RESIDENTS have voted in favour of a neighbourhood plan that hopes to help preserve the history of a village near Bicester, but also sustain growth.

A referendum held on May 6 saw 91.7 per cent of villagers vote for the Weston-on-the-Green Neighbourhood Plan 2018-2031.

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The plan, which took years to create, was put forward to guide the future development of the village and focuses on housing, transport, green spaces, infrastructure and local facilities.

Weston-on-the-Green Parish Council says it reflects the thoughts and feelings of local people who care about the community that they live in.

Diane Bohm, Chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan steer group, was instrumental in putting the plan together alongside her team.

She said: "We started with a survey in 2015 because although we had the 2011 Census data, we wondered if things had changed in the village.

"We held three interactive public meetings where we really got a feel of what the village wanted and over the next two years we worked on a paper on how to maintain the village's history.

"I was very strong on the fact that we couldn't say to developers, 'No more houses, everyone go away', because that's wrong.

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"We wanted to keep our interesting history and rural character and formulate a neighbourhood plan that would sit underneath the Cherwell District Council Local Plan as a statutory consultee."

Some examples of policies included in the plan are ensuring developments provide connectivity to the highest standard available at the time of proposal and ensuring that developments improve road safety and aim to reduce traffic volume in the parish.

Ms Bohm said the council is also putting together a future housing needs survey to better understand what homes are needed. She added: "We already have four and five-bedroom houses. We've fought developers about this - we don't need any more. But do we need two-bed homes? Do we need apartments?"

Cherwell District Council was to decide whether the plan would be implemented in a full council meeting yesterday evening.

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