Developer preparing to submit planning application for land behind the Moors?

The fields behind the Moors in Kidlington are in the Oxford Green Belt but the landowner has been trying for over 10 years to persuade Cherwell District Council to include the land as a housing site in its Local Plan. Having rejected the site previously, Cherwell has now included it as a proposed housing site in its most recent consultation on the Cherwell Local Plan Review 2040, although the Council also recognises it has more work to do to assess it. KDW encouraged residents to object to the plan and we believe many did along with Kidlington Parish Council and other groups. (You can download KDW’s response here).


Quite how the would-be developer (Bloombridge) managed to persuade Cherwell to consider taking the land out of Green Belt this time round is a mystery. Cherwell rejected the site during the recent Partial Review to meet Oxford City’s unmet housing need. Having approved the 4,400 houses elsewhere around Kidlington, the Planning Inspector said that the Green Belt boundaries around Kidlington were now defensible. Once established, Green Belt boundaries are intended to remain beyond the timescale of a plan, and we cannot understand why Cherwell is seeking to change them again after only 3 years.


The Local Plan review 2040 Options Appraisal consultation (Nov 2021) explicitly excluded any option for development on the Green Belt around Kidlington, and the planning Officers confirmed this.  In response, Kidlington Parish Council and Kidlington Development Watch proposed that the fields behind the Moors (along with another area) should be designated as Local Green Spaces to help create a ‘green ring’ of open spaces connected by footpaths around the village.



To our horror, the draft plan released in January 2023 included a proposal to build on Green Belt on land behind the Moors. Our Local Green space submission was rejected without any serious consideration, on the grounds that the land was being proposed as a strategic development site. However, both Cherwell’s Oversight and Executive Committees declined to sign off this first draft pending a number of changes, including that “more should be done to maintain the Green Ring around Kidlington”.


When the amended plan finally came back in October 2023 we were disappointed to see that the Land behind the Moors was still being considered. Meanwhile the developer has been pressing ahead as if it was a done deal:


  • Extensive surveying of the fields
  • Submission to Cherwell of preliminary detailed plans asking for pre-application advice (which is given in confidence and not usually available to the public)
  • Asking for and being granted a private meeting with Kidlington Parish Councillors in December, where they presented their preliminary detailed plans. These included provision of a cricket pavilion/ commercial events venue and two cricket pitches nearest St Mary’s
  • Submitting a screening opinion request to Cherwell, suggesting a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was unnecessary.


You can download our response to the Council about the screening opinion request HERE. Kidlington Parish Council also responded saying that an EIA is needed. However, on 16th January 2024, Cherwell decided not to require a full Environmental Impact Assessment. All the papers are available to view on the planning portal ref 23/03414/SO



The developer may well be preparing to submit a planning application in the near future. We believe that this should be rejected out of hand because the site remains in the Green Belt and, so far, has only been suggested in the first draft of Cherwell’s 2040 Local Plan. We think that there were many valid objections to that proposal.  We will continue to do all we can to get the proposal taken out of the next version of the plan. We will also look out for any planning application and alert you to this and to how you can object.