Local Plan Examination - Days 1 and 2

The Examination in Public (EiP) of Cherwell District Council’s (CDC) partial review of their Local Plan to meet “Oxford’s Unmet Housing Need” opened on Tuesday 5th of February and continued through Weds 6th.

 

In preparation for this examination, KDW along with other local groups opposed to the development formed Cherwell District Watch Alliance (CDWA) in order co-ordinate effective use of our resources.  Thanks to the generous donations from the supporters from all groups, CDWA have been able to commission important reports from well renowned experts in their fields, the authors of which attended the EiP to speak for us on days 1 & 2. We have also instructed a barrister - David George - to attend the EiP and represent our communities.

 

CDWA members have burnt the midnight oil preparing written statements for the each of the "matters"raised by the Government Inspector regarding Cherwell’s plans. These resources can be downloaded via the document links below. (To see all of the submissions please visit the Examination Written Statements webpage.)


Our MP, Layla Moran spoke compellingly  at the opening session

The main points she made to the Inspector were:

1.    The level of Oxford's 'unmet housing need' has been set at an unrealistically high level, therefore the figures proposed by Cherwell Council are also far too high.
2.    Oxford City Council should identify more sites to build the houses it says it needs, rather than planning to develop even more retail and business use on sites that become available.
3.    The proposals are not in line with the high level of protection afforded to the Green Belt in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
4.    The proposals do not adequately protect the gaps between local villages.
5.    The plan does not deliver the infrastructure needed to support existing developments, let alone the proposed level of growth.
6.    Local councils, particularly Cherwell District Council, have completely ignored the views of local residents.

"Layla spoke persuasively and eloquently on our behalf. I was actually quite moved –

it was a great morale boost"


Matter 1: Legal Compliance

Kidlington Development Watch highlighted the poor conduct of the consultation by Cherwell Council and various irregularities in procedure.

Matter 2: Unmet Need - housing numbers

The case for accommodating Oxford City's unmet housing need is strongly challenged. CDWA commissioned  and expert report from Opinion Research Services shows the true need is negligible.

Matter 3: Green Belt and spatial strategy

This session focussed on several interlinked topics - 'exceptional circumstances' to build on Green Belt

- Whether housing could be located elsewhere;

- transport & infrastructure



Matter 4: North Oxford Sites (Day 2)

This session focused on Sites PR6a and PR6B - the land either side of the Oxford Road approach to the Cutteslowe roundabout.

 

The Harbord Road Residents Association and Greenways led representations on this.

Matter 5: Kidlington Sites (Day 2)

This concerned the two sites nearest Kidlington - Stratfield  Farm and the land at Gosford Farm between the Bicester Road and A34. The session ran late !

Matter 6: Begbroke and Matter 7: Yarnton (D3)

Begbroke (Site PR8) and Yarnton (Site PR9)  will be discussed on Tues 12th Feb. Development on the two sites would overwhelm the two villages and lead to their virtual coalescence. Community opposition could not be higher



Day 3 - Thursday 12th Feb. looks at BYG and WAG territory

Development on the Begbroke (PR8) and Yarnton (PR9) sites would overwhelm the two villages and lead to their virtual coalescence.   Woodstock's Major has described the proposals for more houses on the Cherwell border (PR10_ as an 'existential threat' to the integrity and quality of life in the town.

Community opposition could not be higher.