The proposed development site covers a total area of approximately 17 acres (7 hectares) and is located between New Yatt Road and Woodstock Road.
The site is bordered by open space to the north and by existing residential properties to the east, south and west.
The site has been identified by the council as a “preferred site” for housing development which is capable of accommodating around 180 to 200 homes.
West Oxfordshire District Council, in its housing consultation report, identified that the site has few constraints and can come forward in the short term, subject to transport considerations. It also identified that the site would significantly boost the council’s housing land supply in the short term.
To view the local authority's cabinet report on housing numbers click here.
The site benefits from excellent bus links, including the S1 and S2 bus routes to Oxford and the route 242 bus service to Hanborough railway station, which runs along New Yatt Road on the site’s northern boundary. The route 11 service to Oxford via Eynsham runs along Woodstock Road on the site’s southern boundary.
The site is within walking and cycling distance of local primary and secondary schools and Witney town centre. New footpaths and cycleways will be provided where possible to integrate the new development with local networks.
The site is currently agricultural land but is adjacent to existing homes, creating a sense of association with the town. The Witney Landscape Assessment concluded that the site is an “edge of town area”. The site is visible from Woodstock Road and New Yatt Road, with a long-distance view visible from North Leigh.
The site features hedgerow boundaries alongside New Yatt Road and Witney Road, but the interior is agricultural land with no notable landscape features.
The proposed development presents the opportunity to complete the gateway into Witney Road, partially represented by Harvest Way to the east, across Woodstock Road.
Additional tree planting will be carried out on access roads into the new development and along its boundaries. Reinforcement of existing hedgerows will also be carried out to link with maturing woodland features off Madley Brook Lane to the north-east of the site. These new features will deliver landscape and ecological beneﬁts and enhance the views of the site from Woodstock Road and New Yatt Road.
There are no designated nature conservation sites within or near to the site. Surveys have confirmed that the ecological interest at the site is very limited and is largely confined to the boundary hedgerows.
It is likely that a small range of birds would use the hedgerows for nesting and foraging. Surveys are being carried out to establish whether bats forage along the hedgerows and whether reptiles are present in the field margins.
New hedgerow and tree planting accompanied by sensitive lighting design will ensure that the site’s ecological value is maintained and enhanced.
The remains of three undesignated burial mounds were found on the site during archaeological investigation work. In consultation with the local authority’s archaeological advisor, it has been established that these finds do not inhibit the development of the site. A strategy is currently being negotiated with Oxfordshire County Council to establish the most appropriate method to mitigate these archaeological finds.
Surface Water Drainage
Ground investigations indicate that infiltration drainage is achievable; the proposals also store surface water on-site through use of a Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS).