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The Brightwell cum Sotwell Neighbourhood Plan


Section 3 of the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 gives neighbourhood plans full legal effect once they have passed their local referendums. As the majority of local electors voted in favour of the Brightwell cum Sotwell Neighbourhood Plan at referendum, the Brightwell-cum-Sotwell Neighbourhood Plan is now Made and forms part of the South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) Development Plan and will carry significant weight in how planning applications are decided.

Brightwell-cum-Sotwell Parish Council prepared the Neighbourhood Development Plan for SODC.  The purpose of the Brightwell cum Sotwell Parish Neighbourhood Plan (BCSNP) is to make planning policies that can be used to determine planning applications in the parish in the period to March 2032. Its policies aim to positively plan for the growth of the main village but to do so in ways that will protect and enhance the special character of the Parish.

Neighbourhood Plans provide local communities with the chance to shape the future development of their areas. The Neighbourhood Plan followed immediately from the Community Led Parish Plan.  Neighbourhood Plans only contain land use planning policies that can be used for this purpose. This means that there are other important issues of interest to the local community that cannot be addressed in a Neighbourhood Plan if they are not directly related to planning. In Brightwell cum Sotwell these are set out in the Community Led Parish Plan.

To view the Neighbourhood Plan and the supporting documents please click the following link

neighbourhood plan made version

Parish Plan


The Referendum

On 12 October 2017 the Brightwell-cum-Sotwell neighbourhood plan went to a public referendum. The official referendum results were as follows:

Votes in favour of adopting the neighbourhood plan: 602 (95.5%)

Votes against adopting the neighbourhood plan: 25 (3.9%)

The recommendation to cabinet was approved on 5 October 2017


The Neighbourhood Plan Report

These supporting documents are available on the documents page of this website:

The Draft Sustainability Appraisal Report, incorporating the Strategic and      Environmental Report.

Site Assessment Report

Landscape and Green Spaces Study

The Community Led Parish Plan

The Brightwell cum Sotwell Conservation Area Character Appraisal

The Housing Needs Survey

All these documents can be viewed on the Parish Council Website: http://www.brightwellcumsotwellpc.org in the Documents section under Neighbourhood Plan Consultation.

Hard copies are available to view during the Parish Office opening hours by appointment with the clerk (01491 826968).  


A Summary of the Neighbourhood Plan

Brightwell cum Sotwell is a rural parish that consists of six separate settlements.  The largest, locally known as ‘the village’ is formed by the merged communities of Brightwell and Sotwell that nestles in a hollow below the Sinodun Hills.  This main settlement is separated from the outlying hamlets of Mackney, Shillingford Hill, Clapcot and Sires Hill by a patchwork of fields, orchards, woods and meadowland.  

People have lived and worked in Brightwell cum Sotwell for over 3000 years.   The landscape is varied and includes the River Thames floodplain to the north and the ridge of the Sinodun Hills that runs east / west through the centre of the parish, settlement being situated on the gravel terraces below the ridge.  To the south is the former marshland where mixed agriculture dominates the scene.  There are areas of high nature conservation interest and footpaths criss cross the countryside offering excellent walking opportunities linking the settlements with the countryside that notably provided the inspiration to the artist Paul Nash.  

The parish retains many facilities including the community stores (with a post office), a primary school, a pub, a hotel (at Shillingford Hill), the village hall, tennis courts, two large recreation grounds with children’s play facilities. 

The parish is unfortunately cut in two by the busy A4130 road that runs between the main settlement and the Sinodun Hills whilst the nearby town of Wallingford has expanded to within one field to the east of the main village.   

 In the village itself, dotted along the narrow lanes are the picturesque thatched cottages that are so typical of South Oxfordshire.  These traditional buildings mix with new developments that on the whole blend seamlessly into the rural scene. Streams and orchards, open spaces, hedges, large front gardens  and mature trees characterise much of the village and help to provide a very strong sense of place.  The BCSNP sets out policies to conserve and enhance this special character.

There is a strong community spirit in Brightwell cum Sotwell with all manner of events taking place throughout the year, and a variety of clubs and societies to belong to.   The parish forms a desirable place to live although with an aging population and identified housing need.   To meet the parish’s housing needs and to guide sustainable development, it was agreed in 2013 at the Brightwell cum Sotwell Parish Meeting to develop a Neighbourhood Plan.  The Parish Council established a sub-group to consult on and produce a neighbourhood plan with the intention that following referendum the Brightwell cum Sotwell Neighbourhood Plan will form part of South Oxfordshire’s Development Plan and will guide development within our parish.


Supporting documents

To view the Referendum version of the Neighbourhood Plan and the supporting documents please click the following link which will take you South Oxfordshire District Council's website


Please note that the following link will take you to South Oxfordshire District Council’s website



Consultation Statement This link will take you to an external website...

Basic Conditions Statement  This link will take you to an external website...

Site Assessment This link will take you to an external website...  

Sustainability Appraisal This link will take you to an external website...

Revised HRA Screening Determination This link will take you to an external website...

Area Designation Map (1.5 MB)

Designation letter (268.8 KB)

Consultation Report (479.0 KB)

SEA Screening Determination Statement (5.4 MB)


Examination documents:

Examiner's Report (239.0 KB)

Consultation responses (4.2 MB)  

Clarification Note for Parish Council (42.7 KB)  (sets out the examiner's initial comments on the plan)

Parish Council response to clarification note (109.4 KB)

South Oxfordshire District Council response to Clarification Note (2.2 MB)

Written representations submitted by invited participants of the public hearing - BcS Parish Council (210.1 KB) , IPE Orchestra (155.6 KB) (appendix 1 (228.1 KB) , 2 (374.0 KB) , 3 (947.4 KB) ) SODC response (486.9 KB)

Letter from Harris Lamb (592.7 KB)

Examiner's Hearing Note (212.5 KB)

Factual Note (351.3 KB) and appendix (1.5 MB)



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