Historic Cotswold Village

Press Release - Hearing dates set for reconvening of Local Plan Examination

For immediate release Date: 20 March 2017

Hearing dates set for reconvening of Local Plan Examination
West Oxfordshire District Council’s Local Plan examination hearing is set to reconvene in May.
Two separate sessions will be held, the first from Tuesday 9 May and the second from Tuesday 11 July. Both hearings will be held at the Council's Woodgreen offices in Witney.
Planning Inspector Malcolm Rivett BA (Hons) MSc MRTPI has been appointed to conduct the examination and he will determine whether or not the plan is ‘sound’ in light of the representations received and national policy.
Mr Rivett will publish further guidance by 27 March including:
What will be discussed at each stage;
The procedures; and
When individuals and organisations need to register if they would like to speak at the hearings.
Cllr Jeff Haine, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Economy, said: “It is vital that we get an adopted Local Plan in place as soon as possible otherwise the district will continue to be at risk from speculative housing applications.
“We are confident that we have taken into account the Planning Inspectorates’ requirements, including the request that we accommodate some of Oxford City’s unmet housing need, and we believe what we are putting forward is the best for West Oxfordshire.”
Further information on the process and copies of the documents that have been submitted are available on the Council’s local plan webpage at www.westoxon.gov.uk/localplan2031
ENDS
Notes for editors
The District Council first formally submitted its draft Local Plan to Government for independent examination by the Planning Inspectorate in July 2015.
The subsequent examination hearing was suspended in January 2016 following recommendations by the Planning Inspector that elements of the Plan should be reconsidered, including the overall housing target.
As a result, council planners undertook a range of further work and consulted on proposed changes to the Plan.
Responses were received from around 1,000 individuals and organisations during the 6-week consultation stage which ran from 11 November until 23 December 2016. These were submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration on 10 March 2017, together with the proposed modifications and a range of supporting documents.
Further information: Communications: t: 01993 861615, e: communications@westoxon.gov.uk

Press Release - Arts and Heritage Projects offered Grant Funding

For immediate release Date: 20 March 2017

Arts and heritage projects offered grant funding

Grants of up to £500 are being made available to organisations across West Oxfordshire looking to develop arts and heritage projects.

Last year, 12 groups were awarded a Community Activities Grant (CAG) from West Oxfordshire District Council which backed a range of initiatives ranging from staging an opera in Bampton to buying frames for village photographs in Leafield.

Description: Charlbury Museum committee member Sue Rangeley (left) and Honorary Curator Celia Faulkner with some of the boxes bought with the CAG award 2017Charlbury Museum successfully applied for a £200 grant which went towards buying special boxes that provide storage for exhibitions including local author Bessie Marchant and the display of documents collected from a former draper’s shop in the town which will be on show when the museum opens again on 1 April.

Honorary curator Celia Faulkner said: “We bought about 40 acid-free boxes which have been very useful in providing storage for sensitive documents and literature.

“We are planning an exhibition of materials including 19th century bills and brochures found at what was Henry Allen’s draper’s shop in Church Street, so the boxes are ideal.”

The museum also received a £300 CAG award in 2015 which went towards compiling a book about Charlbury residents in the First World War. Glover, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor will now be published this year.

Grants of between £100 and £500 are available for specific projects to be carried out by community groups and charities.

Cllr Jeanette Baker, Cabinet Member for Arts and Sports Development, said: “These grants make a huge difference to local arts and heritage groups enabling them to fund new projects while also easing running costs.

“They ensure the rich cultural mix of West Oxfordshire continues to flourish and I look forward to seeing how we can help improve it even further.”

For more details and an application form, see www.westoxon.gov.uk/grants

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 15 April with applications to be made to the Woodgreen Council offices.

Pictured: Charlbury Museumcommittee member Sue Rangeley (left) and Honorary Curator Celia Faulkner with some of the boxes bought with the CAG award.

ENDS

Further information:

Communications: t: 01993 861615, m: 07771965360, e: communications@westoxon.gov.uk

Recipients should be aware that all e-mails and attachments sent and received by West Oxfordshire, Cotswold and/or Forest of Dean District Council may be accessible to others in the Council for business or litigation purposes, and/or disclosed to a third party under the Freedom of Information or Data Protection Acts. If you have received this e-mail in error please inform the sender and delete it.

Press Release - Special Deal Offers Discounts for Local Attractions

For immediate release Date: 20 March 2017

Special deal offers discounts for local attractions
At the end of the month popular tourist attractions across West Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds are throwing open their doors to give discounted entry.
The Welcome Open Weekend offers visitors and residents’ special ‘2-for-1’ entry from Friday 31 March to Sunday 2 April to all participating attractions.
Attractions include:
Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power, Cheltenham
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock
Cogges Manor Farm, Witney
Crocodiles of the World, Brize Norton
Fairytale Farm, near Chipping Norton
Rousham, near Bicester
Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock
Sudeley Castle & Gardens, Winchcombe near Cheltenham
Birdland Park & Gardens, Bourton-on-the-Water
Nature in Art Gallery and Museum, Gloucester
Cllr Jeanette Baker, Cabinet Member responsible for tourism at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “The open weekend is a great opportunity to visit some of the amazing attractions on our doorstep to discover why so many tourists flock to the area. Tourism is a major industry in our area, employing a large number of people and with discounted rates there is no better time to support it.”
To enjoy the discount, a voucher sheet needs to be collected from one of the local Visitor Information Centres or Information Points. West Oxfordshire centres/points are at Burford, Chipping Norton, Witney and Woodstock. A full list of centres across the Cotswolds is at www.cotswolds.com
For more details about the weekend offers visit www.cotswolds.com/wow or call 01993 775802.
ENDS
Notes to editors:
English Tourism Week runs from 25 March to 2 April. This is an annual celebration with a series of events showcasing visitor experiences across the country, including the Cotswolds.
Further information:
Communications: t: 01993 861615 / 861616 or e: communications@westoxon.gov.uk

Press Release - Proposed Modifications - West Oxfordshire Local Plan 2031

Submission of Proposed Modifications - West Oxfordshire Local Plan 2031

The District Council submitted its Local Plan in July 2015 and following hearings held in November 2015 the examination was suspended to enable the Council to undertake further work and consult on proposed modifications to the plan.

I am writing to notify you that following publication of these modifications from 11 November – 23 December 2016, the District Council has now formally submitted the plan to the Planning Inspectorate together with the representations received and other relevant supporting documents.

In July 2015 Planning Inspector Mr Simon Emerson BSc DTp MRTPI conducted the Examination into the soundness of the plan, however during the suspension of the Examination Mr Emerson retired as a Planning Inspector. Mr Malcolm Rivett BA (Hons) MSc MRTPI has since been appointed to conduct the remainder of the Examination. He will publish a Guidance Note detailing the arrangements for the continuation of the Examination by Monday 27 March.

In the meantime, all submission documents are available to view on the Council’s website via the following link: www.westoxon.gov.uk/localplan2031

Copies are also available at the following locations (note: some documents are available in electronic format only).

West Oxfordshire District Council OfficesElmfieldNew Yatt Road

Witney

OX28 1PB

Tel: 01993 861000

Open: Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm

Witney Town Centre Shop3 Welch WayWitney

OX28 6JH

Tel: 01993 861000

Open: Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm

Witney Town CouncilTown HallMarket Square

Witney

OX28 6AG

Tel: 01993 704379

Open: Monday – Friday 9am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm

Carterton Town Council19 Alvescot RoadCarterton

OX18 3JL

Tel: 01993 842156

Open: Monday – Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm

Chipping Norton Town CouncilThe GuildhallChipping Norton

OX7 5NJ

Tel: 01608 642341

Open: Monday – Friday 9am to 1pm

Burford Visitor Information Centre33 High StreetBurford

OX18 4QA

Tel: 01993823558

Open: Monday – Saturday 9.30am to 5pm, Sunday 10am to 4pm

Bampton LibraryOld Grammar SchoolChurch View

Bampton

OX18 2NE

Tel: 01993 850076

Burford Library86A High StreetBurford

OX18 4QF

Tel: 01993 823377

Carterton Library6 Alvescot RoadCarterton

OX18 3JH

Tel: 01993 841492

Charlbury LibraryCorner HouseMarket Street

Charlbury

OX7 3PN

Tel: 01608 811104

Chipping Norton LibraryGoddards LandChipping Norton

OX7 5NP

Tel: 01608 643559

Eynsham Library30 Mill StreetEynsham

OX29 4JS

Tel: 01865 880525

North Leigh LibraryMemorial HallPark Road

North Leigh

OX29 6SA

Tel: 01993 882935

Stonesfield LibraryVillage HallLongore

Stonesfield

OX29 8EF

Tel: 01993 898187

Witney LibraryWelch WayWitney

OX28 6JH

Tel: 01993 703659

Woodstock LibraryHensington RoadWoodstock

OX20 1JQ

Tel: 01993 812832

Wychwood Library29 High StreetMilton-under-Wychwood

OX7 6LD

Tel: 01993 830281

For library opening times please contact the library direct or check on:

www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/public-site/find-library

The examination hearing sessions will be held in two further stages commencing at the following times:

Stage 2: 10:00, Tuesday 9 May 2017

Stage 3: 10:00, Tuesday 11 July 2017

All Examination hearing sessions will be held at the following address:

Committee Rooms 1 and 2, Council Offices, Woodgreen, Witney, Oxon. OX28 1NB

The Inspector’s Guidance Note for the remainder of the Examination and a list of Matters and Questions and draft programme for the Stage 2 hearings will be published on the Local Plan website as soon as possible after its release. T

he Guidance Note will list the matters to be considered at each stage and will explain the procedures and deadline for notifying the Programme Officer if you wish to speak at the hearings. If you are unable to access the Local Plan website please contact the Programme Officer for alternative arrangements to be put in place.

To assist with the examination process, the Council has appointed an independent Programme Officer, who works under the direction of the Inspector, and her contact details are as follows:

Up until 07/04/2017

Helen Argo,

C/O Planning Policy Team

West Oxfordshire District Council

Elmfield

New Yatt Road

Witney

OX28 1PB

Tel: 01285 623101

Email: programme.officer@westoxon.gov.uk

After 07/04/2017 Rosemary Morton

C/O Planning Policy Team

West Oxfordshire District Council

Elmfield

New Yatt Road

Witney

OX28 1PB

Tel: 01628 672181

Email: programme.officer@westoxon.gov.uk

For further information regarding the submission of the Local Plan and the examination process, please contact the Programme Officer using the contact details above.

Alternatively, contact the Council’s Planning Policy Team on 01993 861667.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Signature

Chris Hargraves,

Planning Policy Manager

Press Release - Firms urged to apply for Business Rate Relief

For immediate release Date: 17 March 2017
Firms urged to apply for business rate relief
Many businesses in West Oxfordshire will be receiving business rates bills for 2017/18 which see sharp increases from last year.
This is due to the national revaluation of business rates conducted by the Valuation Office Agency.
Due to changes to small business rates relief announced last year many smaller businesses will be protected from these changes with the very smallest of businesses being taken out of rating altogether.
And at the Budget on 8 March, Chancellor Philip Hammond unveiled further measures to help offset rises in business rates.
These include a £1,000 discount for qualifying pubs with a rateable value of under £100,000, a scheme to cap increases for small businesses that will lose some or all of their Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief and a £300m discretionary fund to enable authorities to support those facing the steepest increases in business rates.
Rate relief cannot be applied automatically and West Oxfordshire District Council will write to qualifying businesses, encouraging them to apply. Small businesses can apply at any time.
Cllr Toby Morris, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “The rates revaluation may have come as a shock to some small businesses.
“But we are in a rural area and there have been a number of provisions made for certain types of business, so it is important that firms apply for relief.”
Before these latest proposals more than 2,000 businesses were benefiting from small business relief collectively saving themselves around £2.75m a year. The new proposals should extend those savings further to pubs and other businesses particularly affected by the revaluation.
ENDS
Notes to editors:
West Oxfordshire District Council is responsible for billing and collection of business rates with the bulk of funds going back to central government to be reallocated to other local authorities both in Oxfordshire and further afield. West Oxfordshire retains just nine per cent of business rates raised to finance its services.
Further information:
Communications: t: 01993 861615, m: 07771965360, e: communications@westoxon.gov.uk

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