Planning inspector approves 20,000 new homes in the Vale of White Horse

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A blueprint for 20,560 new homes across the Vale of White Horse has received approval from a planning inspector, meaning it could be adopted within weeks

A planning inspector has approved controversial plans to build some 20,560 new homes across the Vale of White Horse, Oxfordshire.

Approval of the Local Plan means the document could be adopted in the coming weeks. This, councillors said, would close a loophole that has allowed developers to propose new housing on inappropriate sites.

The Local Plan will now be put before the district council for a vote during a meeting on the 14 December.

All councils are required to have a Local Plan in situ to outline sites available for building. Local Plans not only identify how land is used, but also provide a framework for development across the country, incorporating the views of local people to ensure the needs of the community are met.

Local Plan gets green light

Speaking to the Bicester Advertiser, Council leader Matthew Barber said: “I am delighted that we’ve been given the go-ahead.

“After a process that has taken several years and has seen communities contributing to the Local Plan, we are now in a position to have much greater control over all development in the Vale.”

The decision followed a public examination of the plan earlier in the year. Planning Inspector Malcolm Rivett ordered the Vale of White Horse District Council to present its plans to tackle the housing shortage within two years.

He said the district council’s agreement to provide 2,200 homes to tackle Oxford’s housing crisis was welcome but had come “very late”.

He wrote: “The two year deadline is appropriate having regard to both the time it is likely to take to identify and fully assess the allocations necessary to meet Oxford’s housing needs.”

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