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You can seek free, informal and confidential advice from us in relation to proposals for major development prior to submitting an application.
We encourage pre-application enquiries for major developments, as early discussion will help to identify potential problems prior to a formal application being submitted and will help to speed up the decision making process. A proposal is considered to be major if it is for 10 dwellings or more, would result in the creation of new floorspace of 1,000sqm or more, or is for a change of use and relates to a site of 1ha or more. Unfortunately we do not currently have the resources to deal with householder or minor pre-application enquiries and therefore you are advised to submit a planning application so that your proposal can be formally assessed. To assist you with whether your householder or minor application may be acceptable, please use the links on the right hand side of this page.
We will enter into pre-application discussions in relation to listed and curtilage listed buildings, in consultation with the Council's Design and Conservation Team, and in some cases, in relation to complex conservation area enquiries, if we believe it would assist with the decision making process.
Pre-application site visits
Officers will not normally meet with you on site unless we consider that a full appraisal of the site surroundings and the proposal cannot be made without a meeting. Most pre-application enquiries can be answered through desktop research. Avoiding unnecessary meetings will help to speed up response times.
All responses will be in writing and we will advise you whether we would be in a position to support the proposed scheme, if an application were to be submitted. This advice however will not be binding. Whilst we try to give accurate advice, planning applications are subject to extensive consultation and officers' views can change as a result of consultation responses or further consideration of the proposal. Planning applications may also be determined by the planning committee and the elected members of this committee are not bound to follow the officer recommendation.
How long will it take
The timescale for a response to your enquiry will depend upon its complexity and size. However we will try to respond fully to enquiries within 20 working days. Our response may take longer if we need to carry out consultations with other parties such as the Highway Authority or Environment Agency or if the enquiry is complex. We understand that in some cases you may not receive an answer as quickly as you would like. However we wish to provide you with a complete and accurate response rather than a response that proves to be unhelpful. Where a response could take considerably longer than 20 working days, the officer dealing with your enquiry will contact you to agree on a revised timescale for a response.
Permitted development enquiries
If you would like to establish whether or not your proposed development requires planning permission, please refer to the Planning Portal http://www.planningportal.gov.uk for guidance. If you require a legal determination in relation to your enquiry please apply for a 'Certificate of Lawfulness' for the proposed development via the Planning Portal. Unfortunately the Council does not currently have the resources to respond to permitted development enquiries informally.
Planning Aid provides free, independent and professional town planning advice and support to communities and individuals who cannot afford to pay planning consultant fees. It complements the work of local planning authorities, but is wholly independent of them. Please use the link at the bottom right of this page for further details.
Local planning and design guidance
Along with the statutory development plan (Adopted Cherwell Local Plan) we produce a range of planning guidance to assist in decision making. These are listed in the top two tables below. The top tables list the more formal SPGs (Supplementary Planning Guidance) prepared to support the Local Plan, and the SPDs (Supplementary Planning Document) prepared so far as part of the Local Development Framework (LDF). The LDF, when adopted, will replace the Local Plan. Documents and evidence relating to the LDF are available on the LDF evidence base page. The documents listed towards the bottom of both tables are informal planning guidance, however these can also be used as a material consideration in the determination of a planning application.
|Title||Status||Publication/ Adoption Date||Adobe Acrobat (PDF) or link|
|Cherwell Local Plan. Includes proposals maps and schedule of saved policies.||Adopted local plan||November 1996|
Adopted Cherwell Local Plan (2.1Mb)
Proposals Maps - Villages A to H (3.6Mb)
Proposals Maps - Villages I to Z (3.3Mb)
Schedule of Saved Policies (55kb)
|The non-statutory Cherwell local plan||Non statutory local plan||December 2004||Interactive Non Statutory Local Plan|
|Affordable housing code of practice||This document has now been superseded by the draft planning obligations SPD - July 2011||April 2004 with addendum 2007||Affordable Housing - Code of Practice (172kb)|
|Building in harmony with the environment||Supplementary planning guidance (SPG)||November 1998||Building in Harmony with the Environment (6.5Mb)|
|Countryside design summary||Supplementary planning guidance (SPG)||June 1998||Countryside Design Summary (2.2Mb)|
|Design and layout of employment sites - A guide||Supplementary planning guidance (SPG)||November 1996||Design and Layout of Employment Sites (1.0Mb)|
|Planning advice for farmers on siting and design of farm buildings||Supplementary planning guidance (SPG)||Planning advice for farmers on siting and design of farm buildings (40kb)|
|Residential and amenity open space provision||This document has now been superseded by the draft planning obligations SPD - July 2011||Adopted July 2004, with revised adoption procedures February 2006||Residential and Amenity Open Space Provision (1.9Mb)|
|Conservation areas and appraisals (for a full list follow the link on the right)||Conservation area||Conservation area appraisals|
|Draft panning obligations||Draft supplementary planning document||July 2011||Draft Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document (4.7Mb)|
|Interim guidance on planning obligations||Interim guidance||June 2007||Interim Guidance on Planning Obligations (123kb)|
|Windows and doors in historic buildings (Planning guide 1)||Informal planning guidance|
|Windows and Doors in Historic Buildings (345kb)|
|Hot food & takeaways (Planning guide 2)||Informal planning guidance||1994||Hot Food and Takeaways (120kb)|
|Conservation areas - A general guide (Planning guide 4)||Informal planning guidance||May 2010||Conservation Areas a General Guide 4 (123kb)|
|Listed buildings a guide for owners and occupiers (Planning guide 5)||Informal planning guidance||October 2007||Listed Buildings a Guide for Owners and Occupiers (223kb)|
|Design Guide for the Conversion of farm buildings||Informal planning guidance||2002||Conversion of Farm Buildings (386kb)|
|Colour palettes||Informal planning guidance||June 1996||Colour Palettes (2.5Mb)|
|Home extensions and alterations design guide for householder planning applications||Informal planning guidance||March 2007||Home Extensions and Alterations Design Guide (546kb)|
|Planning and waste management design guide||Informal planning guidance||October 2009||Cherwell Planning and Waste Management Design Guide (310kb)|
|Subdivision||Informal planning guidance||February 2011||Subdivision (1.5Mb)|
Shop fronts and advertising
|Informal planning guidance||2002||Shop Fronts and Advertising (1.7Mb)|
Planning guidance on the residential amenity impacts of wind turbine development
Informal planning guidance
|Wind Turbine Guidance (426kb)|
Along with district-wide guidance the Council produces site specific guidance to inform developers and members of the public of its policy objectives and aspirations for a particular site or area.
|Site||Title||Status||Publication/ Adoption Date||Adobe Acrobat (PDF)|
|Banbury: Regeneration Area East||Banbury regeneration area East||Supplementary planning guidance (SPG)||April 2004||Banbury Regeneration Area East (2.8Mb)|
|Bicester: Land between Manorsfield Road and Sheep Street||Land between Manorsfield Road and Sheep Street Bicester||Supplementary planning guidance (SPG)||November 2004||Land between Manorsfield Road and Sheep Street Bicester (2.7Mb)|
|RAF Upper Heyford||RAF Upper Heyford revised comprehensive planning brief||Supplementary planning document (SPD)||2007||RAF Upper Heyford Revised Comprehensive Planning Brief (4.6Mb)|
|Banbury, Bicester & Kidlington||Urban design strategies - Banbury Bicester and Kidlington||Informal planning guidance|
|Banbury, Bicester & (4.7Mb)|
|Banbury: Dashwood School||Planning and design guide - Conversion of Dashwood School||Informal planning guidance||October 2007||Planning and Design Guide for Dashwood School (1.2Mb)|
|Banbury: Orchard Way||Proposed redevelopment of Orchard Way Banbury||Informal planning guidance||July 2008||Orchard Way Development Guidance (924kb)|
|Banbury: Standbridge Hall||Stanbridge Hall development principles||Informal planning guidance||February 2006||Standbridge Hall Development Principles (1.3Mb)|
|Bicester: Bryan House||Redevelopment of Bryan House - informal development principles||Informal planning guidance||December 2008||Bryan House Redevelopment Principles (706kb)|
|Bicester: RAF Bicester||RAF Bicester planning brief||Informal planning guidance||December 2009||RAF Bicester Planning Brief (2.2Mb)|
|Bicester: St. Edburg's School||St Edburg's School informal development principles||Informal planning guidance||October 2008||St. Edburg's School Informal Development Principles (1.8Mb)|
|Bicester: Old Place Yard||Draft Development Principles - Old Place Yard Bicester||Draft informal planning guidance||April 2007||Draft Development Principles - Old Place Yard Bicester (April 2007) (1.3Mb)|
|Kidlington: Co-op||Co-op car park Kidlington - development principles||Informal planning guidance||2005||Development Guidance for Co-op Car Park Kidlington (209kb)|
Many of the above documents are informed by technical documents commissioned by the Council to support the planning process.
|Site/ Area||Title||Author||Publication Date||Adobe Acrobat (PDF)|
|Banbury||Banbury Landscape Map (Pen and Ink) - Frank Tool||Frank Tool||1828||Banbury Landscape Map (1828) (778kb)|
|Banbury||The Industrial Heritage of Banbury||Oxfordshire County Council and the Royal Commission||1997||The Industrial Heritage of Banbury (4.6Mb)|
|Banbury: Canal||Heritage Audit at site adjacent the canal, Banbury||British Waterways||2003||Heritage Audit at Site Adjacent the Canal, Banbury (2.8Mb)|
|Banbury: Canal||Industrial Archaeology Survey of the Oxford Canal Corridor, Banbury||Birmingham University Archaeological Unit||November 2001|
|Bicester: RAF Bicester||RAF Bicester Urban Capacity Study||CGMS||October 2003||RAF Bicester Urban Capacity Study (2.2Mb)|
|RAF Upper Heyford||RAF Upper Heyford Conservation Plan||ACTA||September 2005|
|RAF Upper Heyford||RAF Upper Heyford - Building Survey||Airfield Research Publishing||March 1996||RAF Upper Heyford - Building Survey (4.5Mb)|
|RAF Upper Heyford||RAF Upper Heyford - Landscape Character Assessment of the Airbase South of the Cold War Zone||ACTA||March 2006||RAF Upper Heyford - Landscape Character Assessment (3.6Mb)|
- [PDF] Lawful Development Certificates - A User's Guide (92kb)
- [PDF] Guidance on the permeable surfacing of front gardens (710kb)