Planning Matters

Neighbourhood Plan update

Dorchester-on-Thames Parish Council has submitted its draft neighbourhood plan to South Oxfordshire District Council and as the consultation has now closed.  We are now submitting the draft neighbourhood plan to an independent examiner.  We will provide you with the information once it has been published.

Lewknor Neighbourhood Plan area has been designated and the parish council is continuing to work on their plan.

Kidmore End Parish Council has submitted its proposed neighbourhood plan area application.  As the application does not cover the entire parish area we have launched a six week consultation. 

Three neighbourhood plans were approved on 12 October - Brightwell-cum-Sotwell, Chinnor and Long Wittenham.  These will now form part of the South Oxfordshire development plan. 

Oxford to Cambridge expressway

You can view and comment on four early concept designs for the Oxford to Cambridge expressway.  The National Infrastructure Commission will ultimately make a recommendation to government for the final decision on the route.

You can see all four design concepts and submit your comments here.

Berinsfield Community Investment Scheme

We have produced a leaflet to be delivered all residents, organisations and businesses based in Berinsfield.  The leaflet explains that we plan to build up to 1,700 homes to help raise the funds needed to provide the facilities and services that residents identified were important.

Once we have received feedback from this initial plan, we will use feedback and comments received to create our masterplan for Berinsfield.  We plan to publish the masterplan in Spring 2018 when it will become part of a formal consultation. 

Download your copy of the leaflet here.

New parliamentary constituency boundary proposals

The Boundary Commission for England has published proposals for new parliamentary constituency boundaries, which affect our districts. 

You can view the proposed plans here

Go Active Juniors

Do you know a sports club that needs support to help young people become more active?

We've launched Go Active Juniors - a new project for anyone up to 18 years old.  The project aims to increase participation in sport and physical activity by getting young people active in our area. 

The team offer a range of support including helping to find new coaches to deliver sports sessions, assist clubs to set-up new activity sessions and help clubs with equipment.

Get in touch with Emma Freeman ( if you know of a sports club that could benefit from our support

New community lottery

We're setting up a new online lottery for our residents to help raise funds for local community groups and charities. 

Residents can enter a £1 weekly online draw and be in with a chance of winning prizes ranging from free prize draw tickets right up to the £25,000 jackpot.  Each £1 ticket bought has a 1 in 56 chance of winning a prize and nearly 60p of each ticket price will go to a local good cause.

We are working with Aylesbury Vale District Council to set up our scheme and website and will use an external lottery manager to run it on our behalf. 

To get an idea on what the online lottery will look like you can visit the Aylesbury Vale Lottery website.

We hope to launch the lottery early next year but if you'd like any further information please email Sally Truman (

Hate crime - new guidance

Please make yourself familiar with new guidance on dealing with hate crime.  We all have a duty to take hate crime seriously and advise people of the reporting options available to them.  Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility towards a person's perceived:


race or ethnicity

religion or belief

sexual orientation

transgender identity

You can find out more about how to protect yourself and others on the Thames Valley Police website or contact the community safety team for more information on our guidance (



New permanent offices in Crowmarsh

We've announced that we intend to return to our Crowmarsh Gifford site. 

Since moving to Milton Park we've investigated a wide range of options for a permanent home and have now concluded that the most cost-effective solution is to move back to the site.

We will now work to prepare and build a new, smaller headquarters, which is more suited to our needs.  The building will include a new council chamber for South's committee meetings, whilst Vale's meetings will continue to take place at The Beacon in Wantage.

Recycling, rubbish and waste update

Our new fleet of vehicles are now out and about on collection rounds.  There are two different types of vehicle - one large truck for recycling and household waste and smaller one for food waste recycling.  Previously waste was collected in different compartments on the same lorry - but this has now changed.  This means that collections are being carried out at different times of the day. 

There aren't any changes to collection days or the way you will need to put out your bins.

Community Safety Partnership

'Don't bin your batteries' call following waste and recycling truck fires

Residents in South Oxfordshire are being urged not to put batteries or other items which could cause a fire in their waste or recycling wheelie bin.

Last week two small fires started in rubbish while it was being transported in waste and recycling trucks.  Both were potentially very dangerous incidents to the crews, other road users and pedestrians.  They also caused delays to collections and could have resulted in significant damage.

The first incident took place while a waste truck was travelling on the A417 in Wantage.  The crew were escorted to a layby by two fire engines where they emptied part of the load so the fire service could extinguish the fire.

The second fire was detected in a recycling load collected in Radley. The fire service attended as crews tipped the load at Biffa’s depot in Culham.  A gas canister was found in the load meaning that, had the fire spread, it could have exploded causing significant damage or injury.

The fires were caused by items residents had put in their bins, most likely to have been standard lithium-ion batteries – like the ones found in most mobile phones.

Batteries should be put in a clear plastic bag and left on top of the green recycling bin, while small electrical items, that may also contain batteries, can be put out in a carrier bag alongside the grey refuse bin for separate collection.

Cllr Tony Harbour, Cabinet Member for Waste and Recycling at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “If an item in a waste truck or at the deport catches fire then it could be extremely dangerous.  I urge all of our residents to check that they are not putting items in their bins which could cause a fire.”

BE in Science Vale UK campaign

For the first time we are running a series of adverts in select train stations throughout the South East and on social media to raise awareness of the Science Vale UK brand.

The campaign is using the new BE in Science Vale UK strapline to promote the area and will take the form of a series of different posters on platforms and on ticket gateways

For more information on the Science Vale you can visit the website here.

Changing area refurbishment work to start at Henley Leisure centre

£150,000 work to refurbish the swimming pool changing area at Henley Leisure Centre is set to begin on Monday 6 November.

The planned refurbishment, being carried out by South Oxfordshire District Council, will significantly improve the environment, with the pool-side changing rooms and toilet areas being refurbished throughout.

There will be new changing cubicles, lockers and vanity units, while new LED lighting will also be installed to help improve the environment and reduce the amount of energy the building uses.

The work is expected to take around six weeks to complete.  During this time swimmers can change using the dry-side changing area, with the swimming pool and all other facilities remaining open to the public.

Cllr Lynn Lloyd, Cabinet Member for Leisure at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “I’m delighted that we will be starting work to improve the changing area and I’m sure swimmers in Henley will welcome investment we are making.

“While the work is taking place the pool and all other facilities will remain open for people to use and we will do our best to keep any disruption to a minimum.  So please continue to visit the centre and make the most of everything on offer.”

New orders could help tackle anti-social behaviour

We have proposed to introduce two Public Spaces Protection Orders in Thame and Henley to allow police to target specific anti-social behaviour offences that can occur in public spaces.

The orders would only target anti-social behaviour and not prevent groups from gathering together peacefully in either town. 

You can find out more about the proposals and comment on them for Thame here and for Henley here.

                Richard Pullen

                District Councillor Benson & Crowmarsh Ward