A decision on whether to endorse changes to accommodate additional homes within Cherwell District Council’s Local Plan will be made by councillors at a meeting on Monday.
Earlier this year Government Inspector Nigel Payne halted the inquiry into Cherwell District Council’s Local Plan to allow the authority time to revise the document to accommodate additional homes in line with the Strategic Housing Market Assessment.
Officers amended the document and launched a six-week consultation in August which received 314 responses from residents, businesses and community groups about the amendments.
Cllr Michael Gibbard, lead member for planning, said: “The original document looked at delivering 16,750 homes between 2006 and 2031 but at the inspector’s request, we were asked to revise the local plan to consider ways to provide 22,800 homes between 2011 and 2031.
“As these were significant changes it was important that members of the public were given adequate opportunity to comment through the consultation process. Now this is over, officers have reviewed the responses and councillors will vote whether to support the changes at a meeting of the full council on Monday, 20 October.”
If councillors follow officers’ recommendations and agree to support the amendments, the revised local plan will be submitted to Mr Payne ahead of the inquiry resuming on 9 December.
The revised document proposed 7,319 homes for Banbury; 10,129 homes in Bicester and 5,392 to be built across Kidlington and rural areas. And for the first time, more than 2,000 homes were proposed at former RAF Upper Heyford.
In Banbury, four of the original preferred sites have been revised to accommodate the extra homes and an additional four new sites have been proposed as follows:
– Canalside = 700
– Bankside Phase Two = 600
– North Hanwell Fields = 544
– Bolton Road = 200
– Salt Way West (new) = 150
– Salt Way East (new) = 1,345
– Drayton Lodge Farm (new) = 250
– Higham Way (new) = 150
In Bicester, only one new site is proposed with the existing four preferred sites all being revised to accommodate additional housing as follows;
– North West Bicester = 3,293
– Graven Hill = 2,100
– South West Bicester = 2,468
– South East Bicester = 1,500
– Gavray Drive (new) = 300
In order to accommodate the additional housing, the revised plan also makes provisions for increased employment space with the majority of land being set aside for Banbury and Bicester to accommodate the increased housing growth. In Banbury, a total of 96 hectares have been allocated for employment, up from 33 hectares in the original plan while Bicester has increased from 122 hectares to 138.5 hectares.
Councillors will vote on whether to endorse the amendments at a full council meeting on Monday, 20 October at 6.30pm. It will be held in the council chamber at Bodicote House and is open for the public to attend or able to view online at www.cherwell.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive