Planning Policy for Botley – 3 things

A Development Brief for Botley. Vale started work on this in April 2015 (through a consultant, BDP). Years ago, Doric and Vale said they’d do one, but it never happened. A Development Brief would inform future Botley development by capturing community views of what’s needed and what matters. Vale decided in late June 2015 (don’t know why) to instead create a…

Supplementary Planning Document for central Botley. This document, once adopted, becomes a proper planning policy, containing the long term vision of what Botley needs. The area is wider than the Doric application covered; the term is longer than just the next few years. This process involves a public consultation and feedback before the final SPD is approved by Cabinet. Once adopted, this SPD will have weight for planning decisions in this area. Consultation is expected between the end of July and the first week in September 2015. There was some question about how the work on this SPD would sit alongside the ongoing work on the…

Neighbourhood Plan for North Hinksey, which includes the Botley Central area (but not any areas of Cumnor Parish). This situation, with the NP progressing simultaneously with the SPD, is unique. It’s a valid question to ask how each will influence the other.

The SPD will be completed first, a continuation of the work on the nearly-completed Development Brief, with adoption expected in autumn 2015. That is just ahead of when we expect the Mace planning application to be submitted, in which case the SPD would have weight in determining the Mace application.

An SPD is always linked to the currently adopted Local Plan, so this SPD will be created roughly in accordance with the saved policies of Local Plan 2011. When the new Local Plan 2031 is adopted, the SPD will have to be revisited to ensure it is in accordance with the new Local Plan.

Here’s the hierarchy of planning policies:

  1. National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and National Policy Guidance
  2. Adopted Local Plan (currently the saved policies from LP-2011)
  3. Adopted Neighbourhood Plan
  4. Supplementary Planning Documents

The Neighbourhood Plan should be developed to be roughly in accordance with the NPPF and the currently adopted Local Plan. If it’s discovered there’s a conflict between the NP and the adopted SPD, or the adopted Local Plan, then the NP will be re-visited with expert help from Vale planning officers.

All this leads me to conclude that the most important thing at the moment is the SPD, because it’s likely to adopted first out of all the policy docs. The community’s contribution to this SPD is both important and urgent; consultation is expected to begin the last week of July, and the policy will be in force for years.