Residents in the Vale are being urged to take the opportunity to have their say on the future of the district.
The district council published a draft version of its Local Plan on Thursday 28 February. The Local Plan maps out the main sites for new houses in the Vale for the next 15 years.
It also earmarks the places the council believes are the best locations for new jobs. Residents are being urged to let the council know if they think there are better locations for the jobs and homes the district needs.
The Local Plan also sets out important requirements for infrastructure, services and facilities. At the heart of the plan are policies that ensure the rural qualities of the Vale are protected.
The consultation will run for an extended ten week period. The Vale is making the draft plan available for a four week period in advance of the statutory six week consultation period to allow the public to review and familiarise themselves with the document.
On 28 March, the evidence base reports and supporting documentation will be published and the consultation will then run for the formal six week period.
To find out how to comment, residents can visit the District Council's website at
The Vale is also inviting residents to come and visit one of its exhibition roadshows where they can find out about the Local Plan and can give their feedback. They can read the plan itself and ask trained planning officers questions to help clarify any points they aren’t sure about.
At this early stage, the version of the local plan being consulted on is based on housing need evidence that supported the South East Plan. The government is intending to the South East Plan, so the Vale will no be longer required to meet the housing targets it set.
The housing requirement figures in the final local plan are therefore likely to be different than the ones in the current draft plan. Nevertheless, it is a sound basis for what is an early draft, and it will allow everybody to let the district council know if the plan is heading in the right direction.
The Vale will be submitting the final version of the local plan in December of this year. There will be another consultation before then, based on the latest local housing need evidence available at the time.
To stay up to date with the progress of the Local Plan and the consultation, people can register to receive regular updates via the Vale Community – an email mailing list run by the Vale. Send an email with the subject header of SUBSCRIBE to firstname.lastname@example.org
Cllr Mike Murray, cabinet member for Planning Policy, said: “This is an important opportunity for people to have an early look at the Local Plan and make sure we’re heading in the right direction. It’s so important that we get this right from the start, so we want everybody to have their say now. Whether you’re a resident, a district or parish councillor or a housing developer, the Local Plan affects everybody in the Vale, so get involved.”
The following exhibitions are open to the general public from midday to 7pm unless specified otherwise.
· Tuesday 12 March – Bury Street, Abingdon
· Wednesday 13 March – Wantage Civic Hall
· Tuesday 19 March – Methodist Hall, Main Street, Grove
· Thursday 21 March – Southmoor Village Hall
· Saturday 23 March – Wantage Civic Hall (10am – 3pm)
· Tuesday 26 March - Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot
· Thursday 28 March – Faringdon Corn Exchange
· Thursday 4 April – Harwell Church Hall
· Saturday 13 April – Faringdon Corn Exchange (10am – 3pm)
There will also be unmanned exhibitions for the duration of the consultation at:
· Abingdon - Guildhall
· Shrivenham – Memorial Hall
· Botley – Library
· Grove - Library
· Faringdon – Corn exchange
ALL media enquiries on the Local Plan should be made to Andy Roberts on 01235 540528