Today (10th November) the Parish Council lodged our response to Cherwell District Council’s initial paper which outlines possible housing development sites in the Bourtons. You can see it HERE. At this stage we have not responded directly to each proposed site but have provided an overview of our thoughts combined with those we have received from the Bourton’s residents. We attended both the Cropredy and Wardington public meetings to gain further information and to ensure that we are presenting a combined response which reflects our concern about the possible impact if all the locations identified in the plan were developed.
Many of you have queried whether we would have a public meeting: this was not an option for us at this stage as we wouldn’t have been able to secure the presence of a planning expert to answer any questions you may have. Cropredy has the good fortune of having Bob Garland, a planning expert and Wardington have engaged the services of Peter Frampton, whose name you may have seen on many of the planning applications which come our way.
We shall be responding again once CDC know their targets for housing in our rural areas and this will be underpinned by the strategy we have agreed at our council meeting tonight.
- A house to house survey will be conducted to gather information from residents which our housing survey did not capture;
- We shall hold a public meeting to gather further information for our next response, with our District Councillor in attendance;
- Councillors will visit the sites in question to understand more fully the impact their development may have on our villages;
- We shall prepare a Vision Statement for the parish which by default will include some of what a Neighbourhood Plan might have included had we have had the resources to prepare one. Neighbourhood plans are costly to produce, many parishes have outsourced this but we have neither the manpower or budget to do this – CDC planning department are aware of this. Neighbourhood plans can take up to 3 years to prepare: there are a number of factors that can influence this length of time, some which are statutory, for example the 6-week consultation period and the time it takes to hold a referendum on the ultimate document. Although they are mentioned in the CDC local plan for some parishes, neighbourhood plans cannot be used to stop development in an area and should not promote less development than set out in the Council’s development plan.
- The cost of producing a robust neighbourhood plan ranges between £4,000 and £10,000 depending on whether the exercise is outsourced. If it not, with a small parish council such as ours, it can take more than 3 years to achieve a meaningful plan which can be used in the responses to planning applications.
We’ll keep residents updated as often as we can but do feel free to call us or e-mail with any information which may be helpful.
If you have any comments, suggestions or would like to offer your services to the council, or even to take up the position of parish councillor, please do get in touch. You can e-mail me [email protected]urtons-cherwell-pc.gov.uk directly or our clerk Steve, at [email protected]
Parish Council Chairman
t: 01295 758398