Overwhelming ‘yes’ vote for ‘mid-Cherwell’ plan for future development

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More than 1,200 people voted in favour of a document that will guide decisions on future planning applications in the central part of Cherwell district yesterday (Thursday, March 22).

Electors in the Mid-Cherwell Neighbourhood Plan area were asked the question: do you want Cherwell District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for mid-Cherwell to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?

In total, 1231, or 90.2 per cent of thos eligible to vote, picked ‘yes’ with 128 choosing ‘no’.

The plan area covers 11 parishes, including North Aston, Fritwell and the development site at the former RAF Heyford, where thousands of homes are designated to be built.

Robert Jolley, the council’s assistant director for planning and economy, said: “Neighbourhood planning is a powerful process which allows communities to have a greater say over the future of development in their areas.

“This plan is different because it’s the product of cooperation by a large number of parishes and organisations who have recognised that they represent a distinct area of our district.

“Cherwell District Council is happy to have facilitated the process and the Plan itself will now go forward as council policy.”

This means it will be considered in determining planning applications in the following parishes: Ardley with Fewcott, Kirtlington, Duns Tew, Lower Heyford, Middleton Stoney, Somerton, Steeple Aston, Middle Aston, North Aston, Fritwell and Upper Heyford.

Key objectives identified in the plan include: encouraging the use of brownfield sites for development; protecting the rural character of villages; and encouraging affordable housing for young people and the elderly.

The plan is available to view at www.cherwell.gov.uk/MidCherwellNP