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ICKFORD NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN  :  2019 – 2033 : VISION FOR ICKFORD  9



                                         2. The Strategic Policy Context


                                            The National Planning Policy Framework

                                            2.1. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) version was published
                                         in February 2019 and sets out the Government’s approach to sustainable development.
                                         At the heart of the NPPF is the ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’.
                                         Essentially, sustainable development means positive growth with economic, social
                                         and environmental gains being sought simultaneously through the planning system.
                                         Neighbourhood planning forms part of the NPPF approach to planning, to allow
                                         local communities to shape sustainable development within their area and to enable
                                         local communities to address their strategic needs and priorities. The National Policy
                                         and Guidance states that Neighbourhood Plans should set out a positive vision for the
                                         future of the local area with planning policies to determine decisions on planning
                                         applications, including policies which set out the quality of development that should
                                         be expected for the area, based on stated objectives for the area’s future and an
                                         understanding and evaluation of its defining characteristics. However, a Neighbourhood
                                         Plan must be in general conformity with the strategic policies of the Local Plan and
                                         plan positively to support these policies.

                                            National project: Oxford to Cambridge Expressway

                                            2.2. Whilst the Ickford Neighbourhood Plan has been under development a
                                         parallel process has been in progress to plan a minimum dual carriageway road, up to
                                         a three-lane motorway, linking the two cities of Oxford and Cambridge via Milton
                                         Keynes. This is planned to have major ancillary housing developments around all of
                                         the junctions along its route. As at October 2019 the preferred route is to be east of
                                         Oxford to the current M40 Wheatley junction, after which it may either follow the
                                         M40 for several kilometres to a new junction somewhere in the Oakley/Boarstall
                                         area and then it heads NE towards Twyford / Winslow, or else it will run directly
                                         across country from the M40 J8A, again to Twyford / Winslow area. If this route is
                                         chosen it will possibly pass to the east of Otmoor and could run between Ickford and
                                         Worminghall. The final preferred option will be subject to consultation in late 2019/
                                         early 2020 so all options are advisory only at this time.


                                            2.3. The project is also designed to support urban development, with a proposed
                                         total of one million new houses overall.  Highways England (H.E.) is designing an
                                         expressway and is not itself directly responsible for planning housing which is regarded
                                         as the responsibility of Local Authorities.  There is, however, a need to co-ordinate the
                                         expressway and housing, and H.E. has ‘modelled’ the capacity of different expressway
                                         junctions, from which it derives an estimate of the number extra houses that could be
                                         built near to each junction and of the number of workers in those houses.  As one of
                                         the objectives of the expressway development is to ‘unlock the potential’ for
                                         development along the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, it is thought likely that H.E. will
                                         choose a route which is not constrained by present built-up areas.  The H.E. model
                                         has identified what is labelled as the area ‘East of Oakley’ as the site that can
                                         accommodate the largest number of new houses and workers along the entire
                                         expressway (82,000 workers equates to a total population of 150,000 people – about
                                         the size of Oxford City’s population in 2017 i.e. 154,600), so will clearly have a very
                                         significant effect on Ickford and the surrounding area.



                                         VISION FOR ICKFORD – NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN
                                                   www.visionforickford.co.uk
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