Woodcote villagers set to vote for new planning power

Herald Series: Woodcote villagers set to vote for new planning power Woodcote villagers set to vote for new planning power

VILLAGERS are set to vote on whether to adopt new planning powers, the second poll of its kind in Oxfordshire.

A referendum will be held in Woodcote on Thursday, April 3, to decide if the village will adopt a Neighbourhood Plan drawn up by residents.

It sets out what development villagers support and will have to be considered by South Oxfordshire District Council when it makes planning decisions.

If villagers say yes, the plan will be used to help identify land for 76 homes due to be built in the village over 13 years.

It also contains other policies about style of new houses which developers will be legally obliged to consider, as set out in the 2011 Localism Act.

The plan, led by Woodcote Parish Council, went to a public consultation in November and the council appointed an independent examiner to assess the plan. He approved the plan in January for the district council to conduct the referendum.

It is the second Neighbourhood Plan in South Oxfordshire to reach this stage after Thame successfully prepared its plan last year.

In his report, assessor Nigel McGurk said: “The Woodcote Neighbourhood Plan is the result of an enormous community effort. It contains some exemplary approaches to neighbourhood planning. I recommend to South Oxfordshire District Council that, subject to the modifications proposed, the Woodcote Neighbourhood Plan should proceed to a referendum.”

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