South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) have published their draft Local Plan which sets out how the Council will address the need for housing in the district (9871 new homes) until the year 2033.
In the plan there 677 new homes allocated to Henley on top of the 500 houses that have been included in Henley & Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan although it does not give proposal for development sites. The plan also states the following strategy for Henley:
SODC will support development proposals which:
i) Are in accordance with the Joint Henley and Harpsden Neighbourhood Development Plan
ii) Maintain the quality of place
iii) Strengthen commerce in the town centre through retail-led, mixed-use development and identify additional retail and leisure floorspace
iv) Support housing and employment uses above shops
v) Enhance the town’s environment
vi) Improve the attraction of Henley for visitors
vii) Improve accessibility, car parking, pedestrian and cycle links
viii) Improve the stock of commercial buildings and the environment of the employment areas
ix) Support Henley College and Gillotts School and meet their accommodation needs
x) Support development for all ages
The Council have recently invited landowners to submit potential development sites for consideration.
As well as setting out new housing sites, the local plan explains how the new homes would be supported by roads, schools, shops, parks, leisure centres, community facilities and other infrastructure.
The draft Local Plan will be started to be reviewed at a SODC Scrutiny Committee next Wednesday (13 September), followed by Cabinet and Full Council in September.
The council will then publish its final draft of the local plan on 11 October and will invite a further round of comments from the public, which will then be submitted along with the plan to the government. The plan and the comments will be considered by a planning inspector as part of a public examination, which will take place next year.
Cllr John Cotton, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Making sure we get this right is a great responsibility and one we take very seriously. There’s no silver bullet solution when talking about building thousands of houses in a rural district, but we are very confident our local plan represents the best possible balance of homes in effective, sustainable locations, supported by the right infrastructure and in a way that protects and enhances what’s best about South Oxfordshire.”