Friends of Old Woodstock

The Woodstock Community and Infrastructure Delivery Plan 2019

Read the Community First Oxfordshire's final report - November 2019 - here (105 pages)

or a summary of findings (4 pages) here

The Background to The Woodstock Community and Infrastructure Delivery Plan

Woodstock Town Council and Blenheim Estates appointed "Community First Oxfordshire" (CFO) to consult the community about the current and future needs of the town.  CFO is a locally based community development charity

CFO's work took place throughout 2019.  The first six months was mainly an information gathering exercise and listening to the community's ideas.  The second period consisted of prioritising ideas and developing clear strategies.

CFO looked at all three development sites in Woodstock and not only Old Woodstock, so it was important that we make our voices heard loud and clear but in terms that were reasoned and backed up with evidence.

Funding for the many ideas incorporated in the CFO Delivery Plan will be primarily through the development process (the so-called Section 106 process where the local authorities - Oxfordshire, West Oxfordshire and Woodstock -make it a condition of any planning approval that the developer provides certain infrastructure requirements) or as part of the development itself.  But funding is limited and not all ideas may be achievable in the short or even the medium term.

How much S106 money will there be for Old Woodstock?  Read more here for a "best guess answer"

 All three housing development sites in Woodstock form part of the West Oxfordshire District Council's Local Plan ( a brief explanation of which is given below together with links to further documentation.

West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC)  The Local Plan

....... and Cherwell District Council's Draft Local Plan (see below)

You can access the WODC Local Plan here.

Background

West Oxfordshire District Council have been struggling to formulate a local plan for the District for many years.  Through the early years their preference was for development to take place in the larger towns, Witney, Carterton and Chipping Norton.

But central government demanded that Council's set aside more land for housing as a means to achieve their strategic objectives of trying to meet the ever increasing demand for housing.

As a result, WODC was forced to look further beyond the bigger towns and Woodstock's good access to Oxford and road and rail links, its schools, town shops, medical and recreational services made it a prime target

Last year it finally published its long awaited Local Plan and received approval from government.  It includes three areas of greenfield land, identified as "non strategic development areas" for housing.  Those sites are:-

You can see a plan of all three development areas n Woodstock here

A further development proposal was possible on land within Cherwell District Council's area.  The boundary between West Oxfordshire District Council and Cherwell District Council (CDC) runs close to the south east of Woodstock.  The Planning Inspector chairing the Examination in Public on the CDC proposals has ruled out the suggested 500 homes site, stating that it would amount to a gross intrusion on the landscape.  But he acknowledged that in planning terms it remained a viable site.  This apparently contradictory statement suggests that the door may not be closed on the CDC plans but that CDC may need to modify their plans, perhaps for a smaller scale development.
The repercussions of this recent statement by the inspector means that although there may be less housing in Woodstock overall, it also means that the total S 106 funding for Community Infrastructure will be correspondingly less.

THESE ALLOCATIONS ARE NOT PLANNING APPROVALS.  But they indicate an intention to approve such applications for housing as may come forward from developers.  In other words, developers wishing to build on these sites still have to meet the strenuous demands of WODC's planners and to submit their plans for approval. 

The Woodstock Conservation Area is shown on the map here