Last roll of the dice as WODC decide on proposal for 300 houses in Woodstock

woodstockThe final decision on the proposal to build 300 houses, plus retail shops, on the South East of the village of Woodstock will be made next week.

This is the last roll of the dice.

Woodstock Action Group (WAG) are calling for as many people as possible to attend this meeting to demonstrate the level of public opposition to valuable farmland being concreted over and the historic character of this 900-year-old town being lost forever.

The meeting will be held on Monday, 6 February at 2:00pm, at the West Oxfordshire District Council Offices in Witney.

Please go along and lend your support!

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Housing development on edge of Burford village approved on appeal

generic-news-2Plans for a care village and housing estate on the edge of Burford in West Oxfordshire have been allowed on appeal to help meet the area’s housing supply shortfall.

Hallam Land Management’s proposal for up to 91 homes, 78 assisted living apartments and a 90-bed care home in open countryside on the edge of the town was lodged two years ago.

The company’s application prompted around 450 written objections from local people, including many from the Help Preserve Burford Campaign, and was turned down by West Oxfordshire District Council on the grounds that the need for a development on this scale had not been shown and the infrastructure needed to support it was lacking.

But last week inspector Keith Manning gave the green light for the scheme, following a public inquiry last summer.

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Oxfordshire Affordability

roarNeed not Greed Oxfordshire recently asked Peter Jay, Chairman of Rural Oxfordshire Action Rally (ROAR) – a founding member of the coalition, to produce a short note on ‘Oxfordshire Affordability’.

This excellent paper (see below) examines the notion of ‘affordability’ in the Oxfordshire context and shows how, despite rapid and damaging development, we are not meeting the real needs of local people.

Read: Oxfordshire Affordability – Peter Jay – 9 March 2016.

Final SEP Refresh – now online

generic-news-2The final Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) Refresh is now online on the OxLEP website.

A quick read of the final version of the Plan makes it clear that the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) have not compromised on the overall growth targets for the county (100,000 houses and more than 85,000 jobs in the next 15 years) and have put the responsibility for the figures squarely with the local authorities.

However, it is clear that thanks to our campaigning the document is much improved and includes reference to some of the concerns flagged up by NNGO and others at the public workshops and in our responses to the consultation, particularly regarding the natural environment, affordable housing and infrastructure pressures.

For example, in the section on ‘Our Vision’, the Plan says:

‘Oxfordshire will be on a trajectory for growth that is sustainable environmentally (taking into account climate change, carbon emissions, heritage, the natural environment and patterns of resource use), socially (reflecting the needs and character of communities) and economically (with businesses and others choosing to reinvest)’. (Our emphasis).

Critically the Plan recognises the ‘need to balance the opportunities for economic development with the possible compromise to the natural environment.’

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