No need for more sprawling housing estates

First published in Letters

Sir – I refer to your correspondent, Keith Beckingham, and his letter headed 'Sanity should prevail'.

I agree that West Oxfordshire District Council should be commended for their four exhibitions as part of a very transparent Local Plan consultation process.

However Me Beckingham’s claim that the council “have diverted from their original plan to develop the area to the west of Carterton” is simply not true.

The potential West proposal, along with the two North sites and the East site were options that the council thoroughly evaluated using a sequential sustainability test.

This is recorded in great detail in the documents supporting the Draft Local Plan.

The council agrees with Mr Beckingham that the land to the west of Carterton is “greenfield” and that development of it would represent a major incursion into open countryside.

Therefore sanity has prevailed here, as the council has discounted the land to the west of Carterton as it is the least sustainable against the parameters of the framework established by the National Planning Policy.

It is precisely because it is in open countryside that it is least sustainable.

Carterton Town Council asked for 1,000 houses in earlier consultation and they have been allocated 1,850 in this plan.

This is twice as many, per capita, as Witney and three times as many as the rest of the district as a whole.

Without Carterton East, the remaining 1,150 homes allocated to Carterton are more than enough.

We do need extra care facilities for the elderly and affordable family housing options – what we don’t need are more vast sprawling estates of large houses.

Brize Norton should be vigorously challenging the supposed need for those houses, not trying to push the allocation on to the west.

“Don’t build near us but go ahead and build near someone else” is not a good technical argument.

Andrew Garbutt, Alvescot Road, Alvescot


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