West Oxfordshire District Council Cabinet met on 16 March to vote on the West Eynsham Strategic Development Area (SDA) masterplan. Despite objections from the Eynsham community, the Cabinet voted to approve the plan in its current form.
Ahead of the vote, Eynsham Parish Council, local stakeholders, Cllr Dan Levy (Oxfordshire County Council), Cllr Carl Rylett and Cllr Andy Goodwin (both West Oxfordshire District Councillors) all raised concerns about details within the plan, as well as the brevity of time allowed for the masterplan to be reviewed and responded to by the community it impacts. These were considered by the District Council’s Joint Scrutiny Committee (14 March) ahead of the Cabinet meeting.
The bulk of the concerns raised were around the impact the development will have on the local environment and the quality of life for both current residents and the many future ones. This included the limited commitment of developers to make a positive impact on biodiversity, the dearth of carbon-neutral homes to be built, the illogical layout of community amenities on site and the proposal to allow construction site access via the village.
We also raised the issue of a lack of provision for a new burial site in West Eynsham, which is fast becoming a pressing issue for our community. You can read the full response from the Parish Council, in collaboration with EPIC and GreenTEA, in our report to the Cabinet (available via the link at the bottom of the page).
Ultimately, we had requested the plan be rejected at this time to allow for refinements, before being shared again with sufficient opportunity for all stakeholders, local residents and community groups to have their say on a development that will impact largely on their lives.
Unfortunately, the District Council has voted to approve the plans as they are, with no further amendments. We will keep you updated on the next steps as and when they happen.