As you will be aware, Newark & Sherwood District Council (N&SDC) are in the process of updating their housing development policies and one of these documents, the Preferred Approach Strategy, was out for consultation until 23rd September 2016. This policy could have a huge effect on the character of Oxton.
The document sets out future development targets based on the latest evidence, sets out where new development should be and includes some new affordable housing policies. In the case of communities such as Oxton, the issue of the Green Belt is clearly significant. The District Council has sought to clarify the current circumstances relating to Green Belt policy by suggesting amendments and allowing for rural affordable exceptions sites.
OXTON HAS BEEN NAMED, BECAUSE OF ITS PROXIMITY TO LOWDHAM, AS A VILLAGE WHERE THE PLANNERS MAY CONSIDER APPROPRIATE DEVELOPMENT TO MEET LOCAL HOUSING NEEDS.
The Parish Council has advised N&SDC that it is open-minded in the case of suitable housing and finds this part of the policy acceptable. The Parish Council is also in agreement with the provision of smaller and more affordable housing in Oxton to allow local residents the opportunity to remain in the village.
In the interests of transparency, the Parish Council should advise Parishioners of what, in this context, the term “affordable housing” actually means. A Housing Needs survey questionnaire, which is sponsored by the way by Midlands Rural Housing, will be delivered in the October edition of the Dover Beck. You, as a Parishioner, need to understand the terminologies and also how the questionnaires’ results will be interpreted in the longer term. I would like to see the Parish Council call a public meeting to inform their Parishioners.
Jill Jones, MyOxton Editor