Stonesfield ~ Oxfordshire
Historic Cotswold Village

Sustainable Stonesfield

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!   

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 and join now.

Sustainable Stonesfield

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