development of the site. The proposed site allocation is shown in Figure 9.17b below.

9.6.34q For the reasons outlined above, the site is considered to represent a sustainable development opportunity for Burford and is therefore allocated for the provision of around 85 new homes.

 

Policy BC1b - Land east of Burford (85 homes)

 

Land to the east of Burford to accommodate around 85 dwellings as a well-integrated and logical extension of the existing built form of the town.

Proposals for development should be consistent with the following:

a) provision of a mix of house types and tenures including affordable housing in accordance with Policy H3 - Affordable Housing.

b) provision of satisfactory vehicular access and appropriate pedestrian and cycle connections. Any vehicular access provided from the Witney Road will be required to contribute positively to the eastern approach into Burford providing a 'gateway' entrance to the town.

c) a landscape-led approach to development to ensure that new housing does not have an unacceptable landscape and visual impact and reads as part of the existing settlement in long-distance views.

d) density, layout and form of development that integrates effectively with the adjoining residential areas to the north, west and south of the site.

e) appropriate provision of and contributions towards supporting infrastructure;

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

g) 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.

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

Land north of Jeffersons Piece, Charlbury (40 homes)

9.6.34r This is a greenfield site of around 1.7 ha on the northern edge of Charlbury. It sits on relatively high ground (135m AOD) sloping down to the north towards a small valley. It abuts an area of existing residential development at Jeffersons Piece with open countryside to the north and two detached properties to the north east. To the east of the site are several large residential curtilages. The site is currently in use as a paddock with access achievable via a private road (Hundley Way) although this may not be suitable for a significant increase in vehicle movements. There is however the potential to achieve vehicular access into Jeffersons Piece subject to the redevelopment/relocation of an existing set of single storey garages.

9.6.34s Whilst access is an important consideration the site is not considered to have any significant physical constraints. It is not within an area of designated flood risk, is not affected by any public rights of way and is well-screened from wider views despite the relatively elevated location. Furthermore, the site has been promoted for development and of the various options considered at Charlbury this site is considered to be the most suitable.

9.6.34t In terms of policy constraints, the site is within the Cotswold AONB and is also within the Charlbury Conservation Area. These are important considerations but not preclude the possibility of development. In terms of the AONB, as major development a scheme of 40 new homes in this location would need to satisfy the tests set out in national policy. In this regard the development would make a useful contribution towards meeting identified housing needs in a sustainable location with access by rail. There would also be some modest economic benefits as a result of the construction of the new housing.

9.6.34u As is the case with Burford and Stonesfield, Charlbury is washed over by the AONB so there is no scope to provide alternative sites within or on the edge of the village outside the AONB. This site has been deemed to be the most suitable of the various options considered at Charlbury through the Council's housing land availability assessment. The development of this site will have no detrimental impact on the environment, landscape or recreational opportunities. The site has no significant environmental constraints and is well-screened from wider views. The most discernible impact would be from those walking along the adjacent public right of way but beyond that any development would read as part of the existing settlement.

9.6.34v With regard to the Conservation Area, a careful design-led approach will be required to ensure that any development of this site preserves or enhances the character of the area. Given the presence of the existing relatively modern development to the south this should be entirely achievable indeed the potential redevelopment/removal of the existing single-storey garages is likely to have a positive impact. The proposed site allocation is shown in Figure 9.17c below.

9.6.34w For the reasons outlined above, the site is considered to represent a sustainable development opportunity for Charlbury and is therefore allocated for the provision of around 40 new homes.

 

Policy BC1c - Land north of Jeffersons Piece, Charlbury (40 homes)

 

Land north of Jeffersons Piece, Charlbury to accommodate around 40 dwellings as a well-integrated and logical extension of the existing built form of the village.

Proposals for development should be consistent with the following:

a) provision of a mix of house types and tenures including affordable housing in accordance with Policy H3 - Affordable Housing.

b) provision of satisfactory vehicular access and appropriate pedestrian and cycle connections.

c) density, layout and form of development that integrates effectively with the adjoining residential area to the south of the site.

d) design-led approach to ensure that any development of this site preserves or enhances the character of the Conservation Area.

e) retention of existing mature vegetation along site boundaries to ensure effective screening from the adjoining public right of way and in longer-distance views.

f) appropriate provision of and contributions towards supporting infrastructure;

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

h) 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.

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

Land south of Milton Road, Shipton under Wychwood (44 homes)

9.6.34x This is a greenfield site of around 3.3 ha on the western edge of Shipton under Wychwood. It is a characteristic L-shape and comprises pasture. The site is generally level although slopes down to the west in the central portion. Notably the site wraps around Wychwood Primary School which adjoins the site to the north. To the east of the site is a small but well-occupied business centre including light industrial uses, a nursery school and offices. To the south and west is open countryside.

9.6.34y The site has no significant physical constraints to development. It is not within an area of designated flood risk, vehicular access can be achieved direct from the Milton Road and the site is suitable for development in terms of topography. As a Greenfield site in an edge of settlement location development of this site will inevitably have a degree of landscape and visual impact but the site is relatively low-lying with few views from public vantage points and only glimpsed views from the Milton Road through existing vegetation.

9.6.34z In terms of policy constraints the site is located within the Conservation Area and also within the Cotswolds AONB. The development of the site would make a useful contribution towards meeting identified housing needs and also provides the opportunity to create additional car parking for the adjacent school thereby creating a public benefit as well as some economic gains during the construction phase.

9.6.35a As is the case with Burford, Stonesfield and Charlbury, Shipton under Wychwood is washed over by the AONB so there is no scope to provide alternative sites within or on the edge of the village outside the AONB. This site has been deemed to be suitable in principle for residential development through the Council's housing land availability assessment and is also the subject of a current planning application.

9.6.35b The development of this site will have no detrimental impact on the environment, landscape or recreational opportunities. The site has no significant environmental constraints and is well-screened from wider views. Where views are achievable, the development would read as part of the existing settlement in the context of surrounding modern buildings.

9.6.35c With regard to the Conservation Area, a careful design-led approach will be required to ensure that any development of this site preserves or enhances the character of the area although it is notable that parts of Milton Road are characterised by some modern elements. The proposed site allocation is shown in Figure 9.17d below.

9.6.35d For the reasons outlined above, the site is considered to represent a sustainable development opportunity for Shipton under Wychwood and is therefore allocated for the provision of around 44 new homes.

 

 

Policy BC1d - Land south of Milton Road, Shipton under Wychwood (44 homes)

 

Land south of Milton Road, Shipton under Wychwood to accommodate around 44 dwellings as a well-integrated and logical extension of the existing built form of the village.

Proposals for development should be consistent with the following:

a) provision of a mix of house types and tenures including affordable housing in accordance with Policy H3 - Affordable Housing.

b) provision of satisfactory vehicular access and appropriate pedestrian and cycle connections.

c) appropriate provision of and contributions towards supporting infrastructure including consideration of the potential scope to provide additional parking for the adjoining primary school.

d) regard to be had to the compatibility of the adjoining employment use.

e) density, layout and form of development that optimises the use of the irregular site boundary.

f) design-led approach to ensure that any development of this site preserves or enhances the character of the Conservation Area.

g) retention of existing mature vegetation along site boundaries to ensure effective screening from longer-distance views.

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

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

Employment

9.6.35 This is an important area in terms of employment, catering for almost 15% 12.5% 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.

Transport

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. In terms of rail, we will work in partnership with the County Council and other partners including Network rail and train operators to implement the aims and objectives of the rail strategy embedded in LTP4. 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.

Figure 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 conserve or enhance the District's heritage assets and their significance and settings.

Infrastructure

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 1,000 new homes to include affordable housing and homes designed to meet a range of different needs including older people.

- a non-strategic housing allocation of 50 homes on land north of Woodstock Road, Stonesfield (see Policy BC1a)

- a non-strategic housing allocation of 85 homes on land east of Burford (see Policy BC1b)

- a non-strategic housing allocation of 40 homes on land north of Jeffersons Piece, Charlbury (see Policy BC1c)

- a non-strategic housing allocation of 44 homes on land south of Milton Road, Shipton under Wychwood (see Policy BC1d)

- 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.