The new Taylor Wimpey development will see the construction of 51 much-needed new homes off London Road, comprising 38 (75%) affordable homes for local people in housing need and 13 properties available for sale on the private market to generate the funding for the affordable element of the scheme.
Planning permission for the development, which was supported by both local residents and Wheatley Parish Council, has now been formally granted after the proposals were unanimously approved by members of the planning committee at South Oxfordshire District Council in November 2015.
The Section 106 agreement for the development will see contributions totalling approximately £237,000 made to the local community, including an artificial cricket wicket, a cricket pavilion, a cricket pitch, a football pitch and rugby facilities within Wheatley itself, as well as contributions to public transport and libraries.
Taylor Wimpey will also be providing a sum of money to the council to improve biodiversity off-site within the local area to offset the impact of the development.
Steven Neal, Senior Planning Manager for Taylor Wimpey Oxfordshire, said, “It’s rare for sites within the greenbelt to be promoted for development and the success of this scheme is really down to the material benefits it can bring for the local community both in terms of the affordable housing it will provide for local people and the Section 106 contributions.
“Approval for a rural exception site is made on a case-by-case basis, and rests on being able to demonstrate special circumstances, such as facilitating the delivery of much needed affordable homes for local people.
“The scheme has been made possible through the hard work and collaboration of all parties, but we are especially grateful for the support of the parish council who did so, only when we were able to demonstrate the scheme benefits were clearly in the interest of the local community. The provision of 38 houses for affordable tenure restricted to people with local connections within the parish was a major factor in gaining support. With the community facilities being brought through the Section 106 contributions, it’s a double win for the parish.”
Councillor Geoff Stephens, Chairman of Wheatley Parish Council, said, “Taylor Wimpey have been excellent partners to work with. Through a rigorous process of consultation and subsequent exhibitions, Wheatley Parish Council have secured worthwhile outcomes which will benefit all parts of our community.”
The masterplan for the two-hectare site – which was developed following extensive consultation with the local community – will offer a combination of one, two, three and four-bedroom homes for people in a range of circumstances, from individuals and couples to growing families.
Taylor Wimpey aims to begin ground works at the development in July 2016 and construction is anticipated to be completed in early 2018.