Frequently Asked Questions
The project team & the site
The development is brought forward by the North Witney Consortium comprised of Blenheim Strategic Partners; Cranbrook Construction Limited; Gleeson Land Limited; L&Q Estates Limited; and Taylor Wimpey UK Ltd.
The Consortium control the majority of the adopted Local Plan allocation known as the North Witney SDA, allocated under Policy WIT2 of the recently adopted West Oxfordshire District Local Plan (2018).
Yes, the site is allocated for development as part of the North Witney Strategic Development Area (SDA) through Policy WIT2 in the adopted West Oxfordshire Local Plan (2018).
The North Witney Consortium has been working hard to design proposals that develop the land north of Witney in a manner reflective of its sustainable location and that capable of delivering a vibrant new development in Witney. The emerging proposals will also be informed by the recommendations of the Council’s Scoping Opinion in response to the Environmental Impact Assessment.
The Plan is not due to be updated for around three to four years, by which time the outline application for this site should have been determined. We are also keen to work with the Council to build out an already-allocated site to ensure they do not have to engage with speculative proposals.
The outline planning application will be for around 1,250 homes. Should permission be granted, further full planning applications will determine the exact number of homes.
40% of housing will be affordable as a range of tenures, which may include affordable rent, shared ownership and affordable purchase.
The proposals include extensive public open spaces, for example our central green corridor, for existing and future residents to enjoy.
Active travel infrastructure will prioritise active travel over car usage and will assist with the delivery of the Witney Local Walking and Cycling Infrastructure Plan. This will include creating safe and interactive cycling routes to existing schools and the new school, new walking routes through the site, safe access points with Dutch-style roundabouts and the retention of existing Public Rights of Way.
The outline planning application compromises facilities such as a new local centre with healthcare facilities, a café and a shop. The proposals also include a new primary school. (More under community facilities)
Sustainability & Biodiversity
The proposed development will adhere to WODC ambition for Net-Zero operational carbon balance. This will be achieved through a variety of measures such as:
- Net zero carbon designed homes, with high standards of fabric efficiency to reduce running costs
- EV charging points for every home with a dedicated parking space
- Solar panels throughout the development
- No natural gas to be used anywhere on the development
- Heat pumps instead of gas boilers as the primary source of heating
- Hot water storage tanks to maximise options to store renewable energy
- High thermal insulation to reduce reliance on heating
The proposals aim to create a development that celebrates the landscape of the area. The central green corridor forms the landscape focal point and has been kept as free of strategic infrastructure as possible.
A full biodiversity impact statement will be undertaken along an Environmental statement. Both will be submitted alongside the outline planning application.
The design of the site aims to compliment the townscape with landscaping that celebrates and frames the valley corridor. 23.4 sqm will be left as green open space, and careful planting and landscaping will ensure that the proposals as a whole balance housing with nature.
Ecological surveys conducted have shown a number of species already present on site near the existing borders. These species will be considered during the assessment of the development and have informed the design. This is to avoid impacts where possible, or at least mitigate impacts, and provide enhancement opportunities for these species (including bats, dormice, reptiles, breeding birds, badgers and amphibians) within the scheme.
Transport & Access
Active travel will prioritise cycle and pedestrian movements over the car. This will include creating safe and interactive routes to existing schools and the new school, which will be inclusive for all of the community.
Yes, there will be multiple new walking routes through the site, safe access points with Dutch-style roundabouts (where pedestrians and cyclists are given priority over the car) and the retention of the existing Public Rights of Way.
As this application is at outline stage, the Consortium has not identified exact numbers of parking spaces. However, our provisional plans are in accordance with Oxfordshire County Council standards as set out within the “Parking Standards for New Developments” document. Most if not all units will have parking.
There are two main vehicle accesses into the site, from Hailey Road and Woodstock Road, which will form a Northern Distributor Road through the middle of the site, running east to west. A further cycle and pedestrian access are also proposed on New Yatt Road.
Movement studies have shown that the new Shores Green Slip Road, in combination with the Northern Distributor Road, would serve to divert traffic away from Witney. In this regard, development traffic levels within the town will in part be offset by the rerouting relating to this infrastructure.
Traffic movements will be permitted to and from New Yatt Road north of the Northern Distributor Road (NDR).
All traffic movements will be restricted to and from New Yatt Road south of the NDR – walking and cycling access will however be permitted.
A new primary school will be provided to accommodate new residents. It will be two-form entry on a 2.2-hectare site. Further discussions will be held with the education authority during the determination of the application to understand if contributions are required towards other education facilities such as secondary schools.
Space is being provided in the development which could be used for the provision of healthcare facilities. Further discussions will be held during the determination of the application regarding these potential facilities and any financial contributions that would be sought towards upgrading new or existing facilities. As reserved matters applications are brought forward on the site, the applicant will liaise with the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and West Berkshire Integrated Care Board to determine what could be provided.
Yes, a local centre and community hub with facilities are included within the plans for the site. The centre will have retail and community provisions, a primary school, co-working spaces and a mobility hub.
The management of the green spaces is something that is yet to be finalised. The Consortium is open to having conversations with both Witney Town Council and Hailey Parish Council to determine if there is an interest from either authority to be involved in the management of the spaces. Alternatively, a management company could be put in place.
The site is mostly located within the Environment Agency’s Flood Zone 1, which carries the lowest risk for fluvial, tidal and coastal flooding.
Parts of the site in the south are within Flood Zones 2 and 3. We do not include built development on these parts of the site and will include measures to improve the current flooding situation.
A Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) will be introduced which has been designed to withstand peak rainfall with an allowance for an additional 40%, ensuring it is fit for the future.
The SuDS includes swales, ditches, basins and ponds that will capture surface water, control the water at source, offer opportunities to deliver landscaping and wildlife enhancements, naturally clean the water.
Thames Water are carrying out strategic modelling of the sewers in Witney and will determine what improvements are required to the network and treatment works. The Consortium is working with Thames Water to ensure the build rates align with their improvements.
Timeline & Construction
We are looking to submit a planning application to West Oxfordshire District Council in Winter 2023.
We are targeting a planning committee of Spring/Summer 2024.
If planning permission is successfully secured, we are hoping to start on site in early 2025. Construction works are likely to be completed in 2035.