WODC has taken on board the Inspector’s findings in the Further Main Modifications and the Further Additional Modifications to the Local Plan. You can view these online at:

The important issue for Stonesfield is that the allocated site North of Woodstock Road – CALA – has been removed from the plan meaning the development should not proceed. In addition the policy regarding windfall sites has also changed. The Farley Lane and Pye 2 developments are both classed as windfall sites as they are not in the Local Plan. The Modified Plan says: Within the Cotswolds AONB, windfall housing proposals on undeveloped land adjoining built up areas will be particularly closely scrutinised and will only be supported where there is convincing evidence of a specific local housing need such as needs identified through a neighbourhood plan or affordable housing needs specific to a particular settlement, for example through a rural exception site.

This is all good news, BUT we must not let our guard down. All of the above planning applications are still on WODC’s planning desk waiting to be heard. We don’t know whether they will be withdrawn or modified, but we must remain vigilant and ensure WODC follows through on the Inspector’s findings.

Neighbourhood Plan
With the Local Plan hopefully about to be approved, now could be a good time for Stonesfield to create its own Neighbourhood Plan. NPs have become more important documents that District Councils have to take note of in reaching planning decisions. Sustainable Stonesfield and the Parish Council are actively exploring what is required to create an NP – the costs, time scale, what protection is afforded by an NP, community involvement etc. – to determine if we should proceed or not. If you’d like to know more about NPs this CPRE website is a good place to start:
If we go ahead we will definitely be looking for volunteers to help, especially anybody that might have relevant experience.

Traffic concerns at A44
At our last public meeting it was clear that there was a great deal of concern about the increased traffic at the A44 junction especially around peak commuting times. We wrote to Ian Hudspeth, leader of OCC, expressing these concerns and wanting to find out what OCC was doing about it. The simple answer was not much. Councillor Hudspeth’s response is attached for you to read.

Councillor Hudspeth’s letter
OCC fails to recognize the cumulative effect of development on road infrastructure. They only do a ‘transport statement or assessment’ for individual developments of over 50 houses. As a result the Charity Farm site of 37 houses and 13 houses at Farley Lane plus several infill sites in the village resulting in over 50 houses being built in the last couple of years is not looked at, never mind developments in Charlbury. SuSto is responding to Councillor Huddspeth and will make these points.

Some of our members also joined the large protest at Cherwell DC offices in February concerning the 4,400 new houses proposed for Begbroke, Yarnton and Kidlington which will cause even more congestion on the A44.

Richard Morris
Sustainable Stonesfield