Eynsham's Neighbourhood Plan (NP) has been in progress since late 2014.
During 2015 we gathered opinions from residents through open days, village events, surveys and questionnaires. We also collected data from sources such as the Census and other public sources to make a village database which is our starting point and identifies what the village already has and will need in future in terms of housing, education and facilities.
We have looked at possible development sites and the options available in terms of both new homes and the facilities to support new residents while ensuring that village life is not spoiled by development without facilities to sustain it.
We have to make our plans fit in with the Local Plan of West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) but they are struggling to get their plan approved to the point where it will not be complete by the time we hope to have our plan formally accepted in 2017.
The village already has a number of planning applications being pushed by developers keen to get approval for a large number of houses which will contribute plenty of misery to existing residents in terms of extra traffic and demands on school places without contributing much to the facilities necessary to support these new homes. Without a Neighbourhood Plan it is difficult to show that we are prepared to accept even more houses than currently proposed, as long as the conditions are right.
To this end our emphasis has shifted to our 'policies' as these will govern all development of any size, type and location. It may be that we have to make our Plan with just policies in the first instance until WODC have completed their plan.