Historic Cotswold Village

Sustainable Stonesfield

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

Woodstock Rd Development Planning Application has been lodged with WODC

The Parish Council has said formal planning applications for part of the CALA Homes site (50 or 68 houses) and North Farm (16 houses) have been sent to WODC Planning Department. They will become public very shortly. We need as many people as possible to write to WODC when the plans are published. Sustainable Stonesfield have compiled arguments against these developments and will make them available to you to use in your letters objecting to the developments as soon as the plans are published. ......................................

Richard Morris

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

Consultation for Phase 2 of Charity Farm launched, when will we see Phase 3?

We have received news that Pye Homes, the developer of the Charity Farm site (37 houses), is "presenting a consultation for new homes providing a second phase to the development on land at Woodstock Road". The leaflet has only been sent to very local residents so it hardly constitutes village consultation and the timeframe for comments is very limited – 13 to 27 May. You can view the plan online at:

http://www.westwaddy-adp.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Woodstock-Rd-Stonesfield-publicconsultation.pdf

When Charity Farm plans were approved there was no indication this was Phase 1 of 2. Can we assume there will be a Phase 3 since this new development is only using part of the Blenheim field? Together with the CALA Homes site and North Farm this would make 101 new houses in Stonesfield.

We encourage as many people as possible to respond directly to Pye about this further incursion into a greenfield site in the AONB.

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Richard Morris

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

Liz Leffman Lib Dem parliamentary candidate supports Sustainable Stonesfield

“I fully support the aims of Sustainable Stonesfield. All over West Oxfordshire, we have seen the effect of not having a proper Local Plan in place. There have been numerous speculative planning applications for thousands of new homes across the area, many of them in places which, if the Local Plan had been approved, would not have been acceptable. This is particularly true of Stonesfield, were a disproportionate number of houses are being considered.

The fault in all of this lies not with local planners, but rather with a national planning framework that is not fit for purpose. The assumption is that the market will somehow solve our housing crisis. Unfortunately, that cannot happen because the provision of small, affordable houses is not an attractive prospect for commercial builders. As a result, our villages are being over-run with large, expensive groups of houses that young, local families cannot afford.

If I am elected as the MP for Witney, a priority for me will be to change this so that our villages are protected from speculative over-development, and local families are able to get the small, affordable homes they so badly need.”

Work stops at Charity Farm and Local Plan hearings commence

We have received reports that work has stopped on the Charity Farm site, presumably a response to the downturn in the housing market. We are also monitoring new planning applications and have not seen one yet from Cala Homes for the Woodstock Rd site. Perhaps that is delayed for the same reason?

In The Slate you will have seen that we aim to provide support to help people respond to planning applications by providing model answers. That work is well advanced but we have not yet placed them on the web site as we plan to tailor them to specific applications.

The downturn in the housing market gives us a breathing space to prepare for the Local Plan hearings, the first of which is the 9th May. But we are very conscious that this is just a delay, not a change of heart. The overall threat to our village from over development remains and Sustainable Stonesfield remains on the case.

The local elections take place this week and the General Election on the 8th June. We have been talking to local politicians and Need Not Greed Oxfordshire have interviewed all of the major party leaders in the County Council. We will be publishing more details on their views shortly.

We encourage you to study the publicity material put out by the parties locally and if the opportunity arises challenge candidates on the Government’s housing policy (NPPF) and to declare their views on the level of housing planned for Stonesfield. 

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