Vale of the White Horse District Council Local Plan 2031 Examination
Mr Malcolm Rivett BA (Hons) MSc MRTPI (Planning Inspector) has been appointed to undertake an independent examination into the soundness of the Local Plan 2031 Part 1. The examination is in two stages:.
The Stage 1 hearing took place in September 2015 and covered the following issues:
- Are the likely environmental, social and economic effects of the plan adequately and accurately addressed in the Habitats Regulations Assessment and the Sustainability Appraisal (SA)?
- Is it appropriate for the plan to include only Strategic Policies and Site Allocations and for detailed planning policies and non-site strategic site allocations to be devolved to a Part 2 Local Plan document
- Is the identified objectively-assessed need for housing of 20,560 new dwellings (an average of 1028 per year) soundly based and supported by robust and credible evidence?
- Does the proposed distribution of housing appropriately reflect the settlement hierarchy and actively manage patterns of growth to make the fullest possible use of public transport, walking and cycling, and focus significant development in locations which are or can be made sustainable?
- Is the “housing supply ring fence” approach to the delivery of housing in the Science Vale are
- adequately explained in terms of its practical operation
- likely to be effective and
- in accordance with national policy?
- Is it likely that the spatial strategy, policies and allocations proposed by the plan to meet the district’s own housing needs would need to be significantly altered if unmet needs from elsewhere in Oxfordshire are to be accommodated in the Vale of White Horse district?
Our submissions to the Vale are available here:
In his Stage 2 hearings between the 2nd and 19th February in the Ridgeway Room of The Beacon. The Inspector will look at a number of issues:
- Do the exceptional circumstances, as required by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (paragraphs 79-86), exist to justify the plan’s proposed revision of the boundaries of the Green Belt?
- Are the Strategic Housing Allocations proposed in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty soundly based?
- Does the plan make adequate and soundly-based provision for the infrastructure and services necessary to support new development?
- Are the Strategic Housing Allocations soundly based and deliverable? Are there other sites which would more appropriately meet the identified need for new housing?
- Are the identified and safeguarded Employment sites soundly based and deliverable. Are there other sites which would more appropriately meet the identified need for employment land?
- Can a five year supply of deliverable housing land (in accordance with NPPF para 47) be currently identified against the plan’s stated housing requirement?
- Is it realistic that a five year supply of deliverable housing land would be maintained throughout the plan period?
- Are the policies relating to the presumption in favour of sustainable development and building healthy and sustainable communities soundly based, in relation to the “Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development”, Housing Mix, Housing Density, Affordable Housing, Rural Exception Sites and accommodating Current and Future Needs of the Ageing Population?
- Are the policies relating to supporting economic prosperity soundly based?
- Are the policies relating to protecting the environment and responding to climate change soundly based?
- Is there evidence that the plan’s policies and standards would not put implementation of the plan at serious risk and would facilitate development throughout the economic cycle?
- Does the plan provide a sound basis for monitoring implementation of the Core Strategy and for taking appropriate action if implementation is not on track?
Our submissions to the Vale are available here:
For access to all relevant documents go to Vale of White Horse Local Plan - see Local Plan 2031
This is the first part of the updated local plan, showing any developments across the Vale where they want developers to build "strategic developments" of more than 200 homes. It also lists what infrastructure the Vale thinks it will need to support at least 20,560 new homes.
Our initial comments:
- Housing numbers have increased by 50% to 20,560 from the draft plan 2029!
- The overall requirements are based on a very optimistic forecast for the whole of Oxfordshire which suggests that we will have an economic recovery that makes up lost ground getting back to the pre 2008 growth projections and that we can exceed that in Oxfordshire by a growth rate of 44% in new jobs across the County - most of these being in the Science Vale
- The plan assumes that building all these new homes will reduce the prices of homes in Oxfordshire to make them more affordable - totally ignoring the fact the developers won't build if they can't maintain or improve their profitability
- The plan also assumes that infrastructure will be funded by the new developments and doesn't allow for the huge step-change in infrastructure required to cope with the 70% growth in housing expected around Wantage and Grove.
Some of the detailed documents which form part of the Local Plan are available via the following links.
- Local Plan 2031 part 1
- Evidence Base
- Local Plan 2011
- Housing Supply Statement
- The Oxfordshire Economic Forecasting Report was jointly commissioned by all Oxfordshire authorities and the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership to identify the economic potential of Oxfordshire. The assessment seeks to ensure that a robust and consistent evidence base for the future economic growth of the county was used to inform both the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) and the emerging Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) for Oxfordshire.
- Oxfordshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) The SHMA is a technical study intended to help the Oxfordshire local planning authorities understand how many homes will be needed in the period 2011 – 2031.
The housing figures included within the SHMA constitute an objective assessment of housing need in line with the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework. These figures do not in themselves constitute plan targets.
- The Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership has prepared a Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) for the county. The SEP will determine how much of the national £2 billion Single Local Growth Fund will come to Oxfordshire.direct growth in Oxfordshire in the medium to long term.
Our comments to the final consultation on the Local Plan Part 1 and the associated documents prior to it being submitted to the Inspector were submitted by 19th December 2014[show detail]
1. Local Plan 2031 part 1 - the first part of the updated local plan, showing any developments across the Vale where they want developers to build more than 200 homes. It also lists what infrastructure the Vale thinks it will need to support at least 20,560 new homes. See our submission
2. Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) - The government has decided that the CIL approach to funding strategic infrastructure delivery is fairer, faster, provides more certainty and is more transparent than the current system of funding under section 106 which are negotiated on a site by site basis. VoWH is now publishing a list of the CIL charges they're proposing to make on new developments across the district, for you to comment on. See our submission
3. Design Guide - VoWH are also consulting on a new planning Design Guide which can be applied to anything from a small extension to a large housing development as well as non-residential development to minimise the impact on the character of our towns and villages. See our submission
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