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Salt Cross 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 Salt Cross garden village will make a major contribution towards homes and jobs in a high quality living environment. It will 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. Taking proper account of environmental considerations and planned infrastructure improvements.

The initial garden village proposals set out in the Local Plan include 2,200 new homes and a new science business park which will give local people an alternative to driving to work in Oxford. Nearby Hanborough railway station together with a new Park and Ride facility to the north of Eynsham will give people an alternative to using their cars.

Salt Cross Garden Village Area Action Plan - Inspector’s Report and Subsequent Legal Challenge

On 1 March 2023, the Council received the final report of the Planning Inspectorate into the examination of the Salt Cross Garden Village Area Action Plan (AAP).

A copy of the Inspector’s report is available to download below.

Printed copies of the report are available for reference purposes in the following locations:

  • Witney Town Centre, 3 Welch Way, Witney, OX28 6JH
  • Witney Library, Welch Way, Witney, OX28 6JH
  • Eynsham Library, 30 Mill Street, Eynsham, OX29 4JS
  • North Leigh Library, Memorial Hall, Park Road, North Leigh, OX29 6SA
  • Woodstock Library, The Oxfordshire Museum, Fletcher’s House, Park Street, Woodstock, OX20 1SN

After the Inspector’s report was received, a legal challenge was submitted by a third party organisation called Rights Community Action. The challenge focused on the conclusions reached by the Inspector in relation to the soundness of AAP Policy 2 – Net Zero Carbon Development.  

The case will be heard in the High Court in November 2023 and as such, any decision regarding the potential formal adoption of the AAP is currently on hold pending the outcome of that process.  

How we got to this point

We have been working on a new Area Action Plan (AAP) to guide the future delivery of Salt Cross. The AAP establishes a vision for Salt Cross and once adopted, will be used alongside the Local Plan and Eynsham Neighbourhood Plan to determine future development proposals.

The final pre-submission draft version of the AAP was published for an eight week period of public consultation from 28 August to 23 October 2020. Salt Cross Pre-Submission Draft AAP (August 2020)

The AAP was submitted for independent examination in February 2021. A copy of the covering letter sent to the Planning Inspectorate is available to download.

The appointed Inspector is Mr Darren McCreery MA BA (Hons) MRTPI with Mr David Spencer BA (Hons) MRTPI appointed as joint Inspector with effect from 2 February 2022.

As part of the examination process, the District Council consulted on a series of proposed Main Modifications (MMs) to the AAP. The consultation ran for 6-weeks from Friday 23 September to Friday 4 November 2022.

The following documents were made available as part of the consultation:

Set out below is a schedule of the consultation responses received.

These schedules were provided to the Planning Inspectors who took them into account in producing their final examination report.

Further information on the AAP examination process to date is available on the Area Action Plan Examination webpage.

Background to the garden village

We submitted an expression of interest to the Government in 2016. 

In January 2017, the Government announced that it would contribute funding towards the new Oxfordshire Cotswolds Garden Village alongside 13 other garden villages and three 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.

Outline planning application

Grosvenor Developments Ltd. working on behalf of the land owners at the garden village site submitted an outline planning application in July 2020. The application proposals are on Public Access with the reference number 20/01734/OUT.