Witney News - Planning for the future

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Planning for the future

Local people are being asked their views as to how they would like to see West Oxfordshire develop over the next 15 to 20 years.

The consultation, which is expected to start at the end of March, is seeking comments on the options available to tackle the major development issues that the District faces to meet the challenges set by central government.

Questions asked will include: How and where can we identify new sites for housing, employment and other development needs? What supporting infrastructure (roads, schools, transport etc) is needed?

The consultation will also review planning strategy issues. For example, ‘Where should new development be concentrated – should this continue to be in the larger towns or should more take place in the villages in future years?

Nearly 100 sites throughout the District have also been suggested so far by town and parish councils, landowners or developers for possible development in the longer term. None of these sites have been put forward or have been evaluated by West Oxfordshire District Council and at this very early stage there are no specific proposals for any development on the sites. They are for consultation purposes only. There is also the opportunity to submit alternative or additional sites to the Council for assessment.

Cllr Jill Dunsmore, Cabinet Member for Communities said: “It is very important to stress that no proposals are being put forward by West Oxfordshire District Council and that none of the sites shown on the maps are either counted in or counted out of any plan.

“This public consultation is the beginning of a complicated and often contentious planning process. We hope as many people as possible will contribute their ideas so the best strategy is adopted which meets local development requirements at the same time as protecting this beautiful part of the country”.

The consultation is one of the first steps towards the production of major new planning policy documents, known as the Local Development Framework (LDF). It will replace the current adopted West Oxfordshire Local Plan.

The consultation period is expected to end 12 May 2008. This was agreed by Cabinet on the 19 March and is subject to the Council’s usual call in period.

Further information about the consultation and the new 'Planning for the future' (LDF) process is on www.westoxon.gov.uk/LDF. Interactive maps showing sites submitted can also be viewed on the website. Alternatively, for further details, contact the Council’s Planning Policy team on 01993 861420. Copies of the consultation documents will be available at Council offices and local libraries. All Parish/Town Councils and many local organisations will be separately consulted.

Posted : 20/03/2008 13:09:24

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