Whilst SODC’s draft local plan Examination in Public concludes this week (and irrespective of any decisions from the Inspector) there is still an open planning application for Chalgrove Airfield by Homes England in place which we are asking everyone to respond to.
To that end, we will start to post suggestions for subjects that people may want to incorporate into their responses. We’ll try and find something each day to look at, if we can. Remember – be factual rather than emotional, and make sure that you use your own words. Every council tax payer can respond, this is not one per household. And – if you have already responded, you can always add more to your response!
Today’s Topic – Sustainable Transport.
The Planning Application makes reference to the National Planning Policy Framework 2019 Section 9, which requires that opportunities to promote walking, cycling and public transport use are identified and pursued.
Whilst it is clear from the planning application that there is sufficient walking and cycling infrastructure within the development itself, the opportunities for cycling and walking beyond the site boundaries are extremely limited. The only proposed dedicated cycle paths are from Chalgrove to Stadhampton, by paving over existing verges; and Chalgrove to Little Milton via Rofford Lane by closing Rofford Lane to vehicle traffic, forcing cars to travel via Stadhampton and past Little Milton Primary School – are you happy with that idea?
What are your thoughts on cycling and walking provision for a combined settlement of over 10,000 people, given how narrow our local lanes are, and the distances to centres of employment or retail? Would you cycle to Oxford, or Thame, or Wallingford, or Henley? In the application public transport is limited to a bus service to Oxford, and potentially a bus service to Didcot, but nothing to any of the market towns. How would you get to the railway station at Haddenham? Or to the markets in Thame or Wallingford? Or retail in Henley or Reading or Bicester? How would you get to work by bus if you did not work in Oxford or Didcot, and if the development did not have enough employment for you to work locally? If the answer is by car, then we need to say so. Designing a new town that will ultimately be a car based settlement goes against both the draft local plan policies, as well as current government policy. Make sure that this is included in your response to SODC.
Responses to the application can be submitted via the link above and must be done by 1st September. Many thanks, as always, for your continued support.