Notes of meeting with SODC planning officers from SODC – February 2021

Notes of meeting with SODC planning officers from SODC

15.2.2021 – 2pm via Teams

  1. Land owner CFS10 – There are 3 main points to consider in regard to the emails sent by the Land Owner in response to the regulation 14 consultation.
    1. Site Size
    2. Transport Statement
    3. Ecological Survey

Originally CFS10 was put forward as 1.54ha and this was reduced to 0.49ha in the Aecom Site Assessment and Allocation Report – November 2018, with minor amendments April 2019.  Both CFS10 and CFS8 were assessed by Aecom on this basis.– Footnote 14 of the Aecom report explains the rational.

It be noted that under Landscape in the report, it is stated that if CFS8 remains at a maximum scale of 0.2 hectares in line with settlement hierarchy policy (at the time) significant landscape impacts can be limited. The current allocation of 3 to 4 houses on CFS8 is unlikely to exceed 0.2 hectares. The reduction in the site size of CFS10 does not automatically change the considerations relating to the character and sensitivity of the landscape.

The Aecom assessment concluded, CFS8 is agricultural land, CFS 10 woodland character and that a development on CFS 10 would have greater impact than the loss of a small area of agricultural land at CFS8.


Item B. – Transport Statement

Nothing has changed since the Aecom assessment – CFS10 was assessed as being accessible and connected to the village. Access was not a negative and therefore any change would not change the site rating to green so the evidence submitted by the landowner does not change the assessment.

The information provided by OCC Highways and covered in the Housing Allocation and Requirement Paper was taken as advice given at the time and this was an objection – it is acknowledged that the landowner has demonstrated how some issues could be overcome and that OCC Highway’s position may change however the site did not fail on its original assessment based on access.

CFS8 and CFS10 had the same outcome relating to access from the original Aecom Site Assessment and Allocation Report dated November 2018 – now with minor amendments April 2019.


The NDP Steering Group is advised to update the Housing and requirement paper, to take account of the new evidence sent by the landowner. The transport statement has been put forward during regulation 14 by the site owners.  However, in the original assessment by Aecom the site did not score negatively on access, so no new evidence has been given that would mean a change was required from the original assessment by Aecom.  OCC Highways assessment at the time identified potential issues with the site however it is acknowledged that some issues raised by the County Council can be addressed, this however does not change the overall assessment which concluded that access could be provided. Put a link in to the Aecom Facilitation Report dated November 2020


Item C. – Ecology Report

  1. The original Aecom Site Options and Assessment Report dated November 2018 with minor amendments April 2019 identified the site as woodland character. It is acknowledged that there is a change in circumstances, from The PEA Preliminary Ecological Appraisal report, provided by the site owners and as part of the information submitted during the Regulation 14 Consultation. The Ecological Appraisal indicates that development on the site would not impact on protected species.


  1. Proposal suggested by SODC that the ecology report does change the original assessment by Aecom with regards to species, to acknowledge this within the Housing Requirement and Allocation Paper – July 2019, updated January 2020 and update this again.
  2. To put the comments and map before the conclusion in the housing assessment and requirement paper
  3. Include a link to November 2020 AECOM Facilitation Report in Housing Allocation and Requirement Paper

The correspondence from the owners of CFS10 have been considered and the assessment will be updated where appropriate.




Other landowner responses to Regulation 14

Reading Golf Club – Note comments no change to plan, need to ensure that the valued landscape policy is amended as SODC suggested in regulation 14 consultation

The Elms – refused at planning and appeal for 10 and 14 houses.  Landowners stated that if they knew the requirement was for 3-4 houses, they would have submitted for this number.  This information has been on the website since at least April 2019.  The inspector refused due to coalescence with Caversham and Tokers Green, there wasn’t any further action from landowner between original assessment and regulation 14.

Land near Highlands Ave – General comment – note response – no changes required.  Refer to policy H8


Contact owner CFS8

This could be problematical, if the landowner doesn’t respond to contact by the group.  If the group does decide to e-mail then – ask if he has any issues/concerns with the allocation.  If he doesn’t respond can assume no.

We did confirm in the Housing Requirement and Allocation Paper updated in January 2020 that CFS8 was still available.

Best to proceed with writing the consultation statement and updating the NDP as appropriate to enable the process to move to the next stage.

Next Stage


  1. If Parish Councillors want to see SODC notes of meetings, this has been agreed with SODC planning officers, once the notes of the meetings have been agreed by all parties that were present at the meetings.  In the case of group meetings, that the notes have been presented to the KENDP steering group   This will then be part of the minutes/notes of the KENDP meeting and available via the council website.
  2. The steering group is keeping the parish council updated.  To date this has been via reports at the council meeting and notes of the meeting on the council website.  This has ensured the council is up to date and that the steering group is able to move forward with the next stage, currently the consultation statement and updating the draft plan.
  3. Once the documents are completed, the draft NDP, including consultation statement and basic conditions statement will be presented to the parish council. If agreed the parish council will submit the documents to SODC.
  4. SODC will move to the Post-Submission Consultation – Regulation 16 consultation. During this next stage of consultation (which is SODC’s responsibility) an examiner will be appointed and then at the end of the consultation period (which is currently taking about 7 weeks), the NDP will go to the appointed examiner. This is expected to take 7-8 weeks but could be longer.


Questions for SODC officers (prior to meeting)

The sub group who will be working on the revisions and consultation document met this evening to define what information from yourselves would be most helpful with moving this work forward.
There are a number of fundamental issues that need to be thrashed out
1. Please can you explain H8 and H16 and how they work together and individually.
2. What are the benefits of having an allocation within a NDP , we have understood that it makes the NDP stronger and more robust against speculative development, can you give us evidence of this from other plans or government/local authority documents that support this that we can go back to the community with.
3. The 5 – 10% suggestion if a smaller village is completing a NDP – we are assuming this is the parish and to date the number of houses built in the parish are 34 around 6%. Do we need to be at 10% or can we say we have shown organic growth to date and this is likely to continue.
4. Infill – it would be helpful to have more definition, what sort of size is small and appropriate to location seems vague, what might be appropriate to a landowner can not be so to a neighbour,
5. We would like to further discuss gaps and quiet lanes and coalescence of villages and the policies supporting gaps
6. Should we contact the landowner of CFS8 as they haven’t made contact since attending Sept 2019 open session

Policy H8: Housing in the Smaller Villages
1. The Council will support development within the smaller villages in accordance with Policy H16. Where a Parish Council wishes to prepare a Neighbourhood Development Plan and make housing allocations within it to support further growth, the Council will support this.
2. Those Neighbourhood Development Plans will need to demonstrate that the level of growth they are planning for is commensurate to the scale and character of their village, and this is expected to be around a 5% to 10% increase in dwellings above the number of dwellings in the village in the 2011 census (minus any completions since 1 April 2011).
3. Neighbourhood Development Plans allocating sites on greenfield sites in these locations should consider how development can meet the bespoke needs of their village, including housing mix, tenure and the amount of affordable housing. This policy contributes towards achieving objectives 1, 2 & 3.

4.37 Smaller villages, as defined in the settlement hierarchy (Appendix 7), have no defined requirement to contribute towards delivering additional housing (beyond windfall and infill development) to meet the overall housing requirement of South Oxfordshire. There is a sufficient supply of housing from strategic allocations and from existing planning permissions, which means that the less sustainable settlements will not be required to offset the housing requirement. However some parishes may still wish to proceed with preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan for example to achieve the protection afforded by allocating housing to fund projects they want to deliver or they would like to identify a specific type of housing bespoke to their village’s needs. The Council’s strategy therefore allows them to do so, provided that the levels of growth are commensurate to the size of the village.
Other Villages
4.39 It is not generally expected that those settlements classified as “other villages” will provide a significant source of housing supply, However, it is possible that some development proposals may come forward over the Plan period in these villages, such as single dwellings, infilling and conversions from other uses. Such proposals will be considered against the relevant policies in this Local Plan. 4.40 Some of the other villages may wish to prepare Neighbourhood Development Plans and we will support them to bring these forward in the same way that the Council would support their preparation in smaller villages.

Policy H16:
Backland and Infill Development and Redevelopment
1. Within smaller villages and other villages, development should be limited to infill and the redevelopment of previously developed land or buildings.
2. Infill development is defined as the filling of a small gap in an otherwise continuous built-up frontage or on other sites within settlements where the site is closely surrounded by buildings. The scale of infill should be appropriate to its location.
3. Where a proposal encompasses residential development of land behind an existing frontage or placing of further dwelling/s behind existing dwelling/s within the existing site, the proposals should demonstrate that: i) the privacy of existing and future residents will be protected; ii) means of access can be appropriately secured; and iii) development would not extend the built limits of the settlement.

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