The current Neighbourhood Plan still carries a great deal of planning weight. South Oxfordshire District Council's Local Plan (in effect the parent of our Neighbourhood Plan) has been challenged because it does not contain enough sites for the housing deemed necessary (by central government) for the whole district over the next 5 years - something developers are now trying to exploit.
Because we have a Neighbourhood Plan (NP), because it is the latest ‘made’ plan governing development in the village, and because NPs are supported at Ministerial level in Government, planning applications for development in Woodcote must comply with our NP and so protect Woodcote from unwanted development. That said, with millions at stake developers will continue to try their luck.
Once SODC have updated their Local Plan and it has been adopted then our current NP will no longer be the latest plan covering Woodcote and will lose some of its weight. By updating our NP to 2033 and having it adopted shortly after the new Local Plan then planning decisions will continue to be made in line with the requirements of our NP.
As South Oxfordshire work on the revised Local Plan, the next 12 months represents a great opportunity to reiterate villagers views already gathered on housing, and to explore other land uses that might be appropriate. These could be:
It is important that our Neighbourhood Plan is the latest plan adopted for our village and thus the Advisory Group has reformed and set itself the task of recommending to the Parish Council updates to the current plan to be ready for examination as soon as the new South Oxfordshire Local plan is adopted. A draft of the South Oxfordshire Local plan is expected end of April 2018, which will contain the all important 'Housing formula' for how South Oxforshire expects to meet government targets