HOUSING development in West Oxfordshire is back in the headlines this week, with the release of the district council’s draft local plan for consultation.

Concerns have already been raised about some of the potential sites around Witney and the district’s other towns contained in the plan and the ability of infrastructure to handle the extra demands that so many extra residents would place on roads and sewer systems.

The district council has laid down a marker by setting a lower target figure for new housing until 2029 than that indicated in the recently-published Strategic Housing Market Assessment for Oxfordshire.

Whether the council’s argument that the district has built more homes than expected in recent years will carry any weight with the planning inspector who will carry out an inquiry into the final version of the plan next year remains to be seen.

Some will no doubt argue during the public consultation on the proposals over the coming weeks that even the council’s figure is too high, especially when there are clear signs that infrastructure such as the A40 is inadequate to meet current needs, never mind cope with extra traffic.

We would encourage everyone to take a look at the draft plan and make their views known to the council, to help it draw up the best possible development strategy for the district.