The Examination in Public for the SODC Local Plan starts tomorrow via Microsoft Teams.  You can follow it on SODC’s YouTube Channel -


We would like to thank all who submitted ‘Hearing Statements’ to the Inspector opposing Land north of Bayswater Brook.


The first session on Tuesday 14th at 10.00 will be on Housing Numbers and Ginette Camps-Walsh has been invited to speak on behalf of Beckley and Stowood Parish Council and John Walsh is on the team as an advisor.  This session is important to us as SODC has inflated the number of homes they need to build significantly and the number that Oxford City has exported to us as its ‘unmet’ housing need has been reduced, but not in the Plan.  Please see Ginette’s and John’s ‘Hearing Statements’ (attached) and SODC’s - and Pegasus/Christ Church developers of Land north of Bayswater Brook is here -


The next session which Beckley and Stowood PC – Ginette with John in the team, is speaking at is Sessions 5 and 6 – the Spatial Strategy (the criteria used for choosing the strategic sites) and Green Belt taken together.   This is being taken over two days as all the developers want to speak, those which have strategic sites and those that missed out.  They are speaking on Tuesday 21st July and the rest of us on Wednesday 22nd starting at 10.00.  Again please see our Hearing Statements (attached). SODC’s Hearing Statement is here – on Spatial Strategy is here -   and Green Belt here -


Friday 31st July at 10.00 is the main session 16 is on Land north of Bayswater Brook, the proposed development at Lower Elsfield, Wick Farm and Bayswater Farm of 1,100 new dwellings and a  Link road/Headington roundabout bypass, right next to our SSSI of Sidlings Copse and College Pond. 


Lincoln and New Colleges, who own the land to the east, behind the houses in Sandhills want to extend the development across Stanton St John to Forest Hill and the A40 with up to 4,500 houses – see map -


All the local parishes we are working with will be speaking, along with Cllr Sarah Gray.  Our Hearing Statements are attached and SODC’s can be found here - and Pegasus/Christ Church’s all 423 pages of it is here -


We are being advised by a planning consultant who helped us all considerably with our Hearing Statements and preparing for what we say at these sessions.


We would like to thank all the Parish Councils for supporting our efforts and funding our planning consultant –

  • Beckley
  • Elsfield
  • Forest Hill
  • Risinghurst and Sandhills
  • Stanton St John

And a special thanks to Horton cum Studley and the Gresswell Environmental Trust


We have a good chance that LnBB will be thrown out and will do our best to ensure this happens.



Many people from our and neighbouring parishes are very opposed to the SODC Local Plan - the destruction of the Green Belt around Oxford and the proposed development of Land north of Bayswater Brook (Wick Farm and Lower Elsfield).  Local residents attended and spoke in opposition at the SODC council meetings in December 2018.  There was a large attendance at the presentation and discussion that John Walsh and Ginny gave (attached - SODC Local Plan Presentation 30 Jan 19) in January ’19 and then 2,563 individual people or organisations responded to the official consultation in February last year with 17,135 separate comments, nearly double consultation responses on other Local Plan versions.  Many parish residents together with those from Barton and Sandhills held a protest walk and started a petition -


In our Neighbourhood Plan survey 82% of respondents felt that preservation of the Green Belt was the most important issue and 66% agreed that we needed to be protected from being part of Oxford.


This development, at Wick Farm in our parish, Lower Elsfield and Bayswater Farm is for 1,100 homes (approximately 2,500 additional residents) and possibly a ‘Link Road’- a Headington Roundabout By-pass from the Elsfield junction on the ring road to the A40 between Sandhills and Forest Hill.  The site abuts the very important SSSI Sidlings [aka Sydlings] Copse and College Pond and puts this precious site of ancient woodland at high risk.


For the residents of Wick Farm and Lower Farm this development will surround them with high density housing and destroy their environment and countryside.  Residents of Barton and Sandhills are also very opposed to it.



The road infrastructure associated with development will adversely affect all parishioners in our and neighbouring parishes.  The developers map shows the road exits from the development coming out at Bayswater and Elsfield Roads which already have long queues at peak times and the additional traffic will increase congestion, pollution and journey times considerably -

The ‘Link Road’ will enable traffic coming towards Oxford on A40 and towards the Headington roundabout on the Northern Bypass (Oxford ring road) to use the ‘Link Road’ to access our local roads as ’rat runs’, particularly the Bayswater and Elsfield Roads, B4027 and Horton Roads, causing further traffic congestion and pollution from fumes and particulate matter.



Environmentally the most important issue is potential damage to the ‘fragile’ site of rare species and ancient woodland and fen, the SSI site of Sidlings Copse and College Pond, by the increase in visitors and domestic pets. See BBOWT’s response  - and Natural England’s response and their grave concerns -




The Examination in Public will be held on line starting on Tuesday 14th July.  Anyone who responded to the SODC Local Plan consultation last February can submit additional evidence and ask to speak (if they indicated that they wanted to previously).  If you would like to speak the deadline for requesting this  is 12th June, but participants will be limited to 20 per session.  If you would like to submit further evidence the deadline is 26th June.  All who responded to last year’s consultation should have received an e-mail with details outlining the procedure, but the details are also on the Local Plan 2034 Examination web site -


Ginny Camps-Walsh and John Walsh are working with people from Elsfield, Sandhills and Stanton St John parishes on this.  Attached are links on new information about the Local Plan since the publication ( SODC LOCAL PLAN – Information for Beckley Web Site).  We are also working on responses to the Inspector’s Matter and Issues to submit new evidence.  Please contact Ginny and John if you would like to be involved or would like more information and evidence - Ginny’s e-mail

Other useful links

Beckley and Stowood Parish Council (G Camps-Walsh) response to Local Plan consultation -

John Walsh response to Local Plan consultation -