On the South Oxfordshire Holding Direction – What does it mean

Was hoping last week to blog on the South Oxfordshire Local Plan direction however a <1k speed in the desert location where I am working blocked me.

Following South Oxfordshire District Council Cabinet’s decision on 3 October to recommend withdrawing the emerging South Oxfordshire Local Plan (“the Plan”), I am considering whether to give a direction to South Oxfordshire District Council in relation to the Plan under section 21 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (“the 2004 Act”).
The government remains committed to making sure every community has an up-to-date and sufficiently ambitious Local Plan. Withdrawing the Plan at this stage is instead likely to create uncertainty and expose communities to speculative planning applications.
Therefore, in exercise of the powers under section 21A of the 2004 Act (inserted by section 145(5) of the Housing and Planning Act 2016), I hereby direct South Oxfordshire District Council not to take any step in connection with the adoption of the Plan, while I consider the matter further. This direction will remain in force until I withdraw it or give a direction under section 21 of the 2004 Act in relation to the Plan.
I would like to work constructively with you to ensure that South Oxfordshire is able to deliver the high-quality homes and infrastructure required to support jobs and growth in the local community. As I set out in my letter to you on 26 August 2019, progressing the Plan is an essential step to delivering the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal. I have therefore asked my officials to get in touch with your officers to discuss next steps and will keep you updated
while I consider this matter further.

A local little bird told me that the local administration is taking it as a sign that the government wants to negotiation on its target, else otherwise why didnt it just step in.  They couldn’t be more wrong.

The SOS could intervene under section 21 of the act at any time (the kind of intervention long mooted at Castlepoint) however the SOS was faced with the imminent withdrawal of the current highly advanced (in process) local plan forcing him go back to stage 1.

Of course the result is the process is now frozen.  Leading SODC to (with a straight face) claim the government is holding up the local plan (the same local plan they want to scrap).

IF the SOS took over the local plan dont expect them to revise down the governments own OAN number.  What is more now they have delayed submission past the date of the completion of the London Plan panel report the SOS needs to find an extra 13,000 ‘land contained ‘overspill houses per annum, across ROSE.  As ever SODC cllrs through pride and tunnel vision made the worst possible decision in terms of their concerns and impact on the local community.

This is now a test for Jenryck and Esther ‘Gobshite’ Mc Vey, will they have the balls to intervene here and in Castlepoint and Amber Valley.

 

 

 

‘Hoot to Adopt Local Plan’ Conservatives Protest as S Oxon Cabinet Votes to Junk Local Plan

Key Test if Mc Vey is All Gobshite and No Trousers

Oxford Mail

CONSERVATIVES and residents held a protest aside a busy roundabout to try to gather support for the adoption of South Oxfordshire District Council’s Local Plan.

Traffic built up on Broadway in Didcot and the occasional driver tooted their support as former council leader Jane Murphy and activists called on the authority to follow the plan on Thursday.

Later that evening, the council’s cabinet decided it would recommend to councillors that it dumps its controversial Local Plan and looks again at potential housing sites.

Vale of White Horse District Council has said it would open it up to speculative development.

Bill Service, a former SODC Tory councillor who lost his seat in May, said: “I don’t think the Liberals expected to take the council.

“They promise the earth and they said they were going to stop the houses in South Oxfordshire. But it worries me they haven’t got a plan B.

“We have always spoken the truth. There’s building coming whether we like it or not but let’s have it where we can control it.”

Didcot resident and mum-of-two Sam Slater said she must leave her home at 7.15am every morning to drop off her children at nursery and school to get to work at 8.30am.

She said there are traffic problems in ‘each access and access point in Didcot’ and that new infrastructure is needed to improve the town’s highways.

Councillors have said congestion would be reduced with £218m of Housing Infrastructure Fund money that the government has agreed for Didcot.

Resident Alan Woodley said his family can trace roots in the town back to 1450.

He said: “I am trying to run businesses. I have got several businesses in town and getting in and out of [Didcot] is just a nightmare. We have taken so many houses and we need better infrastructure.”

In a letter, sent on Thursday, Vale council leader Emily Smith warned that her authority faces a ‘very real and immediate risk’ to its five-year land supply if SODC ditches its Local Plan.

But following the decision taken by SODC’s cabinet, its leader Sue Cooper said: “We have considered the detailed matters relating to the Local Plan long and hard over the past few months and I’m pleased that we’re making a clear, decisive and strong recommendation to councillors.”

Mrs Cooper added: “In making this recommendation, my cabinet has sought to do the right thing, not the easy thing, and we will continue to work positively and constructively in the best interests of all South Oxfordshire residents while also tacking the climate emergency, which we have an enormous responsibility to address.”

SODC will decide whether to accept the cabinet’s recommendation next Thursday.

McVey Adopts Taxpayers Alliance Policy on Green Belt – Removing its Strategic Function

Telegraph

People should be able to vote on whether to build on the green belt in their local areas, a housing minister has said.

Esther McVey MP, Minister of State for Housing and Development, told Conservative Party Conference that the protected land could be built on if local communities voted for it.

She told an event hosted by the Tax Payers’ Alliance: “I would put it to the local community and ask them whether they think their green belt is car parks and whether it should be classed as green belt at all. Then we can reclassify and build on it.

“I don’t believe in statist top down policy, I believe in going from the ground up”.

This idea appears to be a departure from her department’s green belt policy….

This was Taxpayers Alliance Policy since 2017.  I cant see how a Green Belt composed only through l;ocal mandates is compatible with the 1955 principle of a national policy of preventing urban sprawl.  A wholly bottom up Green Belt is licensened Nimbyism.  The CPRE should be appalled.
How can a ‘bottom up’ Green Belt be compatible with exceptional circumstances deletions in Local Plans where housing is for a STRATEGIC purpose.  Does Mc Vey even know the meaning of the word strategic?
Of course if it were ‘ca parks’ its a brownfield site in the Green Belt and can be built on already..