More homes for district?

Cherwell District Council could be forced to build an extra 4,000 homes during the next 20 years over and above the 16,750 it has earmarked in its Local Plan.

The figure published this week is the result of a Strategic Housing Market Assessment for Oxfordshire (OSHMA), initiated by central Government to forecast housing need under its 2011 National Planning Policy Framework.

The figures will almost certainly mean another set of alterations to Cherwell’s Local Plan, which has already been some seven years in the making and is set to be considered for approval by central Government in April.

Cherwell District Council’s lead member for planning, Michael Gibbard, said: “These figures will have implications for planning in Cherwell and the rest of the county.

“We have already commissioned an additional assessment to show what level of additional growth might potentially be delivered in Cherwell over and above the growth we are already planning for.

“Following the completion of this assessment we anticipate making limited modifications to the Cherwell Local Plan to absorb the additional growth proposed for Cherwell over the next 20 years in a very limited number of locations.”

The OSHMA concludes an average of 1,040 new homes are needed in Cherwell in each year from 2011-2031, a total of 20,800.

Cherwell’s draft Local Plan makes provision for 16,750 total new units, a shortfall of 4,050.

Cllr Gibbard confirmed any alterations to the Local Plan are expected to be made after the government’s examination of the document in April.

More details can be found on the council’s website at