Wheatley Neighbourhood Plan Committee
Response to GVA proposals for OBU site.
- 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’.
- 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.
- The proposal uses land designated as Green Belt and therefore extends beyond the area permitted for housing.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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