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Housing plan for Cogges Link land
HOMES could be built on land earmarked for Witney’s ill-fated Cogges Link Road.
The latest draft of West Oxfordshire District Council’s core strategy – the area’s housing blueprint for the coming decades – outlines the requirement for at least 5,500 to be built by 2029.
Previous estimates suggested 4,300 homes would need to be built be 2026.
The draft document suggests building 1,900 homes in Witney, including 300 homes to the east of the town on land that had been set aside for the Cogges Link Road.
And 1,850 homes are earmarked for Carterton, including 700 homes to the east of the town and 400 homes on sites formerly used for military homes known as REEMA North and Central.
Warwick Robinson, West Oxfordshire District Council cabinet member for strategic planning, said: “We have taken into account all the changes that have occurred since we produced the previous core strategy, most particularly the Government’s latest strategy on planning, the decision by the Ministry of Defence to change the use of land at the REEMA sites, and the inspector’s decision on the Cogges Link Road.
“We have produced what we believed to be the most appropriate and sustainable Local Plan.”
If the district council’s cabinet approves the draft document next Wednesday it could go out to public consultation in late October or early November and a final version produced next spring, Mr Robinson said.
Land east of Witney became available for housing development earlier this year after Oxfordshire County Council was refused permission to compulsorily purchase land for the Cogges Link Road.
David Condon – chairman of the Witney branch of Campaign to Protect Rural England, which fought against the link road – said: “In principle we do not want any more houses in Witney anywhere, but until we have had a chance to analyse the proposals we are not going to make pronouncements.”
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Defence announced land previously used for military housing in central Carterton – REEMA North and Central – could be made available for private use now. The site is now earmarked for 400 homes.
The latest draft core strategy also reveals the district council would prefer to build 700 homes in East Carterton ahead of sites west and north of the town.