Wheatley Neighbourhood Plan – now and what happens next…

ByMark Davies

Wheatley Neighbourhood Plan – now and what happens next…

Schedule for the process from September 2019:

1. Submit to WPC for approval
2. Submit to SODC
3. Publish by SODC and start of 6 weeks Consultation
4. Consultation completed
5. The Wheatley Neighbourhood Plan, together with the outcome of the Consultation, submit for examination
6. Report from Examiner
7. Referendum on the final version of the Plan will be organised by SODC – currently postponed to 2021

Update as of 03 June 2020:

11 February Andrew Ashcroft, Examiner, reported on Draft WNP noting proposed modifications.

17 February WNP committee responded to Examiner’s draft modifications. All the modifications were accepted.

28 February Examiner’s Report published. The Examiner praised the quality of the WNP and recommended it for Referendum.Wheatley Neighbourhood Development Plan – Examiner’s Report

05 March Whitehall released emerging LP 2034 to SODC conditionally.

06 March WNP Chairman and Vice-chairman met J.Howell MP concerning outside obstacles (state of emerging LP 2034 and OBU appeal).

08 April – by this date WNP Vice-chairman Roy Gordon and SODC Advisers had incorporated/implemented and published the Examiners modifications in WNP version 42. See in following link: http://www.southoxon.gov.uk/sites/default/files/WNP_document_v42%20REFERENDUM%20VERSION%2008042020.pdf

15 April WNP wrote to Robert Jenrick about OBU appeal but too late to be recorded in his verdict of 23 April. combined DL IR and R to C_Oxford Brookes University.pdf (1)

01 June WNP Committee Brief Update to WPC (virtual) meeting. WNP brief update to WPC 01 June 2020.


Update as of 16 January 2020:

Examination of WNP – completion is subject to the progress of the SODC Local Plan and the decision on the OBU appeal.

08 January WNP was notified of a letter from Robert Jenrick (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government) sent to the leader of SODC, 07 January – see the following link:  http://www.southoxon.gov.uk/sites/default/files/20200107%20Letter%20from%20the%20Secretary%20of%20State%20South%20Oxfordshire.pdf    

The letter reminds SODC of the Housing Minister’s previous letter, 09 October, directing SODC ‘not to take any step in connection with the Adoption of the [Local] Plan, while I consider whether to give a direction in relation to the Plan…My officers are working to gather evidence to support me to make a decision…(Letter P1, Para 1.]

Following this notification WNP Chair and vice-Chair (JF & RG) took advice and composed a letter to send to John Howell MP to ask for his intervention.

14 January The letter was sent to John Howell Howell0001 along with a copy of the letter from Robert Jenrick.

Update as of 13 December:

20 November Examiner put 14 questions to WNP for Clarification – mainly on Policies but with some textual explanations too, and for wider comment. 12 December was the deadline but with extra offered if required. It was decided not to task the Committee with the work, which would have been unwieldy. Chair and vice-Chair (JF & RG) took on the task.

09 December RG and JF discussed their (independent) draft responses with SODC Advisers R. Rios and R. Tobutt for 3 hours. Examiner’s new deadline of 20 December for collating the two drafts into one gratefully accepted.

Update as of 30 November:

In October All required documents/information were passed on, by SODC, to the appointed examiner Andrew Ashcroft.

19 November Andrew Ashcroft arranged a ‘Clarification Meeting’ with representatives from SODC, WPC, and WNP.

Update as of 01 November:

18 October SODC consultation completed. Go to SODC website (link shown below) to see comments received, by SODC, during the publicity period.

Update as of 15 September:

02 September WPC approval
03 September Submission to SODC
06 September Published by SODC and start of 6 weeks Consultation which finishes at 5 pm on 18 October 2019. To see all the documents submitted – the version of the Wheatley Neighbourhood Plan being WNP.01 – go to the following web page:

Update as of 31 August:

The Final pre-Submission Consultation 07 May – 21 June 2019 was duly completed (see Evidence Base/Public Consultation for details).

Approximately 160 in total attended 4 events. 104 written responses were received and all were analysed with reference to the Draft WNP text.

Report made to Wheatley and Holton Parish Councils concerning responses submitted (see Evidence Base/ ‘Chairman’s Reports/attendance Parish Council (WPC/HPC) meeting’ 1 July 2019 for details).

The number of Statutory Bodies contacted during this Final Public Consultation was 36. Twenty -six of these acknowledged receipt and / or responded (see Evidence Base for link to details). 

On 28 August 2019 a meeting of WNP Committee endorsed the Draft NP version.



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Mark Davies editor

1 Comment so far

Doug lamontPosted on  2:34 pm - May 29, 2019

I am generally in full support of this excellent, comprehensive and detailed plan for Wheatley, which shows vision and imagination whilst maintaining a totally professional and credible approach.
I would, however make the following observations; Firstly, Many people in the village are unclear as to the need or viability of creating a new village hall when there are already adequate venues within the village centre such as the Merry Bells.Sites for any new building would clearly not be available at the heart of the village.
Secondly, I am concerned by the assertion that no new development should be approved before and unless a new burial ground is provided. There is no legal requirement and no responsibility for any level of administration to provide burial grounds and whilst it is clearly desirable the plan will make itself a hostage to fortune should a suitable burial ground not be available, The Parish Council has already spent significant funds on researching sites within the village non of which has , so far, met the requirements of the environment agency and this includes land at “WHE15 ( miss Thom’s field). Additionally, it is not entirely clear that the taxpayers of Wheatley would support the very large investment in creating a burial ground ( in excess of £150,000) in order to facilitate what is a maximum of 8-10 burials per year.
Finally, The future of the OBU Wheatley campus is clearly crucial to the future of the plan and it is vital that the plan is approved on the basis that the current SODC local plan proposals for it under Strat14 are maintained or improved.

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