Stonesfield ~ Oxfordshire
Historic Cotswold Village

  • Stacks Image 38
  • Stacks Image 40
  • Stacks Image 42
  • Stacks Image 44
  • Stacks Image 46
  • Stacks Image 48

SUSTO is back on the web! Just in time to announce our second Public meeting . 15th January 2018 . Village Hall

Apologies if you have been looking for our regular updates on the web site. There have been technical problems that have taken us off the air and taken quite a while to sort out, but now, we are back!

We may have been off the web, but we have not been off the job . We are very pleased to be holding our second public meeting on the 15th January at 7.30 in the village hall, so we can report to the village what we have been up to and achieved so far and, more importantly, enlist your support for the challenges that lie ahead.

Planning applications are continuing to arrive and we continue to fight them because of the sheer scale of irrevocable harm they represent to our village, the damage they threaten to our (supposedly heavily protected) local countryside and the very limited services and facilities within the village.

Please come along and encourage your friends and neighbours to attend the meeting as well, they will be very welcome.

At the meeting we will share details of the current position regarding applications for planning permission and outline the representations we have made to the Inspector who is examining West Oxfordshire District Council's Local Plan. That 'plan' includes the Woodstock Rd site where WODC continues to contemplate an application for 68 houses on just over half the site which they told us, was suitable for 50 houses. (Any school pupil would be able to work out what 60% of 50 is but not at WODC!)

It is very important that we have your views on the issues that face the village so that we can ensure those views get in front of the people who represent us and that the Planning Officers take them fully into account before they allow changes to the place where we live! So the meeting on the 15th January will give plenty of time for you to ask questions, let us know what you think about the issues that face our village and your ideas for the action you think we should be taking.

Over 70 people came to our last public meeting and we all learnt a lot from each other. Please make this meeting a priority so that we can work together for the best interests of Stonesfield.

We look forward to seeing you on the 15th and wish you a very Happy New Year!

David Lines on behalf of SUSTO

Housing developments update - deadline tomorrow 21 December

We had been expecting the WODC Uplands Planning Committee to hear the three major Stonesfield applications in December. However, all three applications have been delayed. Sadly, this isn’t as good as it sounds.

In May, Empire Homes submitted an application for 16 houses west of North Farm, on Farley Lane. They have withdrawn this application because WODC said it would not be approved without including affordable housing. Empire Homes had hoped to avoid this requirement by giving land to the village playing field.

Empire Homes have submitted a revised outline planning application for 34 houses, more than double the original plan, and no land to the village.

Nearly 70 residents wrote letters objecting to building 16 houses, citing concerns about traffic on Farley Lane and through the village, developing on a greenfield site in the AONB, and the stress put on village infrastructure.

We hope that you’ll write again objecting to this inappropriate housing development. The application can be seen on WODC’s planning website at:

Search for planning application ref number: 17/03393/OUT.

This downloadable document lists what we believe are the main reasons for objecting to the North Farm development. You can choose what you think are the most important issues to put in your letter, or copy and paste them all. If you can write your own letters using the information we have given for reference, but in your own words, so much the better. You may have other very valid reasons to object too.

objecting to the North Farm development

Letters can also be emailed to: or be posted or hand delivered.

The deadline for receiving comments is 21 December

Two developments:

CALA withdrew their application from the December meeting to enable them to amend the plans. We will write to you as soon as the amended plans are available and undoubtedly we’ll be asking you to comment/object. However, we do not expect them to reduce the number

We have no news about the Pye Phase 2 development other than it wasn’t included in the December planning committee agenda. We have no reason to hope that they have made significant changes.

Finally a note for your diary: SuSto will hold a public meeting to review what has happened in 2017 and to look ahead to 2018 – Stonesfield Village Hall 15 January 2018 at 7.30pm.

Thank you for your support.

Richard Morris, Sustainable Stonesfield

North Farm development objection letter

CALAmity avoided - no such luck!

Over 200 people objected to the original CALA Homes development of 68 houses north of Woodstock Road.

CALA Homes have amended the designs for all 68 houses on the Woodstock Road site.  We are asking you to comment or object again because there are no material changes to the original plan and no effort to address the concerns we all expressed.   They have just been tinkering around the edges.

In particular we want to ensure that our original comments and objections are carried over to this revised application.  So the minimum that should be done is to inform WODC that you want all the comments you raised against the original application is be read in conjunction with the amended application, because your concerns have not been addressed.

To comment on specific aspects of the revised application Sustainable Stonesfield has reviewed it and created a model letter  that you can copy and paste into the WODC planning portal. This is an opportunity to make new points against the development. 

And course, if you can write your own letter of objection, using your own words, so much the better.

WODC must receive your comment or objection by Thursday 28 September.

How to comment or object

You can comment or object in several ways, so please choose the option you feel most comfortable with.

The reference number for the revised application is :01670/FUL and should be quoted on all correspondence.

1. You can write a letter to West Oxfordshire District Council and:

post it to Head of Planning and Sustainable Communities, West Oxfordshire District Council, Elmfield, New Yatt Road, Witney OX28 1PB or

email it to:

hand deliver it to West Oxfordshire District Council at any of the following addresses:

- Elmfield, New Yatt Road, Witney OX28 1PB

- Woodgreen - Council Offices, New Yatt Road, Witney, OX28 1NB

- Town Centre Shop - 3 Welch Way, Witney, OX28 6JH or

2. Use the West Oxfordshire online Public Access system via this link

In the SEARCH box type the reference number:01670/FUL

Click on the COMMENTS tab, fill in your details, and then write or paste into the Your Comments box.

WODC must receive your comment or objection by Thursday 28 September.

What shall I say?

In the 'Reference Documents' section of this web site we have provided a model letter  which could be used.  It can be copied and pasted directly into the ‘Your Comment’ box on the West Oxfordshire Planning web site ‘Make a Comment’ page, as it falls within the 6000 character limit.

Within the model letter we have listed all of the relevant reasons to comment or object upon. You can use the model letter in its entirety or edit it to fit the issues which concern you. If you prefer to use your own words these documents might help you do that.

Please forward this email to friends and neighbours and get them to comment and object too.

Thank you for your support.

Richard Morris, Sustainable Stonesfield

'An incongruous and unnatural urbanisation of the Stonesfield countryside'

Sustainable Stonesfield has received the Landscape Assessment for the Pye Homes Phase 2 site, from its consultants WHLandscapes. Below is a summary of what they say. The full report can be accessed via this link Landscape Assessment or found under Reference documents.

We have submitted a copy of the full report to West Oxfordshire District Council, alongside the many comments and objections that they have received. In due course these will be considered by the Planning Committee but we understand that a date for this application to be heard has not yet been set.

SUMMARY of Landscape Assessment September 2017

WHLandscapes say that:

The development proposals submitted represent an incongruous and unnatural urbanisation of the countryside to the south of Stonesfield within the rural setting of the village.  The development creates further intrusion into the open countryside and does not reflect the development form of the village.

The proposals rely on on a significant landscape buffer to make them acceptable, which in itself will be out of keeping and is likely to have a detrimental effect on the adjacent Scheduled Ancient Monument.

The Landscape Assessment submitted by the developer (as part of their planning application) has underestimated the visual effect of the development proposals, particularly as seen by users of the Oxfordshire Way/Wychwood Way.

The proposals do not comply with national or local guidance and policy and will detrimentally impact the character and appearance of the Cotswolds AONB.

Incredibly WHLandscapes have found that, West Oxfordshire District Council said in its own 2016 Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment, that the site, is not suitable for housing because ‘The site is in an exposed location and development would form a harmful intrusion into the open countryside. It lies within the limestone wolds of the Lower Evenlode Valley where landscapes are very visually exposed and particularly sensitive to development… (it) is prominent on the approach to the village along Woodstock Road and generally quite conspicuous. The southern half of the site falls within the Scheduled Ancient Monument… associated with the Roman Villa…there is potential for archaeological remains within the Nature Improvement Area. Part of the site is also within the Biodiversity Action Plan Habitat area… and it is within the AONB.’ (see SHELAA 2016 Ref 362)

Unsurprisingly WHLandscapes conclude that the proposals are unacceptable and the application should be refused.

Woodstock Road Traffic Calming Lights Petition - Please Sign Up!

Thanks to those who have signed up, 52 signatures so far and we need more!  Please sign the electronic petition to send to the Parish Council by clicking on the link below, or you can use paper as I have also put a paper version in the village shop.  Please spread the word and encourage your neighbours to sign too. 

I will update the Parish Council for their 14 September meeting on the on-line petition and I will put an article in the next Slate to publicise this. 

Thanks for your support. Sue Corrigan.

Sustainable Stonesfield supports Sue and the petition. This development, the installation of lights, is a direct result of the new housing estates being built and planned.  It is another example of the views of villagers being ignored by those who are supposed to be safeguarding the places where we live.  There was a village referendum not long ago on the specific issue of street lights - The new lights, at the entrance to the village, are the thin end of the wedge!   

Show more posts