Published: Thursday, 16th July 2015
Cherwell District Council has announced proposals for the UK’s first large-scale Local Development Order for custom-built housing development.
This initiative would cover proposals for the Graven Hill site in Oxfordshire which has been earmarked for the UK’s biggest-ever custom-build scheme of around 1,900 housing units.
If adopted, the LDO would remove the need for self-builders to submit individual planning applications for each plot provided proposals comply with pre-determined building specifications.
Councillor Michael Gibbard, Cherwell’s lead member for planning, said: “This is the first time an LDO has been considered for a self-build development of this size so we are setting the benchmark for the future.
“Although we want self-builders to have the freedom to design and create their own homes at Graven Hill, we don’t want it to become a free-for-all – we need to retain some control.
“However, if our planners were to consider up to 1,900 individual applications, plus retrospective submissions, it would place a huge demand on their services and slow the planning process down for everyone – not just those associated with Graven Hill.
“The Local Development Order is a happy compromise, it allows us to set the relevant guidelines such as the maximum height, depth and building materials etc while giving self-builders the freedom to interpret those specifications to their own style without having to wait to receive individual planning consent.”
The first phase of the overall development is expected to involve some 699 properties, but the first LDO will be piloted for a smaller area of between 100 and 200 homes.