Oxfordshire Cotswolds Garden Village
A key element of the emerging West Oxfordshire Local Plan 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 science business park proposed with the garden village will give local people an alternative to driving to work in Oxford. In addition, the nearby Hanborough railway station together with the planned Park and Ride facility to the north of Eynsham will give people an alternative to using their cars.
It is anticipated that the new Park and Ride site will be open by 2020 with the first homes completed at the garden village in 2021/22 or possibly sooner if development can be accelerated.
Expression of interest
The District Council submitted an expression of interest to the Government in 2016 to obtain Garden Village Status for the proposed development area.
West Oxfordshire District Council welcomed the announcement made by central government that it will contribute funding towards the new Garden Village.
Government support will help to deliver around 2,200 homes by 2031, as well as a new science park and other supporting facilities required to create a standalone village settlement.
The Local Plan
The proposed garden village is one a number of strategic housing allocations identified in the emerging draft Local Plan. It forms part of a total of 15,950 homes set to be built by 2031, of which 2,750 have been allocated as the District’s contribution to Oxford’s unmet housing need.
Following examination hearing sessions held in May and July 2017 the Council has prepared some additional evidence which has been made available for consultation, after which point the Inspector is expected to publish his thoughts on the most appropriate way forward for the Local Plan including in relation to the proposed garden village.
Detailed planning and funding
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 at this year’s Autumn Statement.
Whilst the site is not yet the subject of a planning application, a development partner has been appointed on behalf of the landowners and is now undertaking the initial work needed to work up a masterplan and planning application for the site.
It is anticipated that following the planning application process, the first homes will be completed at the garden village in 2021/22.
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.
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.