Stonesfield ~ Oxfordshire
Historic Cotswold Village

Sustainable Stonesfield

Latest news!

As part of the examination of the Local Plan, the Inspector has indicated to West Oxfordshire District Council that, after taking into account planning permissions already granted he believes that no further development in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is required. As a result he recommends removing the four sites in the Burford / Charlbury sub area from the draft Local Plan and any reliance on 'windfall sites' within the AONB, to satisfy the District's housing need. If these changes are accepted by WODC and they have indicated an intention to do so, then the Inspector will pass the Local Plan.

SUSTO has received some clarification of the impact this will have on Stonesfield. The District Council has confirmed to us that it will be recommending refusal of the planning application for the Woodstock Road site. We have asked for the position regarding windfall sites to be clarified as that would include the North Farm site.

SUSTO does not believe this is the end of the matter, we have not seen the revised Local Plan that will show how WODC actually interprets these changes and of course the way each planning application is assessed will be the 'acid test'.

In broad terms this is an encouraging development, it helps restore the protection the AONB should have and it looks as if the level of development in our village will be drastically reduced but........we remain vigilant!!

The challenge now is to ensure that our local community will have a greater say in the way Stonesfield develops in the future. A year ago we were told that the absence of a Neighbourhood Plan (as well as a Local Plan) allowed 'open season' for housing development. And so we are turning our attention to understanding how a Neighbourhood Plan might be created, how we can work with both the Parish and District Councils to put one in place and identify the support that is available.

We will report back on all of these issues, illustrate ways in which you could become involved in the Neighbourhood Plan and seek your input and support to deliver it.

We are very grateful to everybody who turned out on the 15th January. The attendance, contributions to the discussions and questions at that meeting provides a very good measure of how important the issues SUSTO is trying to address are to all of us who live here . Thank you very much for your support and we look forward to tapping into that energy in the future.

It's not too late to wish you all a Happy New Year, it has certainly got off to a good start!!

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

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