By John Fox, Chairman of the Wheatley Neighbourhood Plan Committee
Oxford Brookes University (OBU) has put its Wheatley Campus up for sale. OBU wish to obtain Outline Planning Permission (OPP) to make the sale more attractive. As part of the OPP, OBU has announced a consultation for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). In short, what could be the maximum number of houses accommodated on the site and what would this do to the surrounding ‘environment’ – roads, schools, surgery, air quality and much more?
OBU Estates have kept in touch with Holton and Wheatley Parish Councils, and the Wheatley Neighbourhood Plan Committee which is now eleven months into being ‘made’ (completed). OBU have already met Wheatley and Holton councillors along with WNP representatives (28 September). We meet again in mid-December. We knew that the EIA was due and we are being included in discussions. WNP representatives will also meet with John Cotton, SODC Chairman, on 6 December.
WNP’s task of listening to the Community is drawing to a close after nine months, but we are still listening. Currently Wheatley and Holton residents are conducting (3) workshops to publish what we have heard the community wants (its Vision). We will soon publish it and with it, what is needed in practice (the Objectives) to make the Vision a reality. It is called a Neighbourhood Plan.
Share our confidence. There will probably be housing development at OBU, but we will have a statutory say in it and in shaping its impact.