Policy Summary

Below is an extract from SODC’s Core Strategy 2012. The full text is here.
Scroll down for South Oxfordshire Local Plan and NPPF.

Section 1. Introduction

Policy CS1 Presumption in favour of sustainable development

Planning applications which accord with the policies in the Development Plan (including, where relevant, Neighbourhood Plans) will be approved without delay, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

Planning permission will also be granted where relevant policies in the Development Plan are out of date or silent unless:

    • any adverse impacts of the proposal would significantly and demonstrably outweigh its benefits when assessed against the policies in the National Planning Policy Framework taken as a whole; or
    • specific policies in the Framework or other material considerations indicate that develop- ment should be restricted.

Section 4. The overall strategy

Policy CSS1 The overall strategy

Proposals for development in South Oxfordshire should be consistent with the overall strategy of:

  1. focusing major new development at the growth point of Didcot so the town can play an enhanced role in providing homes, jobs and services with improved transport connectivity;
  2. supporting the roles of Henley, Thame and Wallingford by regenerating their town centres through measures that include environmental improvements and mixed-use developments and by providing new houses, employment, services and infrastructure;
  3. supporting and enhancing the larger villages of Berinsfield, Benson, Chalgrove, Chinnor, Cholsey, Crowmarsh Gifford, Goring, Nettlebed, Sonning Common, Watlington, Wheatley and Woodcote as local service centres;
  4. supporting other villages in the rest of the district by allowing for limited amounts of housing and employment and by the provision and retention of services; and
  5. outside the towns and villages, and other major developed sites, any change will need to relate to very specific needs such as those of the agricultural industry or enhancement of the environment.

Section 5. Moving around

Policy CSM1 Transport

The council will work with Oxfordshire County Council and others to:

  1. in partnership with the Vale of White Horse District Council, actively seek to deliver the transport infrastructure and measures which improve movement in Didcot and within the Didcot/ Wantage and Grove corridor, in particular linking Didcot with the major employment sites at Harwell and Milton Park as identified in the County Council’s LTP3 SVUK area Strategy and Southern Central Oxfordshire Transport Study;
  2. actively seek to ensure that the impact of new development on the strategic and local road network, in particular the Milton, Chilton and Marcham junctions of the A34 and the road links and junctions identified in the Council’s Evaluation of Transport Impact and County

Council’s Southern Central Oxfordshire Transport Study is adequately mitigated (see Policy CSM2);

  1. support improvements for accessing Oxford;
  2. work with the authorities affected by cross Thames travel in the Reading area to ensure that traffic and environmental conditions in South Oxfordshire are improved by the implementation of measures which also improve access to Reading;
  3. support measures which enable modal shift to public transport, cycling and walking particularly where these support the network of settlements in the district;
  4. promote and support traffic management measures and environmental improvements which increase safety, improve air quality, encourage the use of sustainable modes of transport and/or make our towns and villages more attractive;
  5. adopt a comprehensive approach to car parking aimed at improving the attraction of our town and village centres;
  6. encourage the use of sustainable modes of transport;
  7. promote electronic communications allowing businesses to operate throughout the district and to provide services and information which reduce the need to travel and encourage sustainable modes of transport; and cater for the needs of all users.

Policy CSM2 Transport Assessments and Travel

Proposals for new developments which have transport implications that either arise from the development proposed or cumulatively with other proposals will need to submit a transport assessment. Appropriate provision for works and/or contributions will be required towards providing an adequate level of accessibility by all modes of transport and mitigating the impacts on the transport network.

The assessment should (notwithstanding OCC requirements):

  1. illustrate accessibility to the site by all modes of transport;
  2. show the likely modal split of journeys to and from the site;
  3. detail the proposed measures to improve access by public transport, cycling and walking to reduce the need for parking and reduce transport impacts;
  4. illustrate the impact on the highway network and the impact of proposed mitigation measures where necessary; and
  5. include a travel plan where appropriate.

Travel plans will be required, implemented and monitored (notwithstanding OCC requirements):

  1. for all major developments comprising residential, employment, shopping or leisure uses or services; and
  2. for other small developments comprising residential, employment, shopping, leisure, or education facilities which would generate significant amounts of travel.

Section 6 A thriving economy

Policy CSEM1 Supporting a successful economy

We will work with our business and education partners to provide an environment that positively and proactively encourages sustainable economic growth. We will do this by:

  1. providing a framework for innovation and enterprise through encouraging knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and innovative business development;
  2. supporting measures that ensure young people leave education with the skills that the future economy needs, including the development of further education facilities at Didcot;
  3. supporting measures that deliver sustainable transport solutions, home working, and a stronger link between local jobs and local labour supply;
  4. taking advantage of the opportunities brought by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership to meet key investment priorities including transport infrastructure;
  5. seeking measures that support the development of the digital economy and the roll-out of high speed broadband across the district;
  6. supporting the prosperity of the area’s tourism industry and recreation-based rural diversification where proposals are of a scale and type appropriate to their location.

Policy CSEM2 The amount and distribution of employment

This core strategy provides for around 5,000 additional B class jobs to 2027. To facilitate this, the equivalent of 13.5 additional hectares of land will be provided, in various centres across the  district plus a further 6.5 hectares at Didcot in the Vale of White Horse district.

This provision will be made by allocating:

  1. about 2ha of further employment land at Thame;
  2. about 2ha of further employment land at Wallingford; and
  3. about 4.2ha of further employment land distributed among some of the larger villages.

The balance of the 13.5 hectares will be provided through increasing jobs at Culham Science Centre.

Additional employment land will be allocated to replace any need identified from a review of existing commitments in the Site Allocations DPD.

New employment sites should provide for a range of types and sizes of units including start-up and grow-on space.

Policy CSEM3 Culham Science Centre

The redevelopment and intensification of Culham Science Centre for research and science based businesses will be supported.  Proposals for redevelopment and the intensification of uses with the creation of about 1,000 new jobs will be supported. We will work proactively with Culham to develop an agreed masterplan that facilitates this growth.

Policy CSEM4 Supporting economic development

Planning permission will be granted for:

  1. employment on identified allocated employment sites in accordance with the policy;
  2. the redevelopment of employment sites where this improves the quality and choice of business premises available;
  3. the reasonable extension of premises on existing sites;
  4. appropriate forms of working at home, where permission is needed;
  5. new premises or the conversion of existing buildings on suitable sites within the built-up area of settlements;
  6. the re-use of rural buildings where the proposals accord with other policies in the development plan.


Policy CSEM5 Oxford Brookes University

Proposals for the redevelopment of Oxford Brookes University Campus at Holton will be supported. We will work proactively with the University to develop an agreed masterplan that meets its business objectives.

Section 7 Delivering new homes

Policy CSH1 Amount and distribution of housing

Planning permission will be granted to meet housing requirements in Table 7.1 in accordance with Tables 7.2 to 7.3.

Policy CSH2 Density

On sites where housing development is acceptable in principle, a minimum density of 25 dwellings per hectare (net) will be required unless this would have an adverse effect on the character of the area.

Policy CSH3 Affordable housing

40 per cent affordable housing will be sought on all sites where there is a net gain of three or more dwellings subject to the viability of provision on each site.

  • In cases where the 40 per cent calculation provides a part unit a financial contribution will be sought equivalent to that part unit;
  • A tenure mix of 75 per cent social rented and 25 per cent intermediate housing will be sought;
  • With the exception of part units the affordable housing should be provided on site and the affordable housing should be mixed with the market housing;
  • The housing should meet required standards and should be of a size and type which meets the requirements of those in housing need.

Policy CSH4 Meeting housing needs

A mix of dwelling types and sizes to meet the needs of current and future households will be sought on all new residential developments.

  • At least 10 per cent of market housing on sites of 10 dwellings or more should be designed to meet current Lifetime Homes standards.
  • In the case of affordable housing all ground-floor properties should be designed to meet current Lifetime Homes standards.
  • The provision of dwellings for people with additional special needs will be sought as part of the overall affordable housing percentage.
  • Specialist accommodation for older people should be provided in the new greenfield neighbourhoods identified in this strategy and will be permitted at other suitable locations.

Policy CSH5 Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople

A supply of pitches for Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople will be provided by:

  1. safeguarding existing sites
  2. extending existing sites where possible to meet the needs of existing residents and their families
  3. identifying new sites through the Site Allocations DPD and Didcot Area Action Plan.

The location of new sites will be determined in accordance with the following priorities:

  1. incorporated within the greenfield neighbourhood at Didcot
  2. located near to existing settlements
  3. located within walking distance of essential services or high frequency public transport. Sites for Travelling Showpeople may need to be large enough to accommodate equipment.

Section 8 Town centres and shopping

Policy CST1 Town centres and shopping

The district’s town and village centres will be supported and strengthened to ensure that they continue to be the focus of communities. Initiatives which safeguard and enhance their role and function will be supported.

The hierarchy of centres in the district is:

Town centres serving a local and wider catchment area: Didcot and Henley

Town centres serving a local catchment area: Thame and Wallingford

Local centres serving their immediate rural area:

Berinsfield, Benson, Chalgrove, Chinnor, Cholsey, Crowmarsh Gifford, Goring, Nettlebed, Sonning Common, Watlington, Wheatley and Woodcote.

To achieve the long term success of our centres development proposals will be permitted which:

    • Provide further retail and leisure uses within the town and larger village centres through infill development and small scale redevelopment;
    • Diversify the town centres to provide uses which are complementary to retail, while not undermining the town’s retail role, including where appropriate mixed-use developments, uses which contribute to the evening economy, community facilities and upper floor residential and office uses;
    • Reinforce the local distinctiveness of our market towns, improve their vitality and viability and encourage more visits.

As a starting point, the Council looks for proposals for main town centre uses to be sited within defined town centres. Applications for such uses on unallocated sites outside town centres will be required to be in accessible locations well connected to the town centre. Such proposals will be subject to the sequential test and, for proposals over 2,500sq.m, an impact assessment.

Proposals which fail to satisfy these tests will not be permitted.

Changes of use within defined primary and secondary retail frontages will be managed to maintain the role of the town centres.

Section 9 Didcot

Policy CSDID1 The central area of Didcot

The council will work with others to secure improvements to the central area of Didcot by:

  1. a retail-led mixed-use extension to the Orchard Centre (see Policy CSDID2)
  2. regeneration of the Broadway
  3. regeneration of the area around the station
  4. improvements to the long term parking facilities to the south and west of Didcot station
  5. improvements to Cow Lane tunnel
  6. improvements to the movement network around the centre
  7. gateway features at key points of access to the town
  8. enhanced greenways to the centre
  9. measures to improve air quality.

Policy CSDID2 The Orchard Centre

Permission will be granted for a mixed use retail led development to include:

    • 20,000 m2 to 25,000 m2 gross of additional retail floorspace (Use Classes A1-A5)
    • approximately 300 dwellings, and
    • may also include leisure, community, commercial and hotel uses on land at the Orchard Centre (as shown on the Adopted Policies Map) provided that the scheme:
    • provides for the comprehensive development of the whole site
    • provides a movement network that extends and improves the existing urban pattern
    • maximises the amount of active frontage onto streets
    • creates an attractive and multi-functional urban realm
    • creates a safe and lively environment
    • provides a form of development which responds to the topography of the site with building heights appropriate to adjacent development
    • provides additional car parking and servicing including reconfiguring the existing provision where necessary, and
    • considers alternatives to the spine road through the site.

Policy CSDID3 New housing at Didcot

Permission will be given for a new greenfield neighbourhood of 2,030 homes to the north east of Didcot (as shown on the Adopted Policies Map) provided that:

    • the area is planned comprehensively and the development takes place in accordance with an agreed design brief as required by Policy CSQ4
    • the form and characteristics of the development meet identified housing needs and attract people to live and work in the Didcot area
    • there is no built development on the western part of the site in the area of flood risk
    • access is from the northern perimeter road (A4130) and the north-south section of the B4016 only
    • good safe linkages are provided to Ladygrove and Didcot town centre
    • provision is made, or contributions are provided, towards the supporting infrastructure set out in our infrastructure delivery plan including new primary schools, a new secondary school and new sports centre.

Planning permission will also be granted for housing in Didcot on suitable infill or redevelopment sites.

Policy CSDID4 Other proposals for Didcot

The council will work with others to secure necessary infrastructure to support development including:

    • the package of transport measures identified in the Accessing Science Vale UK strategy
    • green infrastructure
    • sports and recreation provision including a replacement for the Didcot Wave
    • provision for secondary education and a Learning Park
    • provision for improved local health services

Schemes will be supported which improve the physical environment of the town including the creation of high quality visual ‘gateways’ at the points of access into the town.

Section 10 Henley-on-Thames

Policy CSHEN1 The Strategy for Henley-on-Thames

Proposals for development in Henley-on-Thames should be consistent with the strategy which is to:

  1. identify land for 400 new homes;
  2. allow housing on suitable infill and redevelopment sites;
  3. strengthen commerce in the town centre through retail-led, mixed-use development and identify additional retail and leisure floorspace;
  4. support housing and employment uses above shops;
  5. enhance the town’s environment;
  6. improve the attraction of Henley for visitors;
  7. improve accessibility, car parking, pedestrian and cycle links;
  8. improve the stock of commercial buildings and the environment of the employment areas;
  9. support Henley College, Gillotts School and Townlands Hospital meet their accommodation needs.

Section 11 Thame

Policy CSTHA1 The strategy for Thame:

Proposals for development in Thame should be consistent with the strategy which is to:

  1. strengthen commerce in the town centre and identify sites suitable for future retail, leisure and community uses;
  2. support housing and employment uses above shops;
  3. improve the attraction of Thame for visitors and businesses;
  4. improve accessibility, car parking, pedestrian and cycle links;
  5. support schemes which enhance the quality of the town’s environment;
  6. identify sites for about 2 hectares of land for employment growth;
  7. support schemes which improve the stock of existing commercial buildings and the environment of the employment areas;
  8. identify land for 775 new homes through a Thame Neighbourhood Plan (see policy CSTHA2);
  9. allow housing on suitable infill and redevelopment sites; and
  10. support the schools, health and other service providers meet their accommodation needs, in particular the amalgamation of the secondary school onto a single site.

Policy CSTHA2 New Allocations at Thame

The Neighbourhood Plan for Thame will allocate land for 775 new homes on land selected through that process as the most appropriate and sustainable.

Section 12 Wallingford

Policy CSWAL1  The strategy for Wallingford

Proposals for development in Wallingford should be consistent with the strategy which is to:

  1. strengthen the town centre including supporting schemes which allow for the re-use or redevelopment of the former Waitrose site provided that the retail element and car parking is retained:
  2. support housing and employment uses above shops:
  3. support the market place as a focal hub;
  4. support measures which improve the attraction of Wallingford for visitors with particular emphasis on the River Thames;
  5. improve accessibility, car parking, pedestrian and cycle links and local air quality;
  6. support schemes which enhance the town’s environment;
  7. identify land for about 2ha for employment growth;
  8. support schemes which improve the stock of existing commercial buildings and the environment of existing employment areas;
  9. identify land for 555 new homes (see policy CSWAL2);
  10. allow housing on suitable infill and redevelopment sites.

Policy CSWAL2  Greenfield neighbourhood west of Wallingford

Permission will be granted for a new greenfield neighbourhood of 555 homes to the west of Wallingford (as shown on the Adopted Policies Map) provided that:

  1. the area is planned comprehensively and the development takes place in accordance with an agreed design brief as required by Policy CSQ4;
  2. the form and characteristics of the development meet identified housing needs of Wallingford;
  3. access is from the western bypass, with no vehicular access provided through Queen’s Avenue;
  4. a through route is provided for public transport;
  5. measures are put in place to mitigate any impacts on the Wallingford Air Quality Management Area;
  6. safe pedestrian and cycle linkages are provided from the development to the town centre and to Hithercroft;
  7. the western and southern boundaries are reinforced with significant landscape buffers, with no built development along the western boundary adjacent to the bypass;
  8. the existing footpath through the site is developed into a green corridor linking the town to the wider countryside;
  9. provision is made, or contributions are provided, towards the supporting infrastructure set out in our infrastructure delivery plan including a new primary school.

Section 13 Rural communities

Policy CSR1 Housing in Villages

In order to contribute to the present and future economic, environmental and social sustainability of the villages, housing will be allowed where the scale and nature of the development is as follows:

Allocations Infill Rural exceptions
Larger villages Yes Yes – no limit Yes if need shown
Smaller villages No Sites of up to 0.2ha* Yes if need shown
Other villages No Sites of up to 0.1ha** Yes if need shown
All other places not listed No No No
See Appendix 4 for list of settlements within each category * Equivalent to 5-6 houses

** Equivalent to 2-3 houses

All development should respect national designations such as Green Belt and should conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Suitably designed and located development at an appropriate scale that facilitates the economic and social well- being of such areas, especially in the Larger Villages in the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty will be supported. This includes the provision of adequate housing to meet identified local needs.

Local character and distinctiveness will be protected and the requirements of relevant development plan policies will be met.

Redevelopment proposals in all categories of settlement may be acceptable but will be considered on a case by case basis through the development management process in line with other policies in the Development Plan.

Policy CSR2  Employment in Rural Areas

Planning permission will be granted for proposals which support the economy of the rural areas through:

    • schemes for agricultural diversification and the re-use of rural buildings;
    • small-scale infill schemes in villages including mixed housing and employment schemes;
    • working at home;
    • schemes which support agricultural production and the retention of functioning farm units; and
    • schemes which support tourism based on the character of the area.

Policy CSR3  Community facilities and rural transport

Proposals which result in the provision of facilities and services in the rural areas will be encouraged, those which result in the loss of services and facilities will be resisted.

Rural transport initiatives that improve movement particularly to access services and employment will be encouraged.

Section 14 The environment

Policy CSEN1 Landscape

The district’s distinct landscape character and key features will be protected against inappropriate development and where possible enhanced.

  1. Where development is acceptable in principle, measures will be sought to integrate it into the landscape character of the area.
  2. High priority will be given to conservation and enhancement of the Chilterns and North Wessex Downs Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and planning decisions will have regard to their setting. Proposals which support the economies and social well being of the AONBs and their communities, including affordable housing schemes, will be encouraged provided they do not conflict with the aims of conservation and enhancement.
  1. The landscapes and waterscapes of the River Thames corridor will be maintained and where possible enhanced as will the setting and heritage of the river for its overall amenity and recreation use.

Policy CSEN2 Green Belt

The special character and landscape setting of Oxford will be protected by the Oxford Green Belt, the boundary is shown on the Adopted Policies Map.

A local review of the Green Belt will take place at Berinsfield.

Policy CSR1 allows for limited amounts of new housing through infilling in some Green Belt villages however planning permission will not be granted for development within the Oxford Green Belt that is contrary to national policy guidance in the NPPF and the purposes of including land within the Green Belt.

The following are key previously developed sites in the Green Belt:

    • Oxford Brookes University campus at Holton
    • Culham Science Centre
    • Culham No.1 Site
    • Sandford Sewage Treatment Works

Policy CSEN3 Historic Environment

The district’s designated historic heritage assets, both above and below ground such as:

    • nationally designated assets including listed buildings, historic parks and gardens, historic battlefields and Scheduled Ancient Monuments;
    • conservation areas; and
    • their settings

will be conserved and enhanced for their historic significance and their important contribution to local distinctiveness, character and sense of place.

This will be carried out through:

    • conservation area appraisals/reviews;
    • management plans;
    • designating new conservation areas where appropriate;
    • the determination of planning, listed building consent and other relevant applications. Proposals for development that affect non-designated historic assets will be considered taking account of the scale of any harm or loss and the significance of the heritage asset.

Section 15 Quality development

Policy CSQ1 Renewable Energy

Proposals for development for the generation of energy from renewable resources will be permitted provided any adverse impact on the landscape, heritage and biodiversity of an area, traffic generation or the amenities of local communities is outweighed by wider environmental, social, economic or other benefits.

Policy CSQ2 Sustainable Design and Construction

Proposals for new development, including the construction of new buildings and the refurbishment of existing building stock, will be acceptable where:

  1. For developments of 10 or more dwellings or 1,000 m2 or more of non-residential floor space, 20% of the energy demand is secured from decentralised (on or near site) and renewable or low carbon energy sources (including the use of Combined Heat and Power where appropriate), where this would be viable.
  2. For developments of 200 dwellings or more, it can be demonstrated that the proposal will achieve at least Code Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
  3. For new residential development of less than 200 dwellings, it can be demonstrated that the proposal will achieve at least Code Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. From April 2013, proposals will need to demonstrate that at least Code Level 4 will be achieved.
  4. For the refurbishment of existing residential buildings, it can be demonstrated that the proposal will achieve at least EcoHomes ‘Very Good’ standard*. From 2013, proposals will need to demonstrate that at least ‘Excellent’ standard* will be achieved.
  5. For proposals for non-residential development up to 500 m2 floor space it can be demonstrated that the proposal will achieve at least BREEAM ‘Very Good’ standard. For proposals for non-residential development above 500 m2 floor space it can be demonstrated that the proposal will achieve at least BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard.
  6. For all new development SUDS are implemented where appropriate taking into account current policy and good practice guidance, and the emerging national SUDS standards.
  7. All new developments incorporate measures that address issues of adaptation to climate change taking account of best practice. These include resilience to increasing temperatures and heavy rainfall events and the need for water conservation and storage.
  • or equivalent standard through the forthcoming BREEAM Residential Refurbishment standards

Policy CSQ3 Design

Planning permission will be granted for new development that is of a high quality and inclusive design that:

  • responds positively to and respects the character of the site and its surroundings, particularly the historic significance and heritage values of the historic environment, enhancing local distinctiveness and ensuring that new development is of a scale, type and density appropriate to the site and its setting;
  • improves the quality of the public realm with well designed external areas, and, where appropriate a clear structure of open spaces;
  • provides and/or links into green infrastructure where available;
  • is designed to create safe communities and reduce the likelihood and fear of crime;
  • creates a distinctive sense of place and is easy to understand through the use of vistas, landmarks and focal points;
  • ensures high levels of accessibility and ease of use by all modes of transport both within the site and with the wider area, also making sure that any new development is properly integrated with existing development ensuring accessibility to local services; and
  • is adaptable to changing requirements and constructed with materials appropriate to the area.

All proposals for new development should be accompanied by a design and access statement to show how they have responded to the above criteria.

Policy CSQ4 Design briefs for greenfield neighbourhoods and major development sites

Proposals for housing allocations and major development sites must be accompanied by a design brief that includes the following:

  1. A Vision – a clear vision for the type of place that could be created building on the overall vision for the district and town;
  2. A Masterplan which should:
    • demonstrate a robust design process including an in depth assessment of the site and its context, constraints and identifying those issues that have informed the vision for and design of the development;
    • show a clear development structure and design concept;
    • show that the design requirements of the scheme work within the vision / demonstrate how the vision may be achieved;
    • explain the key elements and development principles of the masterplan to create a simple, robust framework for development that fixes: land use and density, movement and access and open space and landscape;
    • contain a mechanism for delivering the vision at more detailed stages, for example design coding;
    • contain strategic urban design principles that will be used to inform subsequent more detailed design;
    • define and respond to local context and create or reinforce local distinctiveness;
    • show how consultation with the existing community has been incorporated.
  3. A Design Brief which must demonstrate:
    • integration with the surrounding area both built and natural, in particular maximising existing and potential movement connections with the existing environment to encourage walking, cycling and use of public transport;
    • quality of development and positive sense of place and identity;
    • high level of accessibility and good connections to public transport, community facilities and local services;
    • community facilities, suitable infrastructure and other amenities to meet the needs of all the community, including the provision of education and training facilities, health care, community, leisure and recreation facilities;
    • a clear structure of open spaces and landscape network to ensure that open space standards are met and that the new spaces relate well to each other and to existing areas;
    • how sustainability and environmental matters will be addressed including the efficient use of resources both during construction and when the development is complete;
    • delivery, phasing and implementation strategies to be in place to ensure the timely delivery of infrastructure and services to the development when they are needed by new residents, and that new developments are built out in a logical manner;
    • well integrated mix of housing types and tenures to support a range of household sizes, ages and incomes to meet identified housing needs.

Section 16 Green infrastructure and biodiversity

Policy CSG1 Green infrastructure

A net gain in green infrastructure including biodiversity will be sought through developer works, developer contributions and the targeted use of other funding sources.

Proposals for new development must demonstrate that they have taken into account the relationship of the proposed development to existing green infrastructure. Where appropriate, proposals will be required to contribute to the delivery of green infrastructure and/or the improvement of existing assets including Conservation Target Areas in accordance with the standards in the South Oxfordshire Green Infrastructure Strategy and Didcot Natural Greenspaces Study.

A net loss of green infrastructure including biodiversity through development proposals will be avoided.

Policy CSB1 Conservation and improvement of biodiversity

A net loss of biodiversity will be avoided, and opportunities to achieve a net gain across the district will be actively sought.

Opportunities for biodiversity gain, including the connection of sites, large-scale habitat restoration, enhancement and habitat re-creation will be sought for all types of habitats, with a primary focus on delivery in the Conservation Target Areas.

The highest level of protection will be given to sites and species of international nature conservation importance (Special Areas of Conservation and European Protected Species).

Damage to nationally important sites of special scientific interest, local wildlife sites, local nature reserves, priority habitats, protected or priority species and locally important geological sites will be avoided unless the importance of the development outweighs the harm and the loss can be mitigated to achieve a net gain in biodiversity.

Section 17 Infrastructure provision

Policy CSI1 Infrastructure Provision

New development must be served and supported by appropriate on- and off-site infrastructure and services. Planning permission will only be granted when infrastructure and services to meet the needs of the new development, including that set out in the Infrastructure Delivery Plan, and/or mitigate the impact of the new development is already in place or will be provided to an agreed timescale.

Infrastructure and services required as a consequence of development, and provision for their maintenance, will be sought from developers and secured by the negotiation of planning obligations, by conditions attached to a planning permission, and/or other agreement, levy or undertaking, all to be agreed before planning permission is granted.

Section 18 Implementation of the strategy

Policy CSC1 Delivery and Contingency

Sites are anticipated to be developed in the timescales set out in Table 18.1.

If sites or other policies are not delivered in accordance with Tables 18.1 and the housing trajectories, the contingency measures set out in Table 18.2 will apply.

If the Authority’s Monitoring Report shows that allocated development sites and/or neighbourhood plans are not coming forward in a timely manner, we will consider:

  1. seeking alternative sources of funding if lack of infrastructure is delaying development
  2. bringing forward sites anticipated to come on stream later in the plan process
  3. identifying alternative deliverable site(s) through a plan or other mechanism in general accordance with the distribution strategy of this plan as set out in Tables 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3.


Below is an extract from the South Oxfordshire Local Plan. The full text is here.

Policy C4 of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan
Development which would damage the attractive landscape setting of the settlements of the district will not be permitted. The effect of any proposal on important local landscape features which contribute to the visual and historic character and appearance of a settlement will be considered.

Policy G2 of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan
The district’s countryside, settlements and environmental resources will be protected from adverse developments and opportunities sought to enhance the environment wherever they arise.

Policy G4 of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan
The need to protect the countryside for its own sake is an important consideration when assessing proposals for development.

Policy T1 of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan
Proposals for all types of development will, where appropriate:
(i) provide for a safe and convenient access to the highway network;
(ii) provide safe and convenient routes for cyclists and pedestrians;
(iii) be accessible by public transport and have a safe walking route to nearby bus stops or new bus stops and appropriate infrastructure should be provided;
(iv) be served by an adequate road network which can accommodate traffic without creating traffic hazards or damage to the environment;
(v) where new roads, pedestrian routes, cycleways and street lighting are to be constructed as part of the development, be constructed to adoptable standards and be completed as soon as they are required to serve the development; and
(vi) make adequate provision for those whose mobility is impaired.

Policy EP3 of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan

Proposals for new floodlighting and other external lighting that would have an adverse effect on neighbouring residents, the rural character of the countryside or biodiversity will not be permitted, unless effective mitigation measures will be implemented.

Policy D1 of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan

The principles of good design and the protection and reinforcement of local distinctiveness should be taken into account in all new development through:

(i)  the provision of a clear structure of spaces;
(ii)  respecting existing settlement patterns;
(iii)  providing for a choice of routes and transport modes to, from and within the development;(iv)  providing a development that users find easy to understand through the use of landmarks, vistas and focal points
(v)  providing landscape structure as a framework for new development;
(vi)  respecting the character of the existing landscape;
(vii)  respecting distinctive settlement types and their character;
(viii)  providing good quality site and building design and appropriate materials; and
(ix)  providing well-designed external areas.

Below is an extract from the National Planning Policy Framework. The full text is here.

NPPF Paragraph 100

Inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding should be avoided by directing development away from areas at highest risk, but where development is necessary, making it safe without increasing flood risk elsewhere.19 Local Plans should be supported by Strategic Flood Risk Assessment and develop policies to manage flood risk from all sources, taking account of advice from the Environment Agency and other relevant flood risk management bodies, such as lead local flood authorities and internal drainage boards. Local Plans should apply a sequential, risk-based approach to the location of development to avoid where possible flood risk to people and property and manage any residual risk, taking account of the impacts of climate change, by:

  • applying the Sequential Test;
  • if necessary, applying the Exception Test;
  • safeguarding land from development that is required for current and future flood management;
  • using opportunities offered by new development to reduce the causes and impacts of flooding;
  • and where climate change is expected to increase flood risk so that some existing development may not be sustainable in the long-term, seeking opportunities to facilitate the relocation of development, including housing, to more sustainable locations.
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