Woodstock estate plan would double town size

Julian Cooper

Julian Cooper

First published in News
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Witney and West Oxfordshire. Call me on 01865 425483

WOODSTOCK could more than double in size after plans were unveiled to build 1,500 homes.

The proposals to build on land owned by the Blenheim Palace estate, east of the town, are going out for public consultation next week.

A 150-unit care village, supermarket, primary school, park and ride and football facility would also be built as part of the scheme by developer Pye Homes.

It comes after Blenheim Palace estate bosses revealed they were considering selling part of the 10,000-acre estate to fund £40m palace repair work needed over the next 20 years.

Woodstock mayor Julian Cooper, also a West Oxfordshire district councillor for Woodstock and Bladon, said there were already about 1,300 homes in the town and infrastructure could not cope.

He said: “I would be very interested to see how they suggest we will cope with car parking in the town centre.

“Unless they come up with a satisfactory response I’m not inclined to be in favour of it.”

Planning consultants West Waddy, on behalf of the estate and Pye Homes, has notified both Cherwell District Council and West Oxfordshire District Council, as the 66-hectare development would straddle both districts on land between the A44 Oxford Road and Shipton Road, next to Oxford Airport.

It is currently “scoping opinion” to find out how much information is needed for an environmental impact assessment, ahead of submitting a planning application.

It is beginning a broader public consultation next week.

The scheme would include up to 3,000 square-metres of retail space, a 2,325 sq m supermarket, up to 7,500 sq m of employment space and public open space.

The part of the site in West Oxfordshire was once considered for 180 homes, as part of the 2011 draft Local Plan, but was eventually rejected after a planning inspector said it was “excessive” development.

In the current draft Local Plan, it was identified as a potential site.

Sharone Parnes, of Lewisfield Way in Woodstock, said residents had been shocked by the proposals.

He said: “The public will be alarmed to see this kind of development.

“This development is approximately the size of Woodstock so it’s doubling the size. It would extend Woodstock towards Kidlington and Bladon, and physically link with Cherwell territory.”

West Oxfordshire District Council cabinet member for strategic planning and housing, Warwick Robinson, said: “It’s ambitious, challenging and unexpected.”

The estate, which has also earmarked land in Long Hanborough for 360 homes, has said it could help solve the county’s housing problem by offering land to developers.

About 100,000 homes need to be built in Oxfordshire by 2031, according to the Strategic Housing Market Assessment.

Blenheim Palace estate spokesman Daniel Hayman said: “At the moment we are looking at the complexities of such a development.

“The proposals could mean up to 1,500 homes over about 20 years, ensuring that with housing comes supporting infrastructure, including planned transport improvements in the area.”

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Comments (5)

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9:09am Thu 4 Sep 14

Statman says...

Immaculate timing as 200 yds down the road at Randolph Avenue (the most recent large scale development in Woodstock), two properties have today been reduced in price to try and attract a sale...
Immaculate timing as 200 yds down the road at Randolph Avenue (the most recent large scale development in Woodstock), two properties have today been reduced in price to try and attract a sale... Statman
  • Score: 3

9:30am Thu 4 Sep 14

WitneyGreen says...

“I would be very interested to see how they suggest we will cope with car parking in the town centre."

How about - if you live in Woodstock why on earth are you driving to the town centre?
“I would be very interested to see how they suggest we will cope with car parking in the town centre." How about - if you live in Woodstock why on earth are you driving to the town centre? WitneyGreen
  • Score: 4

9:46am Thu 4 Sep 14

AylesburyOx says...

This is how communities become divided. What about secondary education? Marlborough School couldn't cope with a sudden influx of pupils, so their children would end up going to school in Kidlington, which would mean that most of the new residents would have links to there rather than Woodstock.
The A44 would be sighed as not being suitable to carry extra vehicles through the town, so again a by-pass would be proposed, however with the new houses in that location most people would access A4260, which would be the link point for any by-pass anyway.
Why build a park and ride and where would it serve? If this development were ever built it would essentially link Woodstock to Kidlington and they already have Watereaton Park and Ride.
I also like the sound of 'Open space' I mean really, when you are surrounded by the Cotswolds what you really need is a half acre of grassland with the odd bench on it.
Awful idea, proposed by idiots and supported by morons. I expect it'll go through despite overwhelming opposition.
This is how communities become divided. What about secondary education? Marlborough School couldn't cope with a sudden influx of pupils, so their children would end up going to school in Kidlington, which would mean that most of the new residents would have links to there rather than Woodstock. The A44 would be sighed as not being suitable to carry extra vehicles through the town, so again a by-pass would be proposed, however with the new houses in that location most people would access A4260, which would be the link point for any by-pass anyway. Why build a park and ride and where would it serve? If this development were ever built it would essentially link Woodstock to Kidlington and they already have Watereaton Park and Ride. I also like the sound of 'Open space' I mean really, when you are surrounded by the Cotswolds what you really need is a half acre of grassland with the odd bench on it. Awful idea, proposed by idiots and supported by morons. I expect it'll go through despite overwhelming opposition. AylesburyOx
  • Score: 11

5:17pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Oxwatch says...

There are no jobs for all these extra people in Woodstock and the road netwrk to Oxford and Witney cannot cope already. Locate the houses where people can work - or Woodstock will become a dormitory surrounded by traffic jams. Who will want to visit Blenheim Palace then Duke?
There are no jobs for all these extra people in Woodstock and the road netwrk to Oxford and Witney cannot cope already. Locate the houses where people can work - or Woodstock will become a dormitory surrounded by traffic jams. Who will want to visit Blenheim Palace then Duke? Oxwatch
  • Score: 6

11:21pm Thu 4 Sep 14

EastEndMan says...

If the Duke wants to use his land for building why not have the estate built next to the Palace inside the grounds? He is, after all, asking us to do the same. Do unto others as you would have them do to yourself.
If the Duke wants to use his land for building why not have the estate built next to the Palace inside the grounds? He is, after all, asking us to do the same. Do unto others as you would have them do to yourself. EastEndMan
  • Score: 4

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