Vale Local Plan: 2031 (Part 1) given go-ahead to be adopted

Released on December 1, 2016

Vale of White Horse District Council’s Local Plan: 2031 (Part 1) can now be adopted, ensuring communities are more protected from speculative development. 

The Planning Inspectorate has written to Vale of White Horse District Council confirming that Vale Local Plan: 2031 (Part 1) has been found sound and can be adopted by the council, subject to modifications.  This follows examination of Part 1 earlier this year. 

The Inspectors full report can read by visiting www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/localplan

Vale of White Horse District Council expects to adopt the Local Plan: 2031 (Part 1) at the full council meeting on Wednesday 14 December, with the final plan published the following day.  

Once the plan is adopted the district’s five year land supply will be secure and major development should only happen in areas identified in the Local Plan. 

The council will now use the Local Plan (Part 1) to determine planning applications throughout the district.  This means the Vale Council will have much greater control over what developments are allowed to be built, ensuring communities only see new developments that accord with the Local Plan. 

Cllr Matthew Barber, Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “I am delighted that we’ve been given the go-ahead to adopt Part 1 of the Vale Local Plan: 2031.  After a process that has taken several years and has seen communities across the Vale contributing to the Local Plan we are now in a position to have much greater control over all development in the Vale. 

“Adopting the Local Plan not only gives the Council more control over where housing is delivered, but also makes it easier to secure the much needed infrastructure funding that should go with it. This will be enhanced further when we adopt the Community Infrastructure Levy as well.”

In publishing the Examiner’s report, Vale of White Horse District Council asked him to recommend any modifications necessary to enable the plan to be adopted.  His recommendations include: clarifying the district’s approach to unmet housing needs from other districts, removing three housing allocation sites from the plan, and safeguarding land to the north of Longworth for a possible strategic storage water reservoir.

In spring 2017 Vale of White Horse District Council will consult on the preferred options for the Local Plan: 2031 (Part 2) – this will cover allocating strategic sites to meet Oxford City’s unmet housing need, and small (‘non-strategic’) sites to ensure that the Vale’s own housing needs are met in full.

Notes for editors:

Below are the main modifications recommended by the Examiner – which the final Local Plan 2031: (Part 1) will address: 

  • Clarification of the approach to, and timescale for, providing in the Vale for unmet housing needs from other districts;
  • Deletion from the plan of housing allocation sites 6 (South of East Hanney), 12 (North West of Harwell Campus) and 13 (East of Harwell Campus);
  • Clarification of the approach to be adopted in respect of the Housing Supply Ring Fence;
  • Amendments to policy CP13 and its supporting text making clear that only land at Abingdon, Kennington and Radley (relating to housing allocation sites 1, 2, 3 and 4)  is removed from the Green Belt;
  • Safeguarding of land for a possible strategic storage water reservoir to the north of Longworth; and
  • Various other changes to the plan (including its appendices) to ensure that it is up to date, internally consistent, effective, justified and consistent with national policy.