Historic Cotswold Village

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!   

CALA Homes Demonstration . 31st August

Over 60 people turned out on 31 August to demonstrate their objection to the proposed development by CALA Homes. The entrance to the site on Woodstock Road was thronged with people waving banners and carrying placards - "Respect the AONB"; "CALAMITY" - and it was good to meet so many supporters.

The WODC Planners did not engage in conversation, but we are sure they were impressed by the turn out, so thank you to everyone who made the effort. It looks as though they are deferring any decision on CALA until the Local Plan has been approved by the Inspector - which will not be until late Autumn. We made strong representations at the last Inspector's hearing, and will continue to do all we can.

If you would like to be kept up to date on a regular basis, please join Sustainable Stonesfield: no fee, no hassle - just emails when we have news to share. Please go to http://eepurl.com/cJI4bj and join now.

Sustainable Stonesfield

Last chance to comment or object to the 2nd phase of the PYE Homes development

Today - Thursday 10th August is the last chance to comment or object to the PYE HOMES PHASE 2 South of William Buckland Way (Charity Farm)

See previous posts for complete details on how to make your views known.


We have received the Landscape Assessment for the CALA Homes development on the Woodstock Rd.  You can read the assessment in its entirety by following this link Landscape Assessment Woodstock Road

A summary of the report is set out below:

The development is unacceptable and the application should be refused because: 

The proposals represent an incongruous, unnatural urbanisation of the countryside to the east of Stonesfield and there will be significant, irreversible changes and detrimental impact to the character and visual qualities of the AONB and the landscape.

The proposals fail to comply with national planning policy and West Oxfordshire's own policies designed to protect the countryside and the towns and villages within it.

The application fails to show the full extent of the visual impact of the development on the surrounding area. 

We will be submitting this report to West Oxfordshire's Planning Department as it offers overwhelming professionally based evidence in favour of refusing planning permission.

Your support is key

We cannot afford this level of professional input without your financial support.  We would like to commission a similar report for the second phase of the PYE Homes development, south of William Buckland Way.  If you have not contributed so far, please consider doing so now and join the many people who have already invested in our village now and for the future.   

How to make donations

Donations can be made using the Friends of Evenlode Valley’s 'MyDonate' page at: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/friendsofevenlodevalleyandwestoxfordshirecotswolds

When making donations please complete the Gift Aid section of the donations form if you are a UK tax payer.

In the Personalise Your Donation section please write SUSTO. This will enable us to earmark your donation specifically for Stonesfield projects.

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