Historic Cotswold Village

Sustainable Stonesfield

A 'Fighting Fund' to protect our village!

Thank you so much to everybody who attended our meeting on 10 July – over 60 residents. Notice was short and Wimbledon in full flood, powerful deterrents to keep people at home! We hope we explained well, that to challenge the CALA planning application effectively we need a step change in our approach. Our leaflets, posters and letters have had a great impact but if we are to deal on equal terms with the planners and developers we need to commission professional support: a Landscape Assessment and a barrister’s opinion on the likely success of a Judicial Review, should permission be granted. We explained that we now have to build a ‘Fighting Fund’ to pay for this. We are collaborating with Friends of Evenlode Valley, a charity based in Charlbury established to fight similar developments in the Cotswold AONB. They have a process for collecting donations that we will use to finance the work.

Since our meeting on Monday the Parish Council has agreed to make a significant contribution to these costs. SPC and Sustainable Stonesfield have a common aim to protect the village against the developers.

How much each of us is prepared to contribute is of course a personal decision. You can be sure that every donation, whatever its size, will be put to very good use. To help people determine what they might contribute, we estimate that if each household that signed up to receive Sustainable Stonesfield’s e-mails donated £40, we will have created a Fighting Fund sufficient for this stage. This is less than we indicated, because of SPC’s contribution.

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 Stonesfieldprojects.

Not everybody was able to make the meeting, so please take every opportunity to mention the CALAmity Campaign to your friends and neighbours, why funds are needed now and how they can donate. Thank you very much for all your support. Richard Morris on behalf of Sustainable Stonesfield

Meeting in the Village Hall at 8.00pm Monday 10 July!




Please come to a meeting of Sustainable Stonesfield on Monday 10 July in the Village Hall– yes, next Monday. Apologies for the short notice. It’s really important that as many people as possible come to hear what our next steps are. What is the meeting for? Over 200 people have written to object to the CALA Homes Development on the Woodstock Rd. Thank you to everyone who wrote. This is a brilliant result and sends a clear message to WODC planners that these developments are not wanted in our village.

However, this is not the end of the campaign. We believe that a professional ‘Landscape Assessment’ is required to support our case that planning permission should be refused.

We also need to be prepared in case planning permission is granted, in which case the only remaining option open to us is to apply for a ‘Judicial Review’. The first step in that process is to obtain a formal ‘Legal Opinion’, which will assess our chances of securing a successful Judicial Review of any planning decision.

At our meeting we want to explain a Landscape Assessment and Legal Opinion in detail, answer the questions you will have and seek your support to implement them.

These actions will incur costs, so we want to explain what those costs will be and seek your support and ideas to raise money for a fighting fund.

Friends of Evenlode Valley (FOEV)

We have been consulting with FOEV, a charitable company based in Charlbury, set up to fight inappropriate development in the West Oxfordshire Cotswolds (https://www.friendsofevenlodevalley.co.uk).

FOEV have successfully opposed planning applications in Charlbury and Finstock. By threatening a judicial review against a Charlbury development, they have caused WODC to refer a planning decision back to the planning committee. They are providing a great deal of useful advice and significant support to help Sustainable Stonesfield put up an effective defence of our village.

Jim Clemence from FOEV will attend our meeting on Monday so he can share FOEV’s experience with us.

Campaign feedback

Finally, we ask for your feedback. How would you like us to improve communications with you? How would you like to be more involved?

We look forward to seeing you on Monday 10 July at 8.00pm.

Many thanks Sustainable Stonesfield
If you want to write to us, please use our new email address: sustainable.stonesfield@gmail.com
Copyright © 2017 Sustainable Stonesfield, All rights reserved. You are receiving this email because you've joined Sustainable Stonesfield. Our mailing address is:

Sustainable Stonesfield

Austin's Farm

High Street

Stonesfield, Oxfordshire OX29 8PU

United Kingdom

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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.

  

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