Historic Cotswold Village

Sustainable Stonesfield

260 Houses and counting - time to do something!

The planning application for Woodstock Rd has been lodged with West Oxfordshire District Council. This is for 68 houses and follows hot on the heels of North Farm (16 houses). Sustainable Stonesfield is encouraging those who are concerned about these developments to comment and object to West Oxfordshire District Council. Blog entries below provide advice and support on how to do that. The deadline for responses to both planning applications is the 29th June.

The site plan for Woodstock Rd shows that the 68 houses are being built on just over half the site, so we can expect a ‘Phase 2’; the link roads are shown on the plans. ‘Phase 2’ is capable of adding a further 60 houses or more, increasing our tally to144 new homes.

It does not stop there. PYE Homes have proposed a further 17 houses on a ‘Phase 2’ for Charity Farm, the site is capable of taking around 70 houses in total, so we can expect a ‘Phase 3’ with a further 53 houses at some point. Our grand total becomes 214 houses.

At present there are 50 houses being built in the village, so Stonesfield may well have an additional 260-odd houses in the not-too-distant future. The impact is obvious, another 600 people living in our village, somewhere between 65 and 104 additional children at our school, a further 260 cars or more on our roads. All of these houses are being built on land that is part of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Once built upon the landscape is lost to us, our children and future generations.

In the consultation exercise that took place last December, we were told by West Oxfordshire District Council that Stonesfield would be having 50 houses on just one site on the Woodstock Road. If you believe our local authority should be held to account if they have let us down, if you feel that these changes are too much and happening too quickly for our little village, then help us gain some influence over the way Stonesfield changes in the years to come.

You can help by commenting and/or objecting to the planning applications that have been made. You can also help by providing a very visible measure of villagers’ views. You may have seen the ‘CALAmity’ banners at various points around the village. We also have placards on posts that you can display in your garden and we are distributing leaflets that can be placed in your windows, all with a similar message. To obtain a placard please contact us by email ASAP sustainable.stonesfield@gmail.com

CALAmity! CALA Homes development, Woodstock Road



A planning application for the Woodstock Road site has now been published. If you are concerned about this development the deadline for comments and objections is Thursday 29 June.

This is the major development planned for Stonesfield by West Oxfordshire District Council who told us in the consultation exercise that 50 houses would be built on the entire site.

This application is for 68 houses but on just half the site identified by WODC in December 17. What will happen to the other half?

Study the site plan and you will see three roads ending at the hedge line. These are designed to provide access to the rest of the site which could take a further 60 houses in phase 2. So 128 houses will be built on a site when WODC told us 50! This is exactly the same sleight of hand that has taken place on Charity Farm, where Phase 2 has just been announced. We are well on the way to the 200 plus houses predicted By Sustainable Stonesfield in March.  The local authority is failing our village.


How to comment or object

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

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: planning@westoxon.gov.uk

- 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

2. Or use the West Oxfordshire online Public Access system(opens in a new window) to find and comment on the planning application.

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 prefer to use your own words these two documents might help you do that.

We are very keen to raise the profile of concerns about the level of development planned for Stonesfield. Please let your neighbours and friends in the village know about Sustainable Stonesfield and encourage them to join us.

In addition, next week we will have placards available to promote the campaign. Can you have one in your garden? Respond to: sustainable.stonesfield@gmail.com and we’ll deliver one to you.

Want to comment or object to the North Farm Planning Application ?

Planning applications for 16 houses at North Farm have now been published.  The deadline for comments and objections is Thursday 29 June.  

How to comment or object

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

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: planning@westoxon.gov.uk

 - 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 

2.   Or use the West Oxfordshire  online Public Access system(opens in a new window) to find and comment on the planning application.

What shall I say?

In the 'Reference Documents' section of this web site we have provided a model letter which could be used and  2. a list of potential reasons to comment or object upon.  If you prefer to use your own words so much the better and these two documents might help you do that.

If you object online you will be restricted to 6,000 characters, about 900 words, so you will have to tailor your comments to this limit.  

The concerns Sustainable Stonesfield raised at the village hall meeting are coming true. We said over 200 houses might be built in Stonesfield.  We believed that 98  of those houses would be built by Empire Homes, CALA Homes and Pye but in fact they are proposing 101 houses, in addition to the 50 already being built.  If you are concerned now is the time to comment to West Oxfordshire District Council.

  

North Farm Planning Application - building in the AONB


North Farm planning application published
Now is your opportunity to object
WODC has just published the planning application from Empire Homes for the development of 16 houses at North Farm on Farley Lane (WODC incorrectly say it's on Woodstock Road). This is the announcement and the weblink to view the application details.

Erection of sixteen dwellings with associated access and landscaping, together with the opportunity to provide additional playing pitch provision to enhance the existing facilities. - North Farm Woodstock Road Stonesfield Witney Oxfordshire OX29 8EJ <https://publicaccess.westoxon.gov.uk/online-applications/centralDistribution.do?caseType=Application&keyVal=OP3Y65RKKH700>

Sustainable Stonesfield will send notes to help you compose effective objection letters next week. We encourage as many people as possible to respond to WODC about this further incursion into a greenfield site in the AONB putting more pressure on the village roads, school, and sewerage system.


Richard Morris
 

West Oxfordshire District Council's Local Plan Review commences

The Government Inspector started the examination hearings into the WODC Local Plan 2031 this week.
Members of Sustainable Stonesfield have made representation on the legality of the Plan, development in the protected AONB, and site selection. The Inspector has already asked WODC planners to give the rationale and evidence for their site selection across the district and has specifically asked them to say why sites in Stonesfield that were categorised as 'unsuitable' for development in the 2014 SHELAA are now 'suitable'.
There's a long way to go, but there's a chance the number of houses permitted in the AONB may, just may, be reduced. In July there is a third stage to the examination process which will have a spot dedicated to Stonesfield. Sustainable Stonesfield will again make representations to the Inspector. Richard Morris

If you want to write to us or join Sustainable Stonesfield, please use our new email address: sustainable.stonesfield@gmail.com

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