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Planning advice and guidance

Pre-application enquiries

We offer written advice about the prospect of proposed development gaining planning permission. Under the provisions of the Local Government Act 2003 we charge a fee for this service. This charge is to recover the cost of providing the service and not to deter applicants and their agents from engaging in pre-application discussions.

To make an application for pre-application advice please use the use the online form to submit an application and make payment by debit or credit card. Please read the fee schedule and guidance notes to the right before making an application.

All prospective applicants and developers are encouraged to make use of the pre-application service as the scope to negotiate changes to an application once it has been submitted are limited. Our approach to negotiating submitted applications is outlined in the document to the right.

Submitting supporting documents

If you need to submit documents or drawings in support of a planning application, you can do using the online form (right). The documents/drawings will need to be in PDF format and be no more than 10mb per file.

Larger home extensions

On 9 May 2013, secondary legislation was laid before Parliament which will increase the size of single-storey rear extensions which can be built under permitted development. For a period of three years, between 30 May 2013 and 30 May 2016 (subsequently extended for a further three years until 30 May 2019), householders will be able to build larger single-storey rear extensions under permitted development. For further guidance, please see the downloads and links to the right of this page.

Permitted development enquiries

If you would like to establish whether or not your proposed development requires planning permission, please refer to the Planning Portal 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

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

In addition to the Local Plan and SPDs (Supplementary Planning Documents) that are published on the Planning Policy webpage we have produced a range of other guidance documents 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). 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.

Local planning and design guidance documents
TitleStatusPublication/ Adoption DateAdobe Acrobat (PDF) or link
The non-statutory Cherwell local planNon statutory local planDecember 2004Interactive Non Statutory Local Plan
Affordable housing code of practiceThis document has now been superseded by the draft planning obligations SPD - July 2011April 2004 with addendum 2007pdf Affordable Housing - Code of Practice (172kb)
Building in harmony with the environmentSupplementary planning guidance (SPG)November 1998pdf Building in Harmony with the Environment (6.5Mb)
Countryside design summarySupplementary planning guidance (SPG)June 1998pdf Countryside Design Summary (2.2Mb)
Design and layout of employment sites - A guideSupplementary planning guidance (SPG)November 1996pdf Design and Layout of Employment Sites (1.0Mb)
Planning advice for farmers on siting and design of farm buildingsSupplementary planning guidance (SPG)pdf Planning advice for farmers on siting and design of farm buildings (40kb)
Residential and amenity open space provisionThis document has now been superseded by the draft planning obligations SPD - July 2011Adopted July 2004, with revised adoption procedures February 2006pdf Residential and Amenity Open Space Provision (1.9Mb)
Conservation areas and appraisals (for a full list follow the link on the right)Conservation areaConservation area appraisals
Draft planning obligations Draft supplementary planning documentJuly 2011pdf Draft Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document (4.7Mb)
Interim guidance on planning obligationsInterim guidanceJune 2007pdf Interim Guidance on Planning Obligations (123kb)
Windows and doors in historic buildings (Planning guide 1)Informal planning guidance2007pdf Windows and Doors in Historic Buildings (345kb)
Hot food & takeaways (Planning guide 2)Informal planning guidance1994pdf Hot Food and Takeaways (120kb)
Conservation areas - A general guide (Planning guide 4)Informal planning guidanceMay 2010pdf Conservation Areas a General Guide 4 (123kb)
Listed buildings a guide for owners and occupiers (Planning guide 5)Informal planning guidanceOctober 2007pdf Listed Buildings a Guide for Owners and Occupiers (223kb)
Design Guide for the Conversion of farm buildingsInformal planning guidance2002pdf Conversion of Farm Buildings (386kb)
Colour palettesInformal planning guidanceJune 1996pdf Colour Palettes (2.5Mb)
Home extensions and alterations design guide for householder planning applicationsInformal planning guidanceMarch 2007pdf Home Extensions and Alterations Design Guide (546kb)
Planning and waste management design guideInformal planning guidanceOctober 2009pdf Cherwell Planning and Waste Management Design Guide (348kb)
SubdivisionInformal planning guidanceFebruary 2011pdf Subdivision (1.5Mb)
Shop fronts and advertisingInformal planning guidance2002pdf Shop Fronts and Advertising (2.1Mb)
Planning guidance on the residential amenity impacts of wind turbine developmentInformation planning guidanceFebruary 2007pdf Wind Turbine Guidance (426kb)

Along with district-wide guidance we produce site specific guidance to inform developers and members of the public of its policy objectives and aspirations for a particular site or area.

Site specific design and planning guidance documents
SiteTitleStatusPublication/ Adoption DateAdobe Acrobat (PDF)
Banbury: Regeneration Area EastBanbury regeneration area EastSupplementary planning guidance (SPG)April 2004pdf Banbury Regeneration Area East (2.8Mb)
Bicester: Land between Manorsfield Road and Sheep StreetLand between Manorsfield Road and Sheep Street BicesterSupplementary planning guidance (SPG)November 2004pdf Land between Manorsfield Road and Sheep Street Bicester (2.7Mb)
RAF Upper HeyfordRAF Upper Heyford revised comprehensive planning briefSupplementary planning document (SPD)2007pdf RAF Upper Heyford Revised Comprehensive Planning Brief (4.6Mb)
Banbury, Bicester & Kidlington Urban design strategies - Banbury Bicester and KidlingtonInformal planning guidance


pdf Banbury, Bicester & (4.7Mb)
Banbury: Dashwood SchoolPlanning and design guide - Conversion of Dashwood SchoolInformal planning guidanceOctober 2007pdf Planning and Design Guide for Dashwood School (1.2Mb)
Banbury: Orchard WayProposed redevelopment of Orchard Way BanburyInformal planning guidanceJuly 2008pdf Orchard Way Development Guidance (924kb)
Banbury: Standbridge HallStanbridge Hall development principlesInformal planning guidanceFebruary 2006pdf Standbridge Hall Development Principles (1.3Mb)
Bicester: Bryan HouseRedevelopment of Bryan House - informal development principlesInformal planning guidanceDecember 2008pdf Bryan House Redevelopment Principles (706kb)
Bicester: RAF BicesterRAF Bicester planning briefInformal planning guidanceDecember 2009pdf RAF Bicester Planning Brief (2.2Mb)
Bicester: St. Edburg's SchoolSt Edburg's School informal development principlesInformal planning guidanceOctober 2008pdf St. Edburg's School Informal Development Principles (1.8Mb)
Bicester: Old Place YardDraft Development Principles - Old Place Yard BicesterDraft informal planning guidanceApril 2007pdf Draft Development Principles - Old Place Yard Bicester (April 2007) (1.3Mb)
Kidlington: Co-opCo-op car park Kidlington - development principlesInformal planning guidance2005pdf 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.

Other technical and supporting documents
Site/ AreaTitleAuthorPublication DateAdobe Acrobat (PDF)


Banbury Landscape Map (Pen and Ink) - Frank ToolFrank Tool1828pdf Banbury Landscape Map (1828) (778kb)
BanburyThe Industrial Heritage of BanburyOxfordshire County Council and the Royal Commission1997pdf The Industrial Heritage of Banbury (4.6Mb)
Banbury: CanalHeritage Audit at site adjacent the canal, BanburyBritish Waterways2003pdf Heritage Audit at Site Adjacent the Canal, Banbury (2.8Mb)
Banbury: CanalIndustrial Archaeology Survey of the Oxford Canal Corridor, BanburyBirmingham University Archaeological UnitNovember 2001

pdf Industrial Archaeology of the Oxford Canal (4.9Mb)

pdf Industrial Archaeology of the Oxford Canal (Appendix) (4.6Mb)

Bicester: RAF BicesterRAF Bicester Urban Capacity StudyCGMSOctober 2003pdf RAF Bicester Urban Capacity Study (2.2Mb)
RAF Upper HeyfordRAF Upper Heyford Conservation PlanACTASeptember 2005

pdf RAF Upper Heyford Conservation Plan - Volume 1 (351kb)

pdf RAF Upper Heyford Conservation Plan - Volume 2 (4.6Mb)

pdf RAF Upper Heyford Conservation Plan - Volume 3 (4.3Mb)

RAF Upper HeyfordRAF Upper Heyford - Building SurveyAirfield Research PublishingMarch 1996pdf RAF Upper Heyford - Building Survey (4.5Mb)
RAF Upper HeyfordRAF Upper Heyford - Landscape Character Assessment of the Airbase South of the Cold War ZoneACTAMarch 2006pdf RAF Upper Heyford - Landscape Character Assessment (3.6Mb)
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