A strategic assessment which will help determine how many new homes must be built in Chipping Norton and the surrounding area is expected to be completed in January.
In May 2013 West Oxfordshire District Council’s Local Development Plan, which will shape building in the area for the next 20 years, was delayed so that a new Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) – required by the Government – could be completed.
The SHMA is now expected to be completed in January and will form part of the Local Plan evidence base – providing an objective assessment of the amount and type of new housing that is needed within the district.
WODC has earmarked a figure of 5,500 new homes to be built between 2011 and 2029 – 500 of these in Chipping Norton. This figure appears in its draft Local Plan but the council says it does not yet know what impact the SHMA will have.
In January it will consider the SHMA findings to determine whether its housing target should be adjusted.
The council says it may then have to open another consultation on its Local Plan before it can be formally approved and sent to Westminster for authorisation. WODC’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment is also being updated and the council hopes to publish a new version in January. It determines the areas of land that should be made available for new development.
Also vital in shaping future development in Chippy will be the town’s emerging Neighbourhood Plan. A public consultation on the plan closed in September.
It cannot promote less than the district council’s target of 500 houses but could call for more.
Taking into account existing planning permission, 309 homes of the earmarked 500 are still to be built.
A plan for 60 homes at Churchill Road overlooking Bliss Mill was recently refused by WODC.