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Wheatley

Land off London Road - Wheatley - Oxfordshire

Planning permission has been granted for 50 new homes, with 75% (38 homes) to be affordable housing and 25% (12 homes) .

  • Land off London Road

     Planning permission has now been granted for 50 new homes, with 75% (38 homes) to be affordable housing and 25% (12 homes) to be sold on the private market to generate the funding for the affordable element of the scheme.

    Our plans where brought forward in partnership with South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) and Wheatley Parish Council, who have identified the site as a suitable location to meet the local need for affordable housing.

    Development of the site is in accordance with SODC’s rural exception policy, which allows for affordable housing-led developments to be brought forward on land adjoining larger villages in the district in order to meet identified housing needs.

    Our proposal was presented to the local community during a public consultation event in Wheatley on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 March. You can view the exhibition boards which were on display at the event by clicking here, and further information about the proposals is also available by exploring these web pages.

  • The proposed development site

    About the site
    The development site is located to the north of London Road, south of the A40 and west of Fairfax Gate and Cromwell Place.

    The land has been identified by SODC and Wheatley Parish Council as a suitable site to meet the local need for affordable housing. This selection process followed a period of public consultation which asked local people to comment on preferred locations for affordable homes in the village. SODC subsequently approached Taylor Wimpey in order to facilitate the delivery of housing on this preferred site.

    SODC’s Rural Exception Site policy
    Rural exception sites are schemes where there are planning restrictions requiring that people with a strong local connection to the village or parish should receive priority for the affordable homes.

    In the first instance, applicants must meet appropriate eligibility criteria to join the housing register – including current and permanent residence for at least six months, previous residents for six months of the last 12 or three years of the last five, current permanent employment for at least 15 hours a week, or current residence of a close family member for at least five years.

    For Rural Exception Sites, applicants must also qualify for a strong local connection – so they should either have lived in the parish for five of the last eight years and be a current resident, or have lived in the parish for at least five years and their parents or children have also lived there for at least 10 years.

    Further information about joining the housing register is available at southoxfordshirehomechoice.org.uk.

    About Wheatley
    Wheatley is one of the larger villages in South Oxfordshire, with a population of around 3,900 people. It is located near Oxford in the north-west of the district, and enjoys good travel connections to Thame and Oxford city. The village is completely surrounded by the Oxford Green Belt.

    SODC states that, according to the 2011 National Census, the net population of the village grew by one person between 2001 and 2011. This means that many new homes now have fewer people living in them. In the same period, the overall age of Wheatley’s population has increased.

    There are around 1,700 homes in Wheatley. Three quarters of these are owner-occupied, with less than 10% of the village’s housing stock leased through a Registered Social Landlord. This is lower than the district average. There is a higher proportion of one-bedroom homes in Wheatley than the rest of South Oxfordshire.

    45 new homes were built between 2001 and 2012 – this is around 1.5% of all new homes across South Oxfordshire. Oxfordshire County Council believes there is capacity in the local primary school to accommodate new development. Thames Valley Police have stated that new homes may require additional policing resources.

    Site considerations

    Before we start designing a new scheme, we complete an assessment of the site and the surrounding area as they are at the moment. We record those features we will need to take into account in our design. All of the relevant considerations, whether they fix the way our scheme will have to be designed or give us a real opportunity to make the most of a particular feature, are shown here.

    Cons  Opps

    The characteristics of the site and its surroundings which we are taking into consideration in the design of our development.

    Trees
    Our proposed development will be carefully planned to ensure that existing good-quality trees are retained as part of the scheme and also protected from potential damage during construction.

    A Tree Survey has been conducted on site to identify trees which are appropriate for retention, protection and integration with the scheme design.

    Most of the existing trees fall into Category C (low quality) – however, all trees which are subject to Tree Preservation Orders will be protected, while trees of Category A (very high quality) and Category B (moderate quality) will receive priority for retention – including a number of trees at the southern boundary of the site.

    Noise attenuation
    Under our proposals, the existing hedgerow to the northern boundary of the site will be cut back to a maintainable state and a new landscaped bund and acoustic fence will be created to screen the development against noise from the A40.

    Neighbouring homes
    The amenity of neighbouring residential dwellings in Fairfax Gate and Cromwell Place has been carefully respected in the design of our proposals, with the nearest new homes located a considerable distance away from existing properties and existing boundaries retained.

    Holton Estate perimeter wall
    The Holton Estate perimeter stone wall will be retained as part of our proposals to provide screening from London Road, with two narrow openings formed to create vehicular and pedestrian access points into the site.

    Amenity space
    New amenity space areas will be created at the eastern boundary of the site, providing opportunities for informal recreation as well as wildlife habitats, with some of the existing trees in this area to be retained.

    Ecology
    The site is dominated by grassland and ruderal vegetation, along with areas of scrub and developing woodland, of limited ecological value. Higher-value habitats are present in the form of semi-improved grassland, hedgerow and trees. Hedgerow and trees will be largely retained and enhanced as part of the scheme, whilst higher-value grassland to be lost will be replaced in the north of the site.

    A range of surveys have been carried out which have identified small numbers of Slow-worm and low-level use of the site by small numbers of common bat and bird species, with a number of trees also having potential for roosting bats. Habitat management and creation measures will ensure continued opportunities are present for these species and green corridors are maintained through the site for wildlife. There is also an opportunity to provide a range of bird/bat boxes as part of the scheme.

  • About our proposals

    Our proposed development comprises a total of 50 new homes – including 38 affordable homes. These will be administered by a council-approved housing association with the expectation that they will be allocated to local people in housing need.

    The remaining 12 properties will be sold by Taylor Wimpey on the private market. This is to ensure that sufficient funding can be generated for the provision of the affordable homes.

    The image below shows our layout masterplan for the proposed development, which we have developed in consultation with South Oxfordshire District Council and Wheatley Parish Council. Our scheme includes the following key elements:

    • 50 new homes
    • 38 affordable homes (75%) to be administered by a council-approved housing association
    • 12 Taylor Wimpey homes for sale on the private market
    • Landscaping, planting and public open space to create a pleasant green environment
    • Access from two locations off London Road
    • Garages and off-street parking spaces for residents and visitors 

    Layout Plan Web

     

    The proposed layout of our development.

     

    Our proposed designs

    Our proposed scheme seeks to create a high-quality development that can help to fulfil the requirement for affordable housing in Wheatley on a site which has been identified as a preferred location for residential development.

    The images below illustrate how our proposed new homes could look, showing examples of some of the architectural styles, features and building materials we are planning to use.

    Street Scenes Web

     

    Artists' impressions of typical street scenes at our proposed development.

     

    Traffic, access and parking

    Traffic/access/highways
    The proposed development is likely to generate around 30 two-way vehicle trips (arriving or departing) in each of the morning (8am-9am) and evening (5pm-6pm) peak hours – an average of one vehicle movement every two minutes.

    A Transport Statement will be submitted with the planning application, and we are working with Oxfordshire County Council to agree the scope of that document.

    The design of our proposed vehicular accesses will be informed by new speed surveys to be undertaken on London Road.

    Pedestrian access
    Suitable new crossing facilities will be provided as part of our access proposals to allow pedestrians to cross from the site to the southern side of London Road.

    A new footpath along the northern side of London Road is also likely to be provided, subject to discussions with Oxfordshire County Council.

    An existing pedestrian walkway from the end of The Glebe to Church Road provides access to High Street, where the majority of Wheatley’s local facilities can be found.

    The existing footpath in the woodland to the west of the site will be upgraded and extended through the development, connecting to London Road via the two proposed access points.

    Car parking
    Car parking will be provided in accordance with Oxfordshire County Council’s required standards, which include a formula for calculating parking provision based on the size of the homes. This will typically allow for 1 parking space per apartment and 2 spaces per house, plus additional unallocated parking for visitors.

  • Local contributions

    As part of our proposals, we have worked with the local authorities to discuss contributions which may be required to mitigate the impact of the development on existing local facilities, services and infrastructure (e.g. schools, roads, healthcare, public open space, leisure facilities and libraries). These contributions have been agreed as a condition of planning permission.

  • Development timeline

    Friday 27 and Saturday 28 March 2015 - Public exhibition

    Tuesday 7 April 2015 - End of public consultation period

    April / May 2015 - Feedback reviewed and further discussions with Wheatley Parish Council and SODC

    May 2015 - Expected submission of planning application

    March 2016 - Planning permission granted