On 15th May  the Full Council meeting of South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) voted 19 to 5 (with two abstentions) to agree the proposal from the new Cabinet to reassess  ALL sites.  So the Local Plan is coming back to the drawing board!

Representatives of Save Culham Green Belt have spoken at the Cabinet and Full Council meetings in March and May and have consistently urged councillors to re-consider and revise the plan so this is good news.

All sites capable of performing a ‘strategic or regeneration role’, FIFTEEN IN TOTAL will be re-assessed. That is:

Those in the current draft:

  1. Culham
  2. Chalgrove
  3. Berinsfield
  4. Wheatley

Plus those previously considered but not progressed:

  1. Thornhill
  2. Wick Farm
  3. Lower Elsfield
  4. Grenoble Rd
  5. land at Great Western Park,


11. Northfields

AND sites submitted by developers late in the process:

  1. Emmer Green, Reading
  2. Reading Golf Club
  3. Playhatch at Reading
  4. Land off Thame Rd, North Weston

The date for submitting the revised draft Local Plan to the Secretary of State would be Jan 2020.

The PROVISO is that this is subject to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government confirming that submission in January 2020 would not significantly impact on the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.  If that were the case SODC  would aim to submit the Plan as it currently stands, with Culham and Chalgrove still in, but with additional reserve site/s in the event that Chalgrove is not deliverable.  Naturally we hope and trust that this will not be the case.  July 2018 was mentioned as the date by which this would be known.

It is anticipated that there will be at least another two rounds of public consultation. Save Culham Green Belt will be on hand to help and we will hold  further public meetings when we know what the proposals are with regard to Culham.  We cannot say currently what these will be but we are, of course, urging strongly for SODC to reconsider taking land out of Green Belt in Culham to build an unsustainable town in our midst.

Fingers crossed!

Here is the link to the press release on SODC’s website: