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  6. Inspector orders rethink of housing plans in Core Strategy

Inspector orders rethink of housing plans in Core Strategy

South Oxfordshire District Council has been told to change a key element of the housing proposals in its Core Strategy submitted in March this year and due to undergo its examination public starting in July.

At issue is the council’s intention to provide for 800 new homes on the basis of windfall sites.

The inspector considering the strategy has concluded there were no circumstances in South Oxfordshire to justify the council’s reliance on unallocated sites during the final five years of the plan to 2027.

The council was told this would be “inconsistent with national policy”. 

South Oxfordshire had opted for these windfall sites in a bid to reduce the number of houses on new greenfield sites.

The council had consulted extensively on its proposals and local communities had supported this approach.

The council must now bring forward new proposals over the summer. Under these circumstances the planning inspector will hold some of the examination hearings in July and the remainder in early November.

Cabinet member for planning, Councillor Angie Paterson, said: “We have done our best for our local communities to strike a balance between providing the housing we need whilst also allowing for assimilation into existing communities.

"The inspector’s approach is a major disappointment not just for us but also for the communities we have previously consulted on our proposals. We can’t change the situation or the numbers we are going to have to provide”.

She added: “The next few weeks will see some important decisions made in moving this strategy forward and laying the foundations for a successful future for South Oxfordshire.”

View full details of the Core Strategy on the South Oxfordshire website.

Roger Milne

16 June 2011