Scrutiny Committee



Report of Head of Policy and Programmes

Author: Hannah Guest

Telephone: 07717271924


Executive member responsible: Cllr Debby Hallett



DATE: 25th November 2021




Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation Draft Supplementary Planning Document


(a) that Scrutiny Committee considers the content of the Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation draft Supplementary Planning Document and feedback comment to the Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Transformation.  


Purpose of Report

1.    To share and seek comment from the Committee on the Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) (at Appendix 1).

Corporate Objectives

2.    The Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation draft SPD supports the Corporate Plan (2020-2024) themes of ‘Providing the homes people need’, ‘Tackling the Climate Emergency’ and ‘Building healthy communities’.


3.    Part 2 of the Vale of White Horse Local Plan 2031 was adopted in October 2019 and allocated a mixed-use development, containing 1,200 homes on the Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation, including a release of land from the Green Belt. The Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation forms part of the wider Ministry of Defence (MOD) base at Dalton Barracks.

4.    The ‘Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation’ policy (Core Policy 8b in Local Plan 2031, Part 2) sets out the Council’s intention to produce additional guidance on the approach for masterplanning the allocated site. This guidance is in the form of a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).  The Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation draft SPD (at Appendix 1) was subject to public consultation from 21 October – 18 November 2021. 

5.    The wider MOD base at Dalton Barracks was selected to join the Garden Communities Programme as a Garden Village in 2019. However, the draft SPD can only relate to the Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation - the part of the base that was allocated for development in the Local Plan 2031 Part 2.  

6.    The plan below shows the site boundary of the Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation that the draft SPD relates to, as well as the wider area of the MOD base and Garden Village.



7.    SPDs are described by the National Planning Policy Framework as documents which add further detail to the policies in the Development Plan. The Development Plan being those plans, such as the Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plan, which planning decisions must be made in accordance with unless material considerations indicate otherwise. They can be used to provide further guidance for development on specific sites, or on particular issues, such as design. Supplementary planning documents are capable of being a material consideration in planning decisions but are not part of the development plan.

8.    The draft SPD is focused on the Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation and supplements the policies in the adopted Development Plan. It sets out the design requirements and the information required to support any planning applications for the site to ensure that an exemplar, high quality development is delivered. The design and delivery of this new village will follow Garden Village principles as explained throughout the draft SPD. When adopted, the SPD will be a material consideration in assessing future planning applications for the site.

9.    This SPD relates to the Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation site area and not the whole of the designated Garden Village, as the Garden Village was not allocated for development in the adopted Local Plan. As the Strategic Allocation forms part of the designated Garden Village, it is important that the new development reflects the Garden Village status of this area.

10. The process for considering the development of the larger Garden Village site, which has an overall capacity of around 4,500 homes and other supporting land uses over the longer term, will take place through the preparation of future development plans: the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 and the Joint Local Plan 2041.The timeframe for the new Local Plan 2041 is set out within our Local Development Scheme (LDS).

11. Consultation responses are being considered and appropriate modifications to the draft SPD will be prepared. Adoption of the SPD is expected to take place in early 2022.


Climate and ecological impact implications

12. The Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation is an allocated site in Part 2 of the Local Plan, the principle for development on this site is therefore in place. The draft SPD provides additional guidance, including on climate change and ecological matters, that will be material considerations in the determination of future planning applications. This includes providing green space, exemplar energy efficient / zero carbon housing and promoting sustainable transport in the draft SPD. Planning policies support addressing the climate emergencies, including core policies 40, 41, 42 and 43. The draft SPD also seeks to encourage 20-minute neighbourhood characteristics which will reduce car reliance and support local shops.

13. There are several designated wildlife sites located close to the site. Of greatest significance is the Cothill Fen Special Area of Conservation (SAC) to the north (beyond the Strategic Allocation and adjacent to the north of the airfield). Oxford Meadows SAC is also located within 10km of the site.

14. In accordance with the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations (2004) the Council has prepared a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) screening statement to determine whether the SPD should be subject to further SEA. The report also considered whether the document would need to be subject to Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA).

15. We prepared a screening opinion report and consulted on this with the three statutory bodies: The Environment Agency; Historic England; and Natural England between 6 September and 11 October 2021. The Council considered that further SEA and HRA were not necessary, and the three statutory bodies did not challenge this position. The Environment Agency did not respond to this consultation, but the responses from Historic England and Natural England are available to view in Appendix two of the screening statement. 

16. A key objective to delivering the allocated site, required by Core Policy 8b and the supporting Site Development Template, is to avoid all direct and indirect impacts to Cothill Fen SAC, Dry Sandford Pit SSSI, Barrow Farm Fen SSSI and Frilford Heath ponds and Fen SSSI. This requirement is also clearly emphasised in the draft SPD.

Financial Implications

17. The cost of preparing the draft SPD, including the consultation, can be met from existing team budgets (Planning Policy and Garden Communities Teams).

18. There are no other financial implications arising.

Legal Implications

19. The publication of the draft SPD for consultation was undertaken in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 and the adopted Vale of White Horse Statement of Community Involvement (2020).

20. The SPD does not form part of the development plan, it will however be a material consideration in decision-making when adopted.


21. Failure to progress the SPD would risk it being overtaken by planning applications relevant to the allocated site.

Other Implications

22. None.


23.  The Council committed to preparing a supplementary planning document (SPD) for the Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation when it adopted Part 2 of the Local Plan 2031 in 2019. The SPD applies to the Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation only, as set out in Core Policy 8b of the Local Plan 2031, Part 2.

24. The draft SPD has been prepared to provide guidance on the design and development of the Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation. It provides further detail to the policies in the Vale of White Horse Local Plan 2031 and takes account of the Wootton and St Helen Without Neighbourhood Plan, as well as ensuring that development at the Strategic Allocation follows the Garden Village principles set for the wider area.

25. The guidance provided in the draft SPD is to help deliver the new mixed-use community envisaged for the site that will incorporate on-site services and facilities, including education provision, a local centre; and ensure excellent public transport, cycle way and footpath connections.

26. In line with current national policy and guidance, the draft SPD also provides strategic design requirements and more detailed design guidance so that the design expectations and how these will be tested are clear, to ensure a high-quality development of an exemplar standard is achieved.


Background Papers

·        The National Planning Policy Framework

·        Local Plan Part 2(for further information on the Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation)

·        Adopted Policies Map for Abingdon on Thames and Oxford Fringe Sub-Area (to view an area map including the Strategic Allocation)

·        Local Plan Part 2 Inspector’s Report (for detailed information and consideration of the Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation of 1200 homes)

·        Wootton and St Helen Without Neighbourhood Plan (for further information on other policies that relate to the Dalton Barracks Strategic Allocation).

·        The Local Development Scheme

·        Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) and Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) Screening Statement (October 2021)