Oxfordshire Cotswolds Garden Village
A key element of the West Oxfordshire Local Plan 2031 is the establishment of a new Garden Village to the north of the A40 near Eynsham.
The new garden village will make a major contribution towards providing much-needed homes and jobs in a high quality living environment. It will also unlock funds to improve infrastructure and boost the case for improvements to local transport links, including upgrades to the A40.
It will be a new standalone settlement, self-contained with its own village facilities, such as schools, community resources and employment opportunities, whilst taking proper account of environmental considerations and planned infrastructure improvements.
The initial garden village proposals set out in the Local Plan include a new science business park which will give local people an alternative to driving to work in Oxford. In addition, the nearby Hanborough railway station together with a new Park and Ride facility to the north of Eynsham (expected to be open by 2020) will give people an alternative to using their cars.
What is a Garden Village
Garden villages are new settlements of between 1,500 and 10,000 homes. The Government has identified 14 new garden villages across England and these include:
- Long Marston in Stratford-on-Avon
- Oxfordshire Cotswold in West Oxfordshire
- Deenethorpe in East Northants
- Culm in Mid Devon
- Welborne near Fareham in Hampshire
- West Carclaze in Cornwall
- Dunton Hills near Brentwood, Essex
- Spitalgate Heath in South Kesteven, Lincolnshire
- Halsnead in Knowsley, Merseyside
- Longcross in Runnymede and Surrey Heath
- Bailrigg in Lancaster
- Infinity Garden Village in South Derbyshire and Derby City area
- St Cuthberts near Carlisle City, Cumbria
- North Cheshire in Cheshire East
Garden towns are larger new settlements of more than 10,000 homes. There are three new garden towns including:
- Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
- Taunton, Somerset
- Harlow & Gilston, Essex and Hertfordshire
These new settlements will be based on key principles established through the ‘Garden City movement’ in the late 19th Century including:
- Strong vision, leadership and community engagement
- Community ownership of land and long term stewardship of assets
- Provision of a wide range of jobs within easy commuting distance of homes
- Ensuring a broad mix of housing types and tenures that are genuinely affordable including starter homes and opportunities for self-build
- Providing integrated and accessible transport systems, with walking, cycling and public transport designed to be the most attractive forms of local transport
- Beautifully and imaginatively designed homes with gardens, combining the best of town and country to create healthy communities, and including opportunities to grow food
- Strong cultural, recreational and shopping facilities in walkable, vibrant, sociable neighbourhoods
- Development that enhances the natural environment, providing a comprehensive green infrastructure network and net biodiversity gains, and seeks to minimise carbon use and achieve energy-positive technology to ensure climate resilience
- Land value capture for the benefit of the community
Area Action Plan (AAP)
The Council’s intention is to prepare a separate ‘Area Action Plan’ (AAP) for the Garden Village to set out in more detail how the new development will be taken forward, what it will look like and how it will function. It is anticipated that the AAP will be adopted by October 2019.
Key dates are as follows:
- Initial ‘issues’ type consultation – May 2018
- ‘Preferred option’ type consultation – September 2018
- Formal consultation on submission draft AAP – January 2019
- Submission for examination – April 2019
- Examination – June 2019
- Adoption – October 2019
Ahead of the initial issues consultation in May we will prepare a brief ‘fact sheet’ on the garden village site for information purposes. This will be available to download together with a ‘Local Insight’ report on the Eynsham area more generally produced by the Oxford City Council and District Data Service in January 2018. This is available to download below:
A development partner – Grosvenor Developments Ltd - has been appointed on behalf of the landowners and is now undertaking the initial work needed to develop a masterplan and outline planning application for the site which will be prepared in parallel with the AAP and submitted in 2019.
It is anticipated that following the planning application process, the first homes will be completed at the garden village in 2021/22.
In developing the AAP, we will be seeking to work closely with a range of stakeholders, including communities and local parishes, land owners, developers and specialists in environment and heritage protection.
We will also be asking local communities for their views and contributions on many aspects of the village development from naming it to commenting and influencing its design.
Grosvenor will also be undertaking its community engagement in respect of its outline planning application and where possible and appropriate the two processes will be aligned.
The District Council submitted an expression of interest to the Government in 2016.
In January 2017, the Government announced that the Council’s expression of interest had been successful and that it will contribute funding towards the new Oxfordshire Cotswolds Garden Village alongside 13 other garden villages and 3 garden towns.
Government backing for the Garden Village allows detailed planning to begin and the opportunity to access infrastructure funding programmes across government, such as the new £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund announced through last year’s Autumn Statement.