The draft NDP was completed in July and, following discussion and approval from SODC, it was sent out to consultation with residents and statutory bodies. A meeting in the village hall on 30th July was attended by over 90 people and most expressed support for the NDP. The main areas of concern expressed by a few residents related to the re-building of the school on a new site, rather than refurbishment of the existing school, and the number of houses required. (The community hub – school, pre-school and hall – will be financed entirely from profit from these houses and the number of houses is relatively low because the landowner is prepared to sell land at less than market value).
Formal responses were received from 14 residents and 11 statutory bodies. Comments from residents included the issue of refurbishment of the school rather than a re-build, concerns over the financial viability of the project, and choice and capacity of the chosen site. Most statutory bodies were supportive and gave useful pointers to development of the next stage. However, comments from SODC were critical of many of the policies developed as well as the Character Assessment. Significant work will be needed to address SODC’s concerns. A detailed summary of all comments and our responses is being developed and the current draft is available to parish councillors.
Comments from the consultation have been discussed with SODC and Community First Oxfordshire (CFO) and a plan is in place to amend the current NDP draft. This work is more extensive than originally envisaged and will involve a new contract with CFO and application for further grants to pay for this. It is not mandatory, but the revised NDP will be sent out again for consultation in view of the significant changes to be made.