There’s an awful lot going on currently as the next iteration of the Local Plan 2031 continues to take shape. This will impact the delivery of housing in Witney and West Oxfordshire from the immediate term and into the future. Witney itself has more than doubled its population in the last 30 years with significant extensions to the north, west and east of the town.
The draft submission of the plan saw a target of 525 dwellings being built per year although this has now been increased to 660 per annum (historically West Oxfordshire has delivered circa 480 properties yearly). This increase is, in part, to meet the apportioned unmet need of Oxford City who have been unable to meet their targets. This apportionment is:
- Cherwell DC x 4,400
- Oxon DC x 4,950
- VOWH DC x 2,200
- WODC x 2,750
The Council’s proposed main changes to the existing plan are based on a local housing requirement of 13,200 homes (660 annually) plus the 2,750 to meet the needs of Oxford City. In order to meet this increased requirement, there has been a requirement to revisit the original plan to find increased capacity. A number of the additional capacity is likely to be met in Chipping Norton (+800), Woodtsock (+670), Carterton (+366) and increased allocations of 40-85 homes in Burford, Charlbury, Long Hanborough, Minster Lovell, Shipton under Wychwood, Stanton Harcourt, Stonesfield and Witney.
Furthermore, a new rural service centre (Garden Village) has been proposed to the north of the A40 near Eynsham and could exceed a population of 4,000 by 2031.