Local plan allocation secured for 3,500 new homes and the removal of Culham Science Centre from the Green Belt
Date of Article
Dec 18 2020
Planning & development

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Steven Sensecall
Partner, Planning & Development
01865 297705 Email me About Steven

This year, our planning professionals based in Oxford took part in the first virtual Local Plan Examination in Public (EiP). They represented two clients at the South Oxfordshire EiP, CEG and the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA).

CEG control significant land holdings at Culham, which is north of Didcot and south east of Abingdon in South Oxfordshire. The vision for the site includes 3,500 new homes, employment space totalling at least 10Ha, two primary schools, a secondary school and a local centre with a range of services and facilities.  All of which will be set alongside an improved railway station.  

Adjacent to the CEG land is the internationally important Culham Science Centre, owned and run by the UKAEA. Despite the site’s location in the Green Belt, over past years our planning professionals have secured a range of planning consents at Culham Science Centre relating to fusion energy, robotics and autonomous vehicles. The South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035 provided an opportunity to review the Green Belt classification of Culham Science Centre. It was clear that releasing the site from Green Belt constraints would unlock significant potential for further growth, which is directly related to the Government’s ambitions for increase investment in science and technology, which is an anchor for numerous projects, including the Oxford–Cambridge Arc.     

After a challenging debate, which garnered significant national interest after the Secretary of State became involved in the political dimensions, the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035 was adopted on 10 December 2020.    

As a result of the adoption of South Oxfordshire’s Local Plan 2035, our professionals secured the allocation for 3,500 homes, and associated employment space, along with the removal of nearly 80ha of land from the Green Belt to support the growth of Culham Science Centre. Our professionals also worked with a range of partners including masterplanners at DEFINE to produce a masterplan which seeks to connect the two sites where possible.  

For further information, please contact a member of our team:

Steven Sensecall

07970 796762