Good to see council listened over housing sites

Sir – Further to your report (‘Chance to have say over housing plans’, last week’s Witney Gazette) that West Oxfordshire District Council has begun public consultation with the recommendation that the former RAF sites close to the town centre and the Carterton East option should be allocated for housing, I hope Carterton Town Council will take into account the true feelings of its residents.

When the housing sites were first suggested for Carterton, the town council voted, in the middle of a public consultation, to support the west option – hardly a move which showed they wanted to listen to the people they represent.

This angered hundreds upon hundreds of Carterton residents, so much so that a petition was raised to show their objection to such a beautiful piece of land being built on and on the wrong side of the town too.

When completed, this petition contained 1,748 names and addresses of adult Carterton residents, a significant proportion of the town’s voters.

This petition was sent to both the town council and the district council. Good to see that the district council, in this age of localism, listens to the people and, just as importantly, makes decisions which take account of sound planning.

Natasha Saveall, Pinecroft, Carterton

Comments (19)

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11:43am Wed 14 Nov 12

Angharad12 says...

Yes, it is pleasing that WODC have listened to the views of the residents of Carterton and also made good planning decisions. The town council made up their minds too quickly perhaps and without much feedback from their wards, but they must now know how the people they represent feel. They have what they wanted and campaigned for though, which was growth of the town, so they must be pleased with their success. Hopefully this will bring services and facilities. They must surely be particularly happy with some of the old MoD houses being replaced by new houses and so achieving growth near the heart of the town. The pre-fabs are holding the town back and putting people off coming to Carterton. It didn't take much to get Witney on the 'up', so fingers crossed for Carterton. All this activity may make it seem like the place to be of the future!
Yes, it is pleasing that WODC have listened to the views of the residents of Carterton and also made good planning decisions. The town council made up their minds too quickly perhaps and without much feedback from their wards, but they must now know how the people they represent feel. They have what they wanted and campaigned for though, which was growth of the town, so they must be pleased with their success. Hopefully this will bring services and facilities. They must surely be particularly happy with some of the old MoD houses being replaced by new houses and so achieving growth near the heart of the town. The pre-fabs are holding the town back and putting people off coming to Carterton. It didn't take much to get Witney on the 'up', so fingers crossed for Carterton. All this activity may make it seem like the place to be of the future! Angharad12

5:16pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Richard Martin says...

It does seem that the town council has been rather out of touch with the town: but perhaps the nature of the town is the prime factor rather than the quality of the councillors, for very few will volunteer for the local parish firing line unless they mean well.
The RAF presence has led Carterton to have a more transient population than most similar towns, and in recent years there has been continuous uncertainty about the future of the base and its aircraft, and the future of the MOD housing estate. No one can doubt the stout way in which the town council has always defended the RAF, but perhaps that support has been at times a little too uncritical.
I have watched the development of Carterton since we came to Filkins in 1982, and again no one can doubt the robust way in which the town council has always pushed for growth in Carterton. But it has often been very difficult to see the lines that have joined the dots. Why has the market square lain derelict for so long? Why does that new road towards the A40 twist so oddly between roundabouts? Why have all the new shops that have been built been so oddly arranged? Why only two pubs and no proper restaurants? And of course there are dozen similar puzzles.
I am sure the town council has done its best, but sometimes the perception (if not the actuality) has been that it is mostly interested in having a fire station, and aiming by hook or crook for a population of 25000.
Not surprisingly these circumstances, and a dollop of good old mis-communication, has led to uncertainty and an alienation of the town from its council.
However, there is growing evidence that the town council is changing course: it is listening more, and engaging more with Carterton. There is a new realism and vigour in some of the things it is doing and saying.
Of course I speak from the hinterland, but Filkins (like the other neighbouring villages) looks to Carterton to be a prosperous, vibrant town, for it provides supermarkets, doctors, catholic churches, gyms and all the rest of our local needs.
We are encouraged by the new spirit with which the town council is engaging with us and the other villages. We hope that we can all support the Local Plan as it has been published, and together can add to it with our joint local knowledge and joint desire for local prosperity.
It does seem that the town council has been rather out of touch with the town: but perhaps the nature of the town is the prime factor rather than the quality of the councillors, for very few will volunteer for the local parish firing line unless they mean well. The RAF presence has led Carterton to have a more transient population than most similar towns, and in recent years there has been continuous uncertainty about the future of the base and its aircraft, and the future of the MOD housing estate. No one can doubt the stout way in which the town council has always defended the RAF, but perhaps that support has been at times a little too uncritical. I have watched the development of Carterton since we came to Filkins in 1982, and again no one can doubt the robust way in which the town council has always pushed for growth in Carterton. But it has often been very difficult to see the lines that have joined the dots. Why has the market square lain derelict for so long? Why does that new road towards the A40 twist so oddly between roundabouts? Why have all the new shops that have been built been so oddly arranged? Why only two pubs and no proper restaurants? And of course there are dozen similar puzzles. I am sure the town council has done its best, but sometimes the perception (if not the actuality) has been that it is mostly interested in having a fire station, and aiming by hook or crook for a population of 25000. Not surprisingly these circumstances, and a dollop of good old mis-communication, has led to uncertainty and an alienation of the town from its council. However, there is growing evidence that the town council is changing course: it is listening more, and engaging more with Carterton. There is a new realism and vigour in some of the things it is doing and saying. Of course I speak from the hinterland, but Filkins (like the other neighbouring villages) looks to Carterton to be a prosperous, vibrant town, for it provides supermarkets, doctors, catholic churches, gyms and all the rest of our local needs. We are encouraged by the new spirit with which the town council is engaging with us and the other villages. We hope that we can all support the Local Plan as it has been published, and together can add to it with our joint local knowledge and joint desire for local prosperity. Richard Martin

6:57pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Angharad12 says...

I agree with you, Richard M- there does seem to be a new atttude. Perhaps it's the new Mayor, who seems approachable and genuine. I am sure he and his team can see the sense in taking action that has the support of the residents, rather than sticking to past unpopular choices come what may. I hope CTC get the support it needs from WODC to improve the town. I am quite pleased to see the new cafe myself-. long overdue and hopefully a good sign.
I agree with you, Richard M- there does seem to be a new atttude. Perhaps it's the new Mayor, who seems approachable and genuine. I am sure he and his team can see the sense in taking action that has the support of the residents, rather than sticking to past unpopular choices come what may. I hope CTC get the support it needs from WODC to improve the town. I am quite pleased to see the new cafe myself-. long overdue and hopefully a good sign. Angharad12

1:04pm Thu 15 Nov 12

GarbyCasLad says...

I have spoken to a lot of people in Carterton about the Core Strategy and I haven’t come across anyone who thought Carterton West was a good idea, although a few are in favour of expansion (builders, people hoping for an affordable house etc., which is fair enough). Most were very worried about flooding, traffic past schools and the loss of wildlife and the public footpath through open countryside where many walk their dogs. Unfortunately, CTC’s initial consultation wasn’t well publicised, didn’t ask clear questions about which option was best and didn’t provide any evidence that the residents wanted CW. Since then, the reverse has been proven through WODC’s consultation where the opposition to Carterton West from the town has remained strong throughout. CTC’s preference for Carterton West was always subject to it being technically viable and deliverable, as they had limited information at the time the decision was made. Things have moved on and WODC’s independent studies show otherwise compared to other options, so hopefully CTC will be satisfied now that they are getting expansion, which is exactly what they have campaigned for and so they can count themselves a success. That expansion will be in the most sustainable location. If they continue to argue against WODC’s proposals, they will be in danger of getting no expansion at all, as Carterton West has not been selected, whether it’s their preferred option or not. For me, redevelopment of the MoD land is the great news.
I have spoken to a lot of people in Carterton about the Core Strategy and I haven’t come across anyone who thought Carterton West was a good idea, although a few are in favour of expansion (builders, people hoping for an affordable house etc., which is fair enough). Most were very worried about flooding, traffic past schools and the loss of wildlife and the public footpath through open countryside where many walk their dogs. Unfortunately, CTC’s initial consultation wasn’t well publicised, didn’t ask clear questions about which option was best and didn’t provide any evidence that the residents wanted CW. Since then, the reverse has been proven through WODC’s consultation where the opposition to Carterton West from the town has remained strong throughout. CTC’s preference for Carterton West was always subject to it being technically viable and deliverable, as they had limited information at the time the decision was made. Things have moved on and WODC’s independent studies show otherwise compared to other options, so hopefully CTC will be satisfied now that they are getting expansion, which is exactly what they have campaigned for and so they can count themselves a success. That expansion will be in the most sustainable location. If they continue to argue against WODC’s proposals, they will be in danger of getting no expansion at all, as Carterton West has not been selected, whether it’s their preferred option or not. For me, redevelopment of the MoD land is the great news. GarbyCasLad

5:25am Fri 16 Nov 12

Angharad12 says...

I hope you're right CasLad. I've heard some of the councillors are still saying Carterton West is best because it's big (granted) and it balances up the town. It may be big, but it has limited capacity because of flooding and infrastructure and to me it makes the footprint of the town completely imbalanced- it's kind of stuck on the side with awkward access. Also, it doesn't make sense for most of the traffic to have to head through town or to lose all that open countryside or to spoil the Shill Brook when there are other options. I am glad WODC can see all that and I hope they stick to their decision and that CTC can accept that Carterton West was not the right place for the expansion they want.
I hope you're right CasLad. I've heard some of the councillors are still saying Carterton West is best because it's big (granted) and it balances up the town. It may be big, but it has limited capacity because of flooding and infrastructure and to me it makes the footprint of the town completely imbalanced- it's kind of stuck on the side with awkward access. Also, it doesn't make sense for most of the traffic to have to head through town or to lose all that open countryside or to spoil the Shill Brook when there are other options. I am glad WODC can see all that and I hope they stick to their decision and that CTC can accept that Carterton West was not the right place for the expansion they want. Angharad12

11:04am Fri 16 Nov 12

HappyJackWitney says...

The people of Carterton are right to fear the flooding and traffic that mass development can bring. Just look at how the massive development at Shilton Park has visited these problems on the unfortunate residents of Brize Norton.

I have to say that Brize has surely kept up the good fight to keep any further development to the East from happening. In their years of fighting, hundreds of letters written to council, thousands of signatures on petitions etc. it has been inspirational to watch that small community try and make everyone see sense.

All the Carterton residents that I know are vehemently in favour of the West site for further develop, as are obliviously the majority of Carterton, and the Town Council which rightly represents their views.

Keep up the fight Brize, and thanks for the inspiration!
The people of Carterton are right to fear the flooding and traffic that mass development can bring. Just look at how the massive development at Shilton Park has visited these problems on the unfortunate residents of Brize Norton. I have to say that Brize has surely kept up the good fight to keep any further development to the East from happening. In their years of fighting, hundreds of letters written to council, thousands of signatures on petitions etc. it has been inspirational to watch that small community try and make everyone see sense. All the Carterton residents that I know are vehemently in favour of the West site for further develop, as are obliviously the majority of Carterton, and the Town Council which rightly represents their views. Keep up the fight Brize, and thanks for the inspiration! HappyJackWitney

6:30pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Angharad12 says...

Harry, All this West is Best stuff from Brize and their supporters isn't cricket. People against the West aren't saying East is Best. I don't know who these Carterton people are who are all so in favour of Carterton West. The cnsultations consistently say otherwise. Personally I am in favour of building less houses in Carterton and using REEMA land, but certainly not Carterton West- it makes no sense.
Harry, All this West is Best stuff from Brize and their supporters isn't cricket. People against the West aren't saying East is Best. I don't know who these Carterton people are who are all so in favour of Carterton West. The cnsultations consistently say otherwise. Personally I am in favour of building less houses in Carterton and using REEMA land, but certainly not Carterton West- it makes no sense. Angharad12

1:52pm Sat 17 Nov 12

shane r says...

I can't speak for the whole of the anti-East campaigners but I can say that the Save Brize Norton Village group has never stated a preferred location. We've taken over 2000 new houses within our boundaries already-with disastrous consequences. That's clear to everyone, including WODC. They promised that this would be our 'lot'.

Now, even though the roads can't handle the existing traffic, the schools are over-subscribed, the water courses flooded, the not one new job for anyone, anywhere- the WODC are back to foist another 1500 homes in the remaining countryside between Brize and the town.

We want a more balanced and sustainable approach that could see some homes sited to the North, West and on REEMA land.

We hope the council sees sense. We've taken our thousands in the East already.

Shane Rae
I can't speak for the whole of the anti-East campaigners but I can say that the Save Brize Norton Village group has never stated a preferred location. We've taken over 2000 new houses within our boundaries already-with disastrous consequences. That's clear to everyone, including WODC. They promised that this would be our 'lot'. Now, even though the roads can't handle the existing traffic, the schools are over-subscribed, the water courses flooded, the not one new job for anyone, anywhere- the WODC are back to foist another 1500 homes in the remaining countryside between Brize and the town. We want a more balanced and sustainable approach that could see some homes sited to the North, West and on REEMA land. We hope the council sees sense. We've taken our thousands in the East already. Shane Rae shane r

3:23pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Angharad12 says...

So who were those people in the Gazette some time ago, with placards saying 'West is Best' then?
Actually, I really hope WODC see that Carterton doesn't need the expansion that the town council want as it doesn't have the infrastructure. I then hope they see that the MoD land is enough. I note you claim you don't state a preference and then go on to express just that- any site but the one near you!
So who were those people in the Gazette some time ago, with placards saying 'West is Best' then? Actually, I really hope WODC see that Carterton doesn't need the expansion that the town council want as it doesn't have the infrastructure. I then hope they see that the MoD land is enough. I note you claim you don't state a preference and then go on to express just that- any site but the one near you! Angharad12

4:08pm Sat 17 Nov 12

GarbyCasLad says...

Shane R - you are being very economical with the truth - I have seen your placards saying "West is Best" (of which a photo was placed in this very paper!), heard your representative state your preference for the West at the WODC meeting last September, and read a specially prepared flyer encouraging people to support the West option (which was submitted during the last consultation period.
Shane R - you are being very economical with the truth - I have seen your placards saying "West is Best" (of which a photo was placed in this very paper!), heard your representative state your preference for the West at the WODC meeting last September, and read a specially prepared flyer encouraging people to support the West option (which was submitted during the last consultation period. GarbyCasLad

4:29pm Sat 17 Nov 12

GarbyCasLad says...

Oh, HappyJackWitney you are so good! In fact too good to be true! You sound like the perfect resident, dreamt up by a Developers PR team. Do you really exist?

Your passion and devotion for Brize (especially from someone in Witney) was clearly not evident in any of the earlier consultations. As for all the Carterton residents you know (which must be around two) they are certainly in a very small minority - a fact proven by WODC's robust consultation process(over 80% of Carterton residents were against the West) and 1748 name petition (93% of people asked) from the adult residents of Carterton. There were no residents from Caterton (who took part in the WODC consultation process) "vehemently in favour" of the West.

Check it out, the evidence is all there, on the WODC Planning Portal.
Oh, HappyJackWitney you are so good! In fact too good to be true! You sound like the perfect resident, dreamt up by a Developers PR team. Do you really exist? Your passion and devotion for Brize (especially from someone in Witney) was clearly not evident in any of the earlier consultations. As for all the Carterton residents you know (which must be around two) they are certainly in a very small minority - a fact proven by WODC's robust consultation process(over 80% of Carterton residents were against the West) and 1748 name petition (93% of people asked) from the adult residents of Carterton. There were no residents from Caterton (who took part in the WODC consultation process) "vehemently in favour" of the West. Check it out, the evidence is all there, on the WODC Planning Portal. GarbyCasLad

8:51am Sun 18 Nov 12

shane r says...

Wow, it takes some eagle eyes to spot the single 5-year-old holding the handmade sign you're referring too. As stated, I can't speak for everyone. This was an open, public protest.

Managing to get 10% of Carterton residents to sign a petition, and then bandy it around as being representative of the majority is a bit 'economical' though to be fair.

In the last round of consultation, 80 Carterton residents wrote to the WODC, which would seem impressive if taken in isolation of the fact that there are well over 17,000 people living there.

For the record, no one from the group spoke at the meeting referred to above. You may be confusing us with the Brize Norton Parish Council, who appear to be against development on any site.
Wow, it takes some eagle eyes to spot the single 5-year-old holding the handmade sign you're referring too. As stated, I can't speak for everyone. This was an open, public protest. Managing to get 10% of Carterton residents to sign a petition, and then bandy it around as being representative of the majority is a bit 'economical' though to be fair. In the last round of consultation, 80 Carterton residents wrote to the WODC, which would seem impressive if taken in isolation of the fact that there are well over 17,000 people living there. For the record, no one from the group spoke at the meeting referred to above. You may be confusing us with the Brize Norton Parish Council, who appear to be against development on any site. shane r

12:08am Mon 19 Nov 12

GarbyCasLad says...

Shane R - "Eagle Eyes"?, not really, it was quite obvious, but you should'nt let a 5 year old take the rap for the sign - you should give him/her a "Blue Peter" badge for excellent joinery and sign writing skills (although I'm sure they had some help form Mum, Dad, "Uncle Shane" and "Uncle Keith")!

Confused? - Yes I am - Save Brize Norton Village Group say they do not have a preferred location (as long as it is on the North, West or REEMA) but clearly are adopting a "West is Best" position; and Brize Norton PC stated at the WODC meeting that they do have a preferred location but now "appear to be against development on any site"

Rather than creating a village against village situation, Brize Norton should be asking Carterton Town Council why they have actively sought another new strategic housing site in this area instead of supporting the regeneration of the REEMA and other brownfield sites.
Shane R - "Eagle Eyes"?, not really, it was quite obvious, but you should'nt let a 5 year old take the rap for the sign - you should give him/her a "Blue Peter" badge for excellent joinery and sign writing skills (although I'm sure they had some help form Mum, Dad, "Uncle Shane" and "Uncle Keith")! Confused? - Yes I am - Save Brize Norton Village Group say they do not have a preferred location (as long as it is on the North, West or REEMA) but clearly are adopting a "West is Best" position; and Brize Norton PC stated at the WODC meeting that they do have a preferred location but now "appear to be against development on any site" Rather than creating a village against village situation, Brize Norton should be asking Carterton Town Council why they have actively sought another new strategic housing site in this area instead of supporting the regeneration of the REEMA and other brownfield sites. GarbyCasLad

7:24am Mon 19 Nov 12

shane r says...

We (Carterton council, the majority of Carterton and Brize residents, Brize PC, SBNV group) are united in our opposition.

The WODC are well aware of this. Lets all hope they see sense. We've been in this fight for 10 years.
We (Carterton council, the majority of Carterton and Brize residents, Brize PC, SBNV group) are united in our opposition. The WODC are well aware of this. Lets all hope they see sense. We've been in this fight for 10 years. shane r

10:54am Mon 19 Nov 12

Angharad12 says...

I'm confused now. Shane you make it sound like CTC are now opposed to development. As I understand it they are activelty promoting expansion of the town. You also makre it sound like you worked with them to promote locating that desired expansion to the west. You would have been better off fighting any expansion of the town, rather than supporting it (but not near you). CTC don't make the final decision and it's no good hoping that expansion will go to a site which isn't viable. I can't understand why you think Carterton residents are pro-West. That leaflet CasLad mentioned telling residents of Brize to support Carterton West was not a fair tactic and was no doubt not devised by a single person or their child acting on their own initiative. I still really hope that WODC will make better use of the REEMA land and infill to avoid building on greenfield sites and that is what I and I am sure others will be saying to WODC during the consultaion. I also hope you will argue against the need to expand Carterton rather than suggest building to the North and West as suggested by you above.
I'm confused now. Shane you make it sound like CTC are now opposed to development. As I understand it they are activelty promoting expansion of the town. You also makre it sound like you worked with them to promote locating that desired expansion to the west. You would have been better off fighting any expansion of the town, rather than supporting it (but not near you). CTC don't make the final decision and it's no good hoping that expansion will go to a site which isn't viable. I can't understand why you think Carterton residents are pro-West. That leaflet CasLad mentioned telling residents of Brize to support Carterton West was not a fair tactic and was no doubt not devised by a single person or their child acting on their own initiative. I still really hope that WODC will make better use of the REEMA land and infill to avoid building on greenfield sites and that is what I and I am sure others will be saying to WODC during the consultaion. I also hope you will argue against the need to expand Carterton rather than suggest building to the North and West as suggested by you above. Angharad12

4:58pm Mon 19 Nov 12

shane r says...

It's obvious that any further expansion of Carterton is utter madness. As discussed, the infrastructure cannot handle the existing population. Further growth to a town with no employment prospects whatsoever will continue to swell the massive bedroom community, where everyone commutes afar for work and simply return to sleep.

The WODC are determined to stumble on with their mindless expansion plans. It is clearly now a case of 'if', it is a case of 'where'.

It is a very sad state of affairs for all. Initially I had discussions with the other villages around banding together to oppose ANY expansion. However, the others jumped ship long ago and instead put their weight behind opposition to their respective sites.

WODC have done a truly effective job of dividing this great community.
It's obvious that any further expansion of Carterton is utter madness. As discussed, the infrastructure cannot handle the existing population. Further growth to a town with no employment prospects whatsoever will continue to swell the massive bedroom community, where everyone commutes afar for work and simply return to sleep. The WODC are determined to stumble on with their mindless expansion plans. It is clearly now a case of 'if', it is a case of 'where'. It is a very sad state of affairs for all. Initially I had discussions with the other villages around banding together to oppose ANY expansion. However, the others jumped ship long ago and instead put their weight behind opposition to their respective sites. WODC have done a truly effective job of dividing this great community. shane r

5:41am Tue 20 Nov 12

Angharad12 says...

Shane, I completely agree with you that the expansion of Carterton is unecessary. (I read that 80% of the houses built in the last decade were occupied by people who moved here from elsewhere, so we aren't growing as much as everyone thinks.) It has happened because CTC have specifically asked for it, but none of the sites they are pushing are in their parish. I agree that this sort of thing divides communities. It's right that each one should oppose sites that affect them, but oppose the principle of expansion of the town too and based on what I have seen, it seems that Shilton and Alvescot and other villages have done just that. They haven't promoted development of other sites apart from REEMA. I heard that a councillor for the Chipping Norton area has been saying that Carterton should take their share of houses too, because 'Carterton wants them', but how many people in the town and surrounding villages really want expansion? A vocal few have given the impression that expansion is what the community wants and have assumed that the RAF Lyneham relocation will bring floods of people. I read in the paper that this was an incorrect assumption and yet we still face expansion. I just don't agree that big is beautiful, myself.
Shane, I completely agree with you that the expansion of Carterton is unecessary. (I read that 80% of the houses built in the last decade were occupied by people who moved here from elsewhere, so we aren't growing as much as everyone thinks.) It has happened because CTC have specifically asked for it, but none of the sites they are pushing are in their parish. I agree that this sort of thing divides communities. It's right that each one should oppose sites that affect them, but oppose the principle of expansion of the town too and based on what I have seen, it seems that Shilton and Alvescot and other villages have done just that. They haven't promoted development of other sites apart from REEMA. I heard that a councillor for the Chipping Norton area has been saying that Carterton should take their share of houses too, because 'Carterton wants them', but how many people in the town and surrounding villages really want expansion? A vocal few have given the impression that expansion is what the community wants and have assumed that the RAF Lyneham relocation will bring floods of people. I read in the paper that this was an incorrect assumption and yet we still face expansion. I just don't agree that big is beautiful, myself. Angharad12

9:11am Tue 20 Nov 12

J Garbutt says...

It is true that Carterton doesn't need to expand. The population is more like 14K, I believe, but the Census will confirm that soon. That's 13% of the District, but the town allocated 34% of the growth, thanks to CTC welcoming it. After the wave of aggressive development that is still in the plan is over, which is set to happen by 2016, the natural change in the District thereafter and until 2029 is only 1,000 people and by the end of the period it will fall. This is all confirmed by WODC's latest demographic projection. We are simply generating a need for houses by bulidling them! If we persist with building at an aggressive rate, we will perpetuate the problem and where next? Of course, there is a need for affordable housing, but the waiting list contains double counting and many applicants who do not qualify. The residual need is mostly for small 1-2 bed homes that could be delivered in a more creative way. Many believe that we have to put all these thousands of houses somewhere, but they may feel differently if they realise we actually don't. WODC now concede that we do not need these houses to meet population growth, but they are under pressure to follow Governmental desires to stimulate the economy by building houses. However, past evidence suggests that doing so gives short term gain, but is worse for the economy in the long run, as housing market collapses lead to recessions. It seems to be the same mistake made over and over by successive governments.
It is true that Carterton doesn't need to expand. The population is more like 14K, I believe, but the Census will confirm that soon. That's 13% of the District, but the town allocated 34% of the growth, thanks to CTC welcoming it. After the wave of aggressive development that is still in the plan is over, which is set to happen by 2016, the natural change in the District thereafter and until 2029 is only 1,000 people and by the end of the period it will fall. This is all confirmed by WODC's latest demographic projection. We are simply generating a need for houses by bulidling them! If we persist with building at an aggressive rate, we will perpetuate the problem and where next? Of course, there is a need for affordable housing, but the waiting list contains double counting and many applicants who do not qualify. The residual need is mostly for small 1-2 bed homes that could be delivered in a more creative way. Many believe that we have to put all these thousands of houses somewhere, but they may feel differently if they realise we actually don't. WODC now concede that we do not need these houses to meet population growth, but they are under pressure to follow Governmental desires to stimulate the economy by building houses. However, past evidence suggests that doing so gives short term gain, but is worse for the economy in the long run, as housing market collapses lead to recessions. It seems to be the same mistake made over and over by successive governments. J Garbutt

3:23pm Tue 20 Nov 12

GarbyCasLad says...

Shane R - now we are almost in agreement! Almost!!

If there are any "mindless expansion plans" then they are with Carterton Town Council who continue to "cozy up" to Developers in the hope that they will deliver growth through huge housing estates in a semi rural area (WODC's words, not mine) of West Oxfordshire.

To be fair, WODC have to produce a plan that is defendable, acceptable (to a Government Inspector) and deliverable. I think WODC should have challenged the the actual housing need harder, because West Oxfordshire has such poor infrastructure (in all forms) - a point actually highlighted in WODC's Draft Report.

The overall result is a balanced report - with a number of specific policy points relating to Carterton, such as regenerating the REEMA estates, a plan for the town centre, (which CTC should welcome and support) and a housing plan based on developing suitable sustainable sites.

If the plan is not supported, completed, and closed out it will be "open season" for any Developer, anywhere in the district - Brize Norton, Witney, Minster Lovell, Bladon, Chipping Norton, North Leigh, Bampton etc., etc. The only winners will be the Developers - and the losers will be those of us who actually live in West Oxfordshire.
Shane R - now we are almost in agreement! Almost!! If there are any "mindless expansion plans" then they are with Carterton Town Council who continue to "cozy up" to Developers in the hope that they will deliver growth through huge housing estates in a semi rural area (WODC's words, not mine) of West Oxfordshire. To be fair, WODC have to produce a plan that is defendable, acceptable (to a Government Inspector) and deliverable. I think WODC should have challenged the the actual housing need harder, because West Oxfordshire has such poor infrastructure (in all forms) - a point actually highlighted in WODC's Draft Report. The overall result is a balanced report - with a number of specific policy points relating to Carterton, such as regenerating the REEMA estates, a plan for the town centre, (which CTC should welcome and support) and a housing plan based on developing suitable sustainable sites. If the plan is not supported, completed, and closed out it will be "open season" for any Developer, anywhere in the district - Brize Norton, Witney, Minster Lovell, Bladon, Chipping Norton, North Leigh, Bampton etc., etc. The only winners will be the Developers - and the losers will be those of us who actually live in West Oxfordshire. GarbyCasLad

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