To consider the head of planning’s report.
David Turner, the local ward councillor for Chalgrove, addressed Cabinet. He reported that Martin Baker needed the whole of the Chalgrove Airfield site to operate it business. To develop even part of the site would compromise its business. Apart from local opposition, the development of this site was opposed by the county council and other partnerships in Oxfordshire. The infrastructure funding offered by Homes England was disappointing at £90 million. He urged Cabinet to remove the Chalgrove site from the local plan.
Cabinet then considered the head of planning’s report on the South Oxfordshire Local Plan. The Cabinet member for planning introduced the report. He reminded Cabinet that when it considered a report on 20 March 2018, there were three options:
1. to submit the plan without change;
2. to remove Chalgrove Airfield as a strategic housing allocation and replace it with a site or sites;
3. to retain Chalgrove Airfield as a strategic housing allocation in the plan, but to add a reserve site or sites.
Cabinet had recommended option 1 to Council on 27 March 2018 but Council had rejected this, referring the matter back to Cabinet to reconsider options 2 and 3 and bring recommendations back to Council.
The report now before Cabinet had been updated since 20 March to provide more detailed timetables for both options 2 and 3, to provide further information regarding the process for considering alternative or additional sites and to reflect that the council could now demonstrate a five-year housing land supply.
The Cabinet member for planning believed the council needed to progress the local plan to ensure a supply of housing land to meet the needs of its communities and help its neighbouring city council. In addition, and despite a three-year land supply threshold for a limited period expected this summer as a consequence of signing the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal, the council needed a suitable supply of housing land in the longer term to sustain the government’s requirement of a five-year housing land supply.
The Cabinet member for planning considered that option 1 was too high a risk to secure a sound local plan. However, he proposed a fourth option, which would enable the council to reconsider all sites and would provide officers additional opportunity to work with partners and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to mitigate against the potential loss of planning freedoms and flexibilities attached with the Growth Deal, should the local plan be submitted after March 2019. He suggested that the council should review all sites capable of forming a strategic housing or regeneration allocation promoted through the local plan process up to the end of the Regulation 19 publication period. This should include all the strategic sites proposed in the October 2017 Regulation 19 document and that these sites should also be reassessed based on the latest evidence and information.
Given the uncertainty of not meeting the Growth Deal timelines, which was one of the risks attached to option 2, he suggested ... view the full minutes text for item 89