Plan puts Cherwell in the driving seat


A ten year process to produce the document that will guide the delivery of 22,840 homes and 200 hectares of employment land has ended with the adoption of Cherwell District Council’s Local Plan.

Yesterday (20th July) members of the council agreed to formally adopt the submitted local plan in accordance with the modifications proposed by government inspector Nigel Payne.

The decision led to the immediate implementation of the plan which sets out the council’s preferred sites for development and will guide future planning applications until 2031.

Cllr Michael Gibbard, Cherwell’s lead member for planning, said: “It has taken ten years of preparation, 18 months of scrutiny and thousands of officer hours, but we are delighted to now be in a position where we have an up-to-date local plan. This document will guide all planning applications over the next 16 years and coupled with the fact we have a five year land supply, will effectively put an end to speculative applications which contravene our preferred sites for development.

“The plan signifies an important step in Cherwell’s future, as it will give us full control over the expansion of the district without being open to interpretation by opportunistic developers. It will offer strict guidelines, a robust defence and a realistic vision which will put Cherwell firmly in the driver’s seat as it steers towards a better and brighter district for everyone.”

The document was immediately implemented and will be used to guide the delivery of 7,319 homes for Banbury; 10,129 homes in Bicester and 5,392 homes elsewhere including a total of about 2,361 at former RAF Upper Heyford. To support economic growth, the plan delivers 61 hectares of employment land in Banbury and 138.5 hectares in Bicester.