The latest issue of the Woodcote Correspondent is available to download here.
Selected photographs on this website courtesy of Alan Copeland.
Woodcote's Neighbourhood Plan Objectives have been determined using the feedback received from the village in the last 15 months. A summary of the objectives are contained in appendix B of the examiniation plan. Categories are:
The population has declined 5% in the village over the last 15 years (see 2011 census for more details) and the population of Woodcote is ageing rapidly (see below). The neighbourhood plan aims to redress this balance by providing cheaper new homes (90&percent; will be 1,2 or 3 bed), and affordable homes will have some preferential access to village residents.
Commercial home builders naturally want to maximise profits, and landowners and agents want to keep the largest share possible, particularly if they have no connection with the village. This means larger more expensive homes are favoured, as there is more profit. Nearly every infill appication in the village over the last few years had been for 4 bed (or larger) homes worth typically GBP 500,000 or more.
Without a neighbourhood plan, we would expect this trend to continue, and for the needs of local villagers to be largely ignored, in favour of maximising profits. Of course everyone of the 22 sites put forward would want to claim their share, so there would be many more large scale planning applications over the next few years.
Our plan, assembled by local volunteers has the best interests and feedback of the village at its heart.
Download the timeline.
The revised plan has been presented to SODC (as the local planning authority) to ensure that:
There is a further consultation period of 6 weeks before the Neighbourhood Plan must be scrutinised by an independent examiner who will formally check, again, that it conforms to national and local policies, and that they are compatible with relevant EU obligations and human rights law.
The scope of the matters to be considered by the examiner are relatively limited. These include matters previously checked by SODC and whether the area for the referendum should extend beyond the parish boundary. It is not thought that the examiner will consider the planning merits of any proposals - it will simply be to check the extent of compliance. The examination could consist of either
The result will be a report on the draft plan with one of three possibilities
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