Anyone who last year submitted representations in relation to Cherwell District Council’s Local Plan (Part 1) Partial Review, should now have received notification from Ian Kemp - the Programme Officer appointed to assist the Planning Inspector Mr Paul Griffiths - that the Examination in Public of the soundness and legal compliance of the Plan is to begin. The notification has been published at
https://www.cherwell.gov.uk/info/83/local-plans/515/local-plan-part-1-partial-review---examination/3The notification announced that the Inspector will conduct a Preliminary Hearing on the 28th of September 2018 commencing at 09.30am within the Council Chamber of Cherwell District Council Offices, Bodicote House, White Post Road, Bodicote, Banbury, OX15 4AA.
The purpose of this meeting is for the Inspector to initially explore two key issues before deciding on the next steps for the process.
The Inspector`s agenda sets out quite clearly what these issues are:
“1. Working through the ‘working assumption’ that Oxford has an unmet need of 15,000 homes (which became 14,850), based on an overall housing requirement for the city to 2031 of 28,000, is the apportionment of 4,400 homes of Oxford’s overall unmet need to Cherwell soundly based?
2. Assuming that figure of 4400 is soundly based, and bearing in mind paragraph 83 of the (previous version of the) NPPF, can Oxford’s unmet housing be an ‘exceptional circumstance’ that justifies an alteration to Green Belt boundaries? “
It may be that the Inspector has some reservations about the Plan. So do we! Any member of the public is welcome to attend and observe the session without prior notification. However should you wish to participate in the discussions you will need to inform Ian Kemp of your intention to do so by 14th September 2018.
BYG and other campaign groups, local councillors and the CPRE will naturally be asking to participate in these discussions and are currently forming working parties to coordinate information, to ensure that all points concerning these two specific issues above are thoroughly dealt with and presented as strongly as possible.
BYG would certainly recommend that anyone wishing to observe the session should do so. A strong presence by those who object to the plans would impress upon the Inspector the local strength of feeling on the subject.