West Oxfordshire’s housing land supply shortfall ‘severe’
Date of Article
Aug 08 2016

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On 26th July 2016, an appeal made by Sharba Homes Ltd regarding a proposal for 62 dwellings on land south of High Street at Milton-under-Wychwood (ref. 15/03128/OUT) was allowed by the Inspector, and planning permission was granted.

In his decision, the Inspector places significant weight on the severe shortfall of housing land in the District, with the appellant claiming that the Council can only demonstrate a housing land supply of less than 2 years; while the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires local planning authorities to demonstrate 5 years.

The Inspector describes this shortfall as ‘severe’ and states that there is an ‘unarguable need’ for the proposed development of up to 62 dwellings.

The Inspector also mentions the significant contribution that the proposal would make towards much needed affordable housing, as well as the ‘positive effect’ that the proposed development would have on the local economy.

These factors together amounted to ‘exceptional circumstances’ to justify the major development of land in the Cotswold AONB.

Clare O’Hanlon, Associate at Carter Jonas’ Oxford office comments:

Although the extent of the housing shortfall was disputed by the Council, it is clear that West Oxfordshire cannot currently demonstrate a 5 year supply of deliverable housing sites, especially given that the requirement for dwellings is likely to increase as the emerging Local Plan progresses through examination. This is without accounting for any of Oxford City’s unmet housing need.

This will be a significant factor in decision-making for a while to come, and will open up opportunities for sustainable housing schemes in the right locations.

If you would like to discuss the housing and planning position in West Oxfordshire in more detail, please contact one of the Oxford Planning Team.