SODC have released certain documents about the revised Local Plan 2034.  To our horror, and despite the strengthening of Green Belt protection in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) published in July 2018, the Local Plan still includes 3,500 houses in Culham.

It reduces the number in Chalgrove from 3000 to 2025.

The full breakdown of the new allocations for strategic development is:

  1. Culham: 3500 houses. 1850 in the plan period, the remaining 1650 later.
  2. Berinsfield: approximately 1600 houses in the plan period.
  3. Chalgrove: approximately 2025 houses within the plan period
  4. Northfield (near BMW) : approximately 1,800 houses – note this is also in Green Belt
  5. Grenoble Road: approximately 1700 houses with the plan period – note this is also in Green Belt.
  6. Wheatley: at least 300 houses.
  7. Land north of Bayswater Brook: approximately 1100 houses.

These sites are marked on the map below:

The ‘exceptional circumstances’ cited for releasing the land from Green Belt in Culham are:

  1. The additional land provides an opportunity to deliver housing adjacent to one of the major employers in southern Oxfordshire.
  1. Development in this location is at the heart of Science Vale and supports the delivery of much needed strategic infrastructure.

Part-funding of a proposed Clifton Hampden bypass and the new river crossing that Oxfordshire County Council want to build between Didcot and Culham are being cited as ‘reliant on housing delivery at Culham’.

Land for alternative routes for this proposed new river crossing as well as land for a ‘Abingdon Southern Bypass’ which would cross the Burycroft, is also ‘safeguarded’ in the Local Plan 2034, as it had been in the 2017 version. In addition there is now mention of (though no map or route yet indicated) a ‘pedestrian/cycle bridge across the River Thames to link with Abingdon’.

The draft Local Plan 2034 will now be discussed at SODC’s Scrutiny Meeting (13 Dec), Cabinet Meeting (18 Dec) before Full Council vote (20 Dec).

If the Full Council vote to approve it there will be a new round of Public Consultation starting 7 January for a period of 6 weeks until 18 February 2019.

SCGB will be speaking at all the above SODC meetings and will hold a public meeting for villagers in the week of 7th January – date to be confirmed.

We will also hold a drop-in session (date also to be advised) to assist in completing the representation forms.