The deadline is Mon 18 Feb (5pm).

This is our last opportunity to comment before the Plan is sent to the Secretary of State.

Q. I responded to the last version of the plan – do I need to respond again?

YES, YES, YES. Only our responses to this round of consultation will be sent to the Planning Inspector.

Q. SODC don’t listen to our views so why should I bother?

The Inspector is ‘independent’ and has a duty to read and assess all comments before he/she can determine whether the plan is ‘sound’ so it is very important you make the effort.

Q. I don’t know what to say or how to fill in the form?

We can help you:

• The specific ‘Policy’ we need you to respond to is the one affecting Culham:

Write ‘STRAT 9’ in this box.

• Save Culham Green Belt will be responding ‘NO’ to the three questions.

1) Is it legally compliant?: NO.

2) Is it sound?: NO

3) Does it comply with the Duty to Cooperate?: NO

The form then asks for information about your answer:

Below are some things you might want to consider:

Government planning policy affords strong protection of Green Belt. A whole chapter of the National Planning Policy Framework, July 2018 is devoted to Protecting Green Belt. (You can access the NPPF from our website under the Key Information section).

Boundaries to Green Belt can only be changed if there are ‘exceptional circumstances’, ‘fully evidenced and justified’ and as a last resort.

Yet SODC’s Local Plan proposes altering Green Belt boundaries for 6 out of its 7 ‘strategic sites’, a total of 11,400 houses in Green Belt. The proposed site in Culham (STRAT 9) is currently in Green Belt and it would be the largest development in the whole of South Oxfordshire, a new settlement town of 3,500 houses (c.8000 people).

Campaigns such as Campaign to Protect Rural England, Need Not Greed Oxfordshire, South Oxfordshire Sustainability agree with Save Culham Green Belt that there are no ‘exceptional circumstances’ and that the Local Plan’s strategies are not sound, ‘positively prepared’, ‘justified’ or ‘deliverable’, all criteria which are demanded for a Local Plan to be approved and adopted.

You can look at arguments on these sites:



All these groups find that the Local Plan seeks to deliver about double the amount of houses that are actually needed by the district, including an excessive number of houses for Oxford City although the plan admits there is ‘significant uncertainty regarding the precise level of unmet need which Oxford City may find’. The plan was rushed through debate by councillors in the space of one week immediately before Christmas.

The form then asks you to set out changes you think are necessary to make it sound etc:

We suggest you say (again in your own words) that the whole plan is so unsound it is not possible to suggest a full set of modifications but that, for a start, STRAT 9 (Culham) should be removed entirely from the Plan.

Please do not hesitate to ask contact us via the website if you have questions or for our handout sheets.

HOW TO COMMENT:Complete online survey on SODC’s website:

1. Click the link and scroll down to ‘How to Comment’


2. Download the Comment Form. You can fill this in online and email it to planning.policy@southoxon.gov.uk

or post it to SODC Planning Policy, 135 Easter Avenue, Milton, Abingdon OX14 4SB

Remember the deadline is 5pm Mon 18 Feb.

A summary of what is planned for Culham is on our website together with a link to SODC’s website.