The Parish Council is hopeful that problems surrounding the delay to the Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) can be ironed out in time for a public referendum by May next year.
The NDP has been confronted by a number of frustrating hurdles in the last year, not least Historic England’s decision to schedule part of the land off Didcot Road, on which is it planned to build the Community Hub, as an Ancient Monument.
The Parish Council is in talks with the archaeologist for the chosen developer, Thomas Homes, who feels that Historic England can be re-assured over its concerns about development of the site. The archaeologist has a meeting with Oxfordshire County Council’s archaeology department and then plans to meet Historic England to seek approval for the development.
Once the Parish Council and Thomas Homes are confident that Historic England will not raise objections, the council will be in a position to re-draft the NDP ready for the final consultation and referendum. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the referendum cannot be held before May next year.
Parish councillor Peter Rose, who’s been heading NDP talks for the last six years, said: “Assuming all goes well we should then be in a position to re-draft the NDP for submission to an examiner. I know it’s very frustrating for the village and all parties but we have to abide by all the protocols if we want to get the NDP approved.”
Revising the NDP has been much more work than we could have ever predicted.
Well done to Peter for his patience and perseverance.
In the meantime we do have the protection of the original NDP which remains in force until it is updated.
They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, one suspects they had less hurdles than here though.