Community Hub Progress to Date

During the development of the Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP), draft plans for the Hub were sketched out by Thomas Homes to ensure it was feasible to build the project which would be cross funded by new homes.  The Parish Council held several public meetings where plans for the proposals were displayed and residents were able to give feedback and support for the draft proposals.

The NDP was adopted by the village in September 2017 after an amazing level of support at the referendum.  South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) then formally adopted the NDP and it became part of Local Planning Policies as a “made” plan in October 2017.

The NDP promotes the Hub as one of the key policies.

Following adoption of the NDP, Thomas Homes began negotiations on an Option Agreement for them to buy the necessary land from Mr Weavers.  Their option is subject to Planning Consent and includes all of the obligations to build the Hub as part of the overall development.  The Option was completed in Spring 2018.

In Spring 2018 a Village Hall Working Group was formed to look at local village halls and make recommendations for the design and layout of our village hall.  The group’s “Strategic Brief” can be viewed on the Plans and Documents page.

The current school is jointly owned and managed by both Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) and the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education.  The Parish Council has been working with both Authorities ever since the Hub idea was put together.

To help with funding the community facilities the Parish Council has negotiated that approximately half the current school site will be used for new homes and profits will go towards the Hub.  The other half of the site will become a new village open space in accordance with the NDP.

Both OCC and the Diocese confirmed their formal support for the project at the beginning of September 2018.

A village meeting was held on 11th April 2019 at which Thomas Homes presented plans and designs.  It was hoped to hold another meeting in 2019 but a detailed archeological survey of the Hub site and surrounding fields revealed significant finds which led to Historic England scheduling part of the site in March 2020.

Thomas Homes proposed a new layout which avoided building on any of the land scheduled by Historic England.  The village hall and school were moved from the east to the south of the development and the school playing field extended south towards the southern boundary of the field.  Historic England advised Thomas Homes to undertake further archaeological excavation before the county archaeologist (and therefore Historic England) could approve the new plans.

The extra archaeological work was carried out in April 2021 and the report on the findings was completed in mid May.  In Autumn 2021, Historic England confirmed that it was happy for the Community Hub site to be developed as specified.

By the end of 2021, Thomas Homes, was working on a new set of plans to take into the account the archaeological findings.  In February 2022, these draft plans were presented at a village meeting.  Further meetings with residents were held on 19th March 2022  to discuss specific areas of the project in detail.

Throughout 2022 and early 2023, Thomas Homes finalised the plans.  They were presented at a village meeting on 22nd March 2023.  The planning application was submitted to SODC in April 2023 and the public consultation ended on 8th June 2023.

In March 2024 the Parish Council was advised that the planning application for the Community Hub is acceptable to South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) and Oxfordshire District Council (OCC).

The planning officer’s report was received in early April 2024.  It grants planning permission subject to a Section 106 Agreement between the involved parties and noting 33 conditions, most of which are technical.  The solicitors for the County Council, the Diocese, Robert Weavers and Thomas Homes have been briefed to start work on the S106 Agreement.