Yearly Archives:2018

ByMark Davies

Statutory Responses to the Draft Neighbourhood Plan

The consultation on the draft Wheatley Neighbourhood Plan ended on the 30th June and since then we have been busily collating all of your feedback. In addition to the valuable responses from the community – to be published later – we’ve also received a lot of feedback from many of the statutory bodies we’ve engaged with. Not all responses have been received to date – we are still waiting for a key bit of feedback from SODC! – so the list will grow. We consider the letters from the Oxfordshire County Council, Natural England, Historic England and The Environment Agency to be particularly important:

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group – EB WNP Pub.Con. response Clin. Com. Group. 17 May 2017

Oxfordshire County Council – EB Statutory Responses, OCC, WNP Pub.Con. May-June 2017

Thames Water – EB Statutory Responses, Thames Water, Pub.Con, May-June 2017

Homes and Community Agency – EB Statutory Responses, Homes and Communities, Pub.Con.May-June 2017

Natural England – EB Statutory Responses, Nat Eng WNP Pub.Con. May-June 2017

Historic England – EB Statutory Responses, Hist. Eng. WNP Pub.Con. May-June 2017

The Environment Agency – EB Statutory Response, Environment Agency, WNP Pub.Con.May-June 2017

Highways England, Pub. Con. Response 19th May – No comment as not affecting A34

Health and Safety Executive, Pub. Con. Response 7 June – No representation to make

Homes and Communities Agency (Carter Jonas representing) re. Chalgrove Airfield

CPRE – Acknowledged x 2 July 2017; workshop with, March 2017; referred to SODC/CPRE Committee

CTIL (Telecoms) – Acknowledged, May 2017

Consortium Policy Research, England – Acknowledged, July 2017

Gardens Trust – Acknowledged, June 2017

Gigaclear – Acknowledged, June 2017

Network Rail Assets – Nil Response

Plant Protection – Acknowledged, May 2017

SSA Planning – Acknowledged, May 2017

Southern Electric – Acknowledged, July 2017 (mystified)

Sports England – 9 August 2017 – WNP Statutory Bodies, Pub. Consultation, May-June 2017, Sport England

Chilterns Conservation Board – WNP Chilterns Conservation Board May 2018

Non-statutory but recommended by LGO office:

Royal Town Planning Institute (Planning Advice England, Neighbourhood Planning) – Detailed Response June 2017

New Responses – added 1st August 2017:

The National Grid – Wheatley NP National Grid Response 19.06.17

SODC – WNP pre-submission draft plan – SODC Response 27 07 17

ByMark Davies

The Committee Response to GVA Proposals for Oxford Brookes Site

Wheatley Neighbourhood Plan Committee

Response to GVA proposals for OBU site.

  1. Since summer 2016, after the announcement (01 June 2016) of the OBU Strategic Site, WNP has attended all OBU ‘stakeholder’ meetings up to the end of 2017. GVA appears to have stretched limits and displayed limited understanding of the locality and the concerns of ‘stakeholders’.
  1. WNP concurs fully with Local Plan 2033 which states the desired number of homes at 300 and their location on the ‘built form’ only. The number of homes proposed since 01 June 2016 has been monitored and recorded by WNP with the growing concurrence of SODC.
  1. The proposal uses land designated as Green Belt and therefore extends beyond the area permitted for housing.
  1. The proposals, even in outline, are for a spread of homes, some 750 in the pre-application and some 500 in the outline application. They do not acknowledge sufficiently the need for integration (be it for 500 or 750 homes) with Wheatley and Holton. The LP and WNP concur in reserving retail space on the built form; WNP supports Holton’s aspiration for a pathway from the OBU site to the Community Hall. GVA mention only vague cycle and pedestrian access to Wheatley which even in an outline application is too serious to be relegated. The weighty issues of local traffic, local rush hour traffic and a crowded A40 flyover are of general concern to Wheatley and Holton.
  1. This large group of housing will rely on Wheatley services, there being none in Holton. Given Wheatley’s lack of parking and existing traffic bottlenecks there needs to be a safe, short and convenient route for pedestrians and cyclists to access Wheatley’s primary school, shops, churches, health centre, buses and other facilities. Without this the housing will not become integrated into the existing village fabric and will remain a car-reliant commuter dormitory which simply exacerbates existing infrastructure shortcomings.
  1. In ignoring the limit of the built-form designated in the Local Plan 2033 the proposals disregard the setting of Holton Park itself, an important historic site in English and Oxford (as royal capital) Civil War history. This is emphasised by Neighbourhood Plan and its statutory consultee, Historic England. The development compromises the parkland setting of the listed building and the housing at the elevated southwest corner of the site will have an unacceptable visual impact on the Green Belt.
  1. Road access West and East is omitted; use of the term ‘University highway’ is excessive; passing mention of cycle and particularly pedestrian access is insufficient.
  1. There appears to be no provision made for parking at the sports pavilion.

9. On 21st Feb WNP also sent the WNP Tree Survey of Holton Park, Evidence Base Research 12

John Fox, Chairman, submitting on Behalf of Wheatley Neighbourhood Plan Committee

15 February 2018

ByMark Davies

Updating the Number 300 2016-2018

‘…at least 300 homes’

Draft Local Plan Allocation figures, 2016-2018, Oxford Brookes University Wheatley Campus, ‘Strategic Site’ and ‘Complex Case’

‘[WNP] needs to be in General Conformity with an existing adopted Local Plan as a Basic Condition …[or with] the strategic polices of a new Local Plan when adopted … [an NP] can also anticipate uncertainty in a Local Plan by using well-evidenced criteria-based policies to influence scale and location.’ 

(Planning Advice England, Royal Town Planning Institute, to WNP, June 2016)

  1. Draft LP 2032 (2015) allocated 180 homes to Wheatley in 2015. WNP convened Jan. 2016.
  2. 01 June 2016, Second Draft LP 2032 exempted Wheatley from allocation, proposing instead a strategic ‘mixed-use development’ with ‘likely net capacity of at least 300 dwellings’ on the OBU site [p.39]: WNP and Stakeholders to agree. This was followed with ‘300 homes allocated on a brownfield site’ [p.88, number stated without qualification].
  1. 13 July 2016, Open Day, SODC Draft Local Plan 2032 and WNP combined. Display map of OBU Campus site was confusing (campus map appeared to be co-terminous with the development site map). WNP Adviser said ‘It should not have been used’.
  1. July-November 2016 figures of between 600-900 homes for the OBU site in Oxon press were read by many as allocations, as shown in the responses from wider South Oxon to LP Public Consultation, and in sessions of Wheatley and Holton Parish Councils. In October-November capacity-testing by OBU Agents for ‘750 homes’ on the OBU site was dramatised in the press and read by many as a planning application. WNP  published a refutation / clarification in November to puncture the bubble. The ambiguity damaged public debate in the community.
  2. 07 September 2016, WNP invited Planning Officers to Wheatley to answer questions. Neither 300 nor 600 were denied or confirmed, but described as ‘minimums only’ and ‘not yet tested’. WNP turned aside to get on with its Statutory Survey(s), August-October. See WNP website, Evidence Base, SODC 4, for record of meeting with Planners.
  3. 06 December 2016, WNP met with SODC Chairman, Planners and two new Advisers. ‘End of the 750 homes sensation !’ [SODC Chairman]. Local Green Space, it was suggested, might help replace Green Belt. The allocation figure of ‘300 homes’ was tacitly accepted. See WNP website Evidence Base, SODC 6, for record of meeting with SODC.
  4. First Draft WNP sent to Advisers for comment 03 March 2017. WNP  was asked to delete ‘at least 300 houses’, and parishes advised to request OBU site be made Local Green Space  and abide by a looser re-drawn outline OBU site. Confidentiality was required. WNP decided  to convene both its parish councils on 13 March, to inform and clear the air.
  5. Draft LP 2033 (1),  29 March 2017, advocated ‘at least 300 homes’. The Policy Box also confirmed ‘approximately 300 homes’ all  ‘on the built form’.
  6. 20 June, 2017, WNP, WPC and HPC met for NP Public Consultation. The figures 300 and 750 still distracted, one councillor requesting that WPC resign itself to 750 and abandon  WNP support for a consistent 300 as ‘bravado’.
  7. October-November 2017 LP 2033 (2), Public Consultation: ‘at least 300 new homes [to reflect] existing pattern of built development existing built form provides significant  footprint and volume in determining any planning application.’ Policy Box ‘at least 300 new homes in a scheme of appropriate scale and layout to respect listed buildings and structures, to buffer and protect scheduled monuments and to retain the quantum of existing sports pitches’. [pp. 48-52]
  1. 30 November 2017, Oxfordshire CC response to 10. above: ‘the acceptable quantum in the allocation should be much clearer … some 300 homes [because] ‘at least 300’ provides little guidance [and] should be replaced with ‘approximately 300′. With reference to the OBU Agent’s ‘surprising’ attempt in 2016 to show space for ‘up to 750 homes’, OCC pointed out that transport and both schools would be unduly stretched, unless by the time of Inspection of LP 2033 it can be shown the impact on them can be mitigated.’
  1. Final Draft Wheatley Neighbourhood Plan. To be added when published 2018