At the Parish Council meeting on 10 January 2024, attended by more than 40 villagers, Mr Soame, a planning consultant for the Oakeshott and Eastwood families, presented a development proposal for between 25 and 31 homes with one to five bedrooms. The site of this proposal is on the field to the right of Combe Road immediately south-east of the Manor House Drive – see the plan above. The number for rent or for sale or “affordable” has not been specified. The site will be 1.7 ha.

In determining planning applications the District Council must “have regard to” the National Planning Policy Framework. That says any housing development of more than 10 homes or a site exceeding 0.5 ha constitutes “major development”. Planning applications for major development in countryside within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty should be refused “other than in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrated that the development is in the public interest.” Stonesfield is within the Cotswolds AONB and this site is within the Environmentally Sensitive Area of the Upper Thames Tributaries.

You will remember the campaign against the CALA Homes development on the Woodstock Road. We shall not list all the reasons that development was refused, both at the Public Inquiry for the West Oxfordshire Local Plan 2031, and at the appeal against the refusal of planning permission, but they include those mentioned above. The same arguments hold true for this site.

At the moment Mr Soame is just sounding out the Parish Council, the Community Trust and the wider village whether this meets village needs. There is no outline or full planning permission yet. However, we would encourage you to make your views known as soon as possible to the Parish Council (please cc SUSTO), at the following email addresses so they can be taken into account before the Parish Council and the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group make a formal response to Mr Soame.

Parish Council:


From the SUSTO committee