Planning Application Ref. No: 17/01966/FUL

The WODC Uplands Planning Committee will consider the revised planning application for phase 2 of the PYE development adjacent to William Buckland Way on the 6th August.

The original plan was for 18 houses on the whole site. This was subsequently revised down to 13 houses on half the site and this is the plan that will be considered by the Uplands Committee. When the application for Phase 2 was first made, SUSTO encouraged its members to object and 128 responses were lodged with the District Council.

Since then, WODC’s draft Local Plan has been reviewed by the Inspector. He found that, amongst other issues, insufficient weight was given in the proposed Local Plan to protection of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty within which Stonesfield sits. The Inspector found that WODC’s efforts to reflect national guidelines for the protection of the AONB was inadequate. He found the claims WODC made for the level of demand for additional houses within the AONB were inaccurate. As a result WODC was requested to revise their plan to address these fundamental weaknesses. That has been done and we are confident that the Inspector is likely to agree the revised plan.

WODC Officers have recommended rejection of the revised PYE application. The basis of their recommendation can be found on the WODC web site at:

They say the proposal is not considered to conserve the landscape or scenic beauty in this area of the AONB and the scheme is therefore unacceptable. This should not surprise us, given the changes WODC were forced to make to their Local Plan; it is difficult to see how any other conclusion could be reached.

SUSTO remains concerned that WODC’s commitment to the AONB remains transitory. We suggest that letters of support for the officers’ recommendation will bolster both Officers’ and Councillors’ commitment to the protection of our countryside and environment. A simple example is provided below and this can be cut and pasted into the online system. If you prefer to make a more detailed response, of course we support that. WODC must receive your letters by Friday 3 August.
David Lines
Sustainable Stonesfield

Dear Sir,

With reference to planning application Ref. No: 17/01966/FUL, I wholeheartedly support the officer’s recommendation that the application is rejected.

The Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty must be protected. West Oxfordshire’s Local Plan was required by the Inspector to be revised so that it was compliant with national guidelines and to ensure sufficient protection was provided by the Council’s approach to applications in the AONB. No other decision than outright rejection would satisfy the policies by which applications in the AONB must be considered.

Yours sincerely