WaGCG : Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WaGCG)

Background to Planning Issues

Planning issues need to be addressed at a number of levels:

Town/ Parish Councils - have influence but no power to change anything.

Vale of the White Horse District Council - can decide where in the Vale the new houses should go but appears to have little influence over how many houses should be built. They can sort out our leisure facilities and refuse collections.

The Vale of the White Horse District Council is the planning authority for Wantage and Grove and is part of the Oxfordshire Growth Board. The Growth Board sets the housing targets for Oxfordshire. The District Council is then responsible for deciding where this housing is built and producing the Local Plan. Local plans must be positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national policy in accordance with section 20 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended) and the National Planning Policy Framework. The District Council will then approve planning applications in line with the plan. They are also responsible for waste management, leisure facilities and flood management.

Oxfordshire County Council - can make decisions on highways, schools, social services etc.

The Future Oxfordshire Partnership - (formerly Oxfordshire Growth Board and before that Oxfordshire Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Partnership) decides how many houses are required in Oxfordshire and which District they should be in.

Central Government - decides the strategy and says every local authority has a duty, first and foremost, to meet objectively assessed housing need. The law on planning is based on the The National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF) 2012.

Planning Inspectors - approve the Local Plan and the Neighbourhood plans - or not if they don't like them - and adjudicate on planning appeals.

In Summary

As John Gummer, Lord Deben, put it so succinctly:

  1. We do need to build more homes
  2. We need all the agricultural land we can get if we want to feed ourselves
  3. Sustainable communities are a crucial part of our battle against climate change
  4. The revolution in commercial activity and retailing will make fundamental changes to the urban landscape
  5. The long-held Treasury belief that the shortage of housing is the result of the planning system is not true.
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