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VHDC Planning Changes

The Parish Council appreciated the offers of help from residents to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan. More volunteers would, however, be necessary before preparing a Plan would be viable. At present Wootton does not have a housing allocation in the Vale of White Horse District Council Local Plan Part 1 which is now in the final stages of completion. In Part 1 there are no proposals to remove any sites in Wootton from the Green Belt. This could change in The Local Plan Part 2 which will be the subject of consultation in the next few months. The decision of whether there is benefit in having a Neighbourhood Plan may well be influenced by whether there are proposals in the Local Plan Part 2 which significantly affect the Parish.

The Vale of White Horse District Council has changed its constitution to enable it to reduce the number of planning applications where there have been objections which go to the Planning Committee. The quid pro quo is intended to be that there will be more consultation in advance of the application being considered. The Head of Planning will be given greater delegated authority and there will be a role for the District Councillor to decide where objections are significant enough for the application to be considered by the Planning Committee. It remains to be seen how the new arrangements will work in practice but this is perhaps another indication of the thrust from central government towards approval of applications rather than refusal.