Council plans to reassess housing sites to decide best way forward for Local Plan

South Oxfordshire District Council will look again at all available sites for major housing development in the district, as long as the extra time it will take does not significantly impact on a countywide housing growth agreement.

Councillors last night (15 May) backed Cabinet recommendations to do more work to determine the most suitable locations before finalising its Local Plan.

The Plan sets out where the main housing sites around the district should be up until 2033, as well as identifying the employment opportunities, schools and other infrastructure that will be needed to support housing growth.

The council intends to reassess each of the main housing sites currently proposed in the Plan, along with previously-considered locations and some additional sites that have more recently been put forward by developers:
Current proposed sites: Culham, Wheatley, Berinsfield and Chalgrove Airfield;
Previously considered (but not progressed) sites: Thornhill, Wick Farm, Lower Elsfield, Grenoble Road, Northfields, Harrington and land at Great Western Park;
Additional sites submitted by developers: land at Emmer Green, Reading, Reading Golf Club, Playhatch at Reading, land off Thame Road, North Weston.
Cllr Felix Bloomfield, Cabinet Member for Planning and the Council’s Deputy Leader, said: “When you’re talking about future housing in a rural district like ours, it’s very important that you get it right. By reviewing the housing sites, we’re looking to ensure the Plan we submit stands the best chance of a planning inspector finding that it’s a ‘sound’ plan and gives us a robust base on which we can build a better South Oxfordshire for everybody.”

This work will happen as long as there is no significant impact on the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal, agreed by all of Oxfordshire’s councils to bring £215m of government funding over the next five years to support housing and infrastructure growth.

If there is an indication that there will be a significant impact on the deal, the council agreed that Chalgrove Airfield should stay in the Local Plan as a strategic housing site for 3,000 new homes, with a reserve site or sites added following assessment work.

Further information about the Local Plan and the steps taken so far can be viewed via the Local Plan page. More information about the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal is available on the Oxfordshire Growth Board website.

River Thame: free monitoring course

Free Riverfly Training day Saturday 21st July 2018 9.30am – 5pm Stadhampton Village Hall, Oxfordshire

This workshop is aimed at those who wish to start riverfly monitoring for the first time, or for those who wish to refresh old skills. Riverflies (caddisflies, mayflies, stoneflies etc) are highly susceptible to changes in pollution so surveying for them gives us a good indication of not only water quality but if/ when a pollution incident has occurred. This one day course provides comprehensive training in the Angler’s Riverfly Monitoring Initiative survey technique and includes presentations, practical demonstrations and active involvement by participants at the riverside. Supported by a comprehensive written guide to the methodology and post-course support from the tutors, you will be shown how to monitor the health of your local river. To book and for more information please email Natalie@riverthame.org

Wallingford Festival of Cycling

The Wallingford Festival of Cycling – which has grown from just one day at its launch in 2014 – is packed with events to inspire as many people as possible, young and old, to get on their bikes. This not for profit festival is run entirely by volunteer cycling enthusiasts and features a mix of free and paid-for activities, all centered around the community and bikes.

Starting on Friday 6 July to Sunday 8 July, it promises an action-packed weekend. Activities include several organised rides for all ages and abilities, a pump track, outdoor spin classes, children’s cycle coaching and more. New additions include The Festival Cycling Show at the Wallingford Corn Exchange and the crazy soap box challenge! We are also delighted to partner with local charity Style Acre who will be organising our first ever Inclusive Ride on Sunday in the town centre.

Events like this cannot happen without our wonderful volunteers, so if you fancy getting involved, please get in contact.

For more information, please visit our website www.wfoc.co.uk, follow us on Twitter @wfocycling or Facebook /wallingfordfestivalofcycling or contact

Bank Holiday bin collection update

South Oxfordshire District Council is reminding householders of the usual changes to their waste collections during the week following May Bank Holiday Monday.
There will be no waste collections on Bank Holiday Monday 7 May. Everyone’s bins will then be emptied one day later than usual for the rest of that week.
This includes households who normally have their bins emptied on a Friday – crews will be working on Saturday 12 May to catch up as normal on a bank holiday week.
In South Oxfordshire, this is a green bin, brown bin and food waste bin collection week.
See Bank Holiday collections for further information.

Did you know? …the council can now collect cooking oil placed in a plastic bottle (no bigger than 1 litre) inside your food waste caddy.
To keep up to date try Binzone, the council’s great app, which is designed for smartphones so you can have all your collection dates at your fingertips all day, every day. Search for ‘Binzone’ on Google Pay Store (Android) or on Appstore (Apple).