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West Oxfordshire District Council

10. Carterton



Carterton is West Oxfordshire’s second largest town and the newest. One hundred years ago the area was divided into plots and settled by small holders. In the 1930’s the airfield, which is now the main RAF transport base, was added. During the last 30 years Carterton’s population has more than trebled in size to its present 14,000. 


The area covered by the Carterton Inset Map includes not only the town but also parts of the adjoining parishes of Alvescot, Brize Norton and Shilton. On 1 April 2001 the boundary between Carterton and Brize Norton was amended to accommodate expansion of the town to the north-east designated in previous local plans. 


Previous Plans

The introduction of hundreds of MOD houses in the 1960’s has given part of Carterton an uninspiring character. However, more recent housing development has helped to improve the overall quality of the residential environment. Since 1981 over 2,000 dwellings have been added to the housing stock. 


The rate of new house building in Carterton, fuelled by sites allowed on appeal, added to local concerns in the 1970’s and 1980’s that little improvement was being achieved in employment, shopping and community facilities. 


In 1989 the Council published local plan proposals which included major growth to the north and east of the town. Additional new housing proposals were accompanied by provision for new employment areas, local shopping, community and recreation facilities, a country park and a new road to link Carterton for the first time with the primary road network (A40 link road). Since those
beginnings a new leisure centre and health centre have been added to the proposals. The bulk of the Development Area received outline planning permission in 1998 and has been under construction for several years. 


In recent years the town centre facilities have been improved to meet the needs of a modern town, with the addition of new shops, offices and public buildings. A major new foodstore, complemented by new street paving and furniture, has considerably reinforced the role of Carterton as a local shopping centre. 


Although employment opportunities outside the RAF base have improved, with development of the town centre and sites allocated for employment, the town has been constrained by its poor vehicular access along country lanes. The completion of the new A40 link road should help to promote Carterton as an employment centre. 


Objectives for this Review Plan

In addition to the general objectives of this Plan,the specific objectives for the Carterton area remain the same as for the 1997 Plan.

Objectives for the Carterton Area

  • to secure planned comprehensive development of high environmental quality for housing, employment and ancillary facilities, well-related to the existing built-up areas, through which
    major improvements to Carterton’s infrastructure and facilities can be achieved to the overall benefit of both existing and future residents;
  • to secure clearly defined limits to the growth of Carterton and to protect the setting and separate identities of Shilton and Brize Norton villages.

This Review Plan “rolls forward” the major growth proposals for the town (North-East Carterton Development Area) which were initiated in the Rural Areas Review Local Plan at the end of the 1980’s. These remain the most significant land-use changes for Carterton in this Plan. The Development Area with planning permission is defined on the Carterton Inset Map. 



Existing Commitments and Further Growth

During the 1960’s to 1980’s large housing estates and hundreds of houses were built on large areas of vacant or under-utilised land within the very low density development that was then Carterton. Now only very limited potential remains for infill and redevelopment within the existing modern built-up areas apart from redevelopment of sub-standard RAF housing.


Major development opportunities within theplan period lie within the comprehensive development area designated to the north and east of the town. Expansion of the town elsewhere is constrained by the proximity of the villages of Shilton and Brize Norton and the need to protect their separate identities and rural setting. 


South of Carterton lies the RAF base and runway. Aircraft noise and the boundaries of the airbase are a major constraint in this area and rule out any noise sensitive development, including housing. Operational changes are however expected to take place at the RAF base during the plan period, including the introduction of quieter aircraft, although the details and the implications for the town have yet to be established. 


On the southern edge of the town, virtuallyall of the under-utilised land to the rear of Milestone Road, including the existing caravan site, lies within the noise exposure category (NEC) where planning permission should not normally be granted for residential development (PPG 24 – Annex 1). If it were not for thisnoise constraint, some provision for new housing could be considered in this area. Any future changes in relation to noise and consequences for the Milestone Road area will
be reassessed in the subsequent review of this Plan. 



Land to the north and east of Carterton is being comprehensively developed for housing,  employment, a primary school, local shopping,ecreation and community facilities, a country park and extensive landscaped amenity areas. The North-East Carterton Development Area is defined on the Carterton Inset Map. It is bounded in the north by the existing Kilkenny Lane and in the east by part of the A40 Link Road. 


Land to the east of the existing built-up area which forms the large majority of the Development Area has planning permission. The remainder of the Development Area to the north of Carterton, on both sides of Swinbrook Road, forms Proposal 15. 

PROPOSAL 15 - North-East Carterton Development Area (off Swinbrook Road)

Land to the east and west of SwinbrookRoad which is the residual phase of the North East Carterton Development Area as defined on the Carterton Inset Map is allocated for comprehensive development. Within this area the following provision will be made:

  1. Housing for C2 and C3 uses (6 hectares) which shall include 30% affordable dwellings;
  2. Structural landscape;
  3. A new road along the northern edge to link Shilton Road with the Development Area to the east as shown on the Inset Map. Provision shall be made for pedestrians and cyclists together with ancillary landscaping;
  4. Access to the recreation complex on the southern boundary.

The bulk of the Development Area covered bythe 1998 consent is estimated to provide about 1,400 dwellings when completed. The remaining land under Proposal 15 will add a further 180-200 dwellings. 


The developer will be expected to prepare acomprehensive planning brief for approval by the  Council. No development will be allowed within this area which would increase traffic flows along Swinbrook Road within the existing built-up area. Access should be provided from the new housing to the existing recreation complex to the south to enable residents to make best use of the


Securing the remainder of the new distributor road to link Shilton Road with the A40 Link Road to the east is an essential part of the infrastructure to be met through development of this area. Under Policy BE1 the Council will also seek to secure planning obligations in respect of any identified shortfall in off-site supporting infrastructure and facilities.


PROPOSAL 16 - North East Carterton Country Park

A Country Park (min 20 hectares) on land immediately to the south of Kilkenny Lane shall be laid out as a wooded country park for public use. Kilkenny Lane shall be closed to through traffic as soon as is practicable. 


Being a relatively new town, Carterton has not inherited large areas for public access from  previous generations. The Council proposes to help address this shortfall through the provision of a country park within the Development Area on land sloping down to Kilkenny Lane. Major areas of new tree planting, together with amenity space, will help provide a setting to the new  expansion of Carterton, secure a buffer between  the new built-up areas and the open countryside and provide an important leisure facility for the local population. New playing fields have been provided off Carterton Road. 


The land for the country park is being conveyed to the District Council, with phased implementation of the landscape proposals over the plan period. The County Highways Authority will be asked to close Kilkenny Lane to through traffic as early as practicable. It will however remain as an important access to the country park and be incorporated within the provision for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders in the area. Vehicular access will be retained for the few properties taking direct access off Kilkenny Lane. 



Seven hectares of land off Carterton Road werellocated in previous Plans for employment use.  Planning permission has been granted. The land immediately to the east of the Leisure Centre formed part of the original North East Carterton Development Area and has outline consent. The partially developed West Oxfordshire Business Park to the south has planning permission for B1, B2 and B8 units plus some A1 (non-food) uses. 


Road Improvements

Land remains safeguarded under Policy T4 for a new road linking the Minster Road and Witney  Road to the north-east of Brize Norton village as shown on the Carterton Inset Map. This is the residual section of the A40 Link Road from Carterton now built. 


Minster Road south of the A40 junction is proposed by the County Highways Authority to be upgraded to an ‘A’ class road.

Other Housing Proposal

PROPOSAL 17 - Shilton Road, Carterton

Land to the south of Shilton Road is allocated for housing (1.7 ha) as shown on the Carterton Inset Map. In considering proposals for development particular regard will be given to the relationship between development and the Shill Brook Valley. 


The larger eastern part of this site has been identified for housing in several previous Plans. This area, together with the paddock land to the west, totals some 1.7 hectares and shouldprovide at least 50 dwellings. Careful attention will be required to ensure new development does not harm views to and from the Shill Brook valley. 



The town centre has seen a considerable improvement in the range and quality of its facilities in recent years. This has included a new large foodstore to the south-east of the crossroads, refurbishment of The Precinct to the north-west, street enhancement schemes with new paving and furniture and the introduction of traffic management measures on the approach to the crossroads. 


However, the town centre is still dominated by its crossroads and traffic lights. Vehicles travelling to the centre combine with through traffic and conflict with pedestrians and cyclists moving from one group of facilities to another.

PROPOSAL 18 - Carterton Town Centre

An area of comprehensive refurbishment and development/redevelopment is proposed
covering the south west quadrant of the town centre as defined on the Town Centre Inset Map. Within this area additional retail development and ancillary town centre uses which are well integrated with existing facilities will be permitted. Provision for a market will be retained within the town centre. New vehicular access will be provided from Alvescot Road and Black Bourton Road to car parking and service areas. The sections of Alvescot Road and Black Bourton Road adjacent to the existing crossroads will be pedestrianised as far as is practicable, together with the measures to improve Wycombe Way for use by diverted traffic. 


Within the town centre, as defined on the Inset Map, the Council will encourage development proposals which positively enhance the environment of the area and help Carterton fulfil an important role in the District shopping hierarchy. 


The existing Thursday market occupies a large area of land that remains unused for six days of the week. The Council will seek to retain the market within the overall town centre, although its size and location will need to be modified to accommodate the comprehensive development proposals for the south-west quadrant. 


New vehicular access is proposed from both Alvescot Road and Black Bourton Road to serve new development within the south-west quadrant and to facilitate pedestrianisation of Alvescot Road and Black Bourton Road near the crossroads. Improvements to Wycombe Way will be necessary to accommodate the additional traffic diverted along this road as a result of the pedestrianisation scheme. 



Carterton is essentially a twentieth century town that does not have a strong built form. Buildings set back behind mature trees and hedgerows with wide grass verges along the main roads are an important part of its character. Particular care will be taken to protect and enhance existing green features. In the lower density areas of the town, particularly on the western edges, further intensification of development to the detriment of this looseknit residential character will not be permitted. Development which would erode Carterton’s character would breach the policies of this Plan, particularly Policies BE2, BE4 and NE6. 


With the expansion of Carterton it is important to protect not only the town’s setting in the countryside but also the rural setting and separate identities of the nearby villages of Shilton and Brize Norton. The Council intends to secure the retention of sufficient open land between Carterton and these villages in order to prevent coalescence and to protect the high environmental quality of Shilton and Brize Norton. This Plan proposes a buffer area to the north, east and west of the town as defined on the Carterton Inset Map. Policy NE2 applies to this area. The spread of urban development into the countryside beyond the North-East Development Area, such as proposals for built development on land alongside the new A40 Link Road, will not be permitted. 


West of Carterton lies the Shill Brook and associated floodplain that create an attractive rural edge to the town. Extensive views of the open countryside to the west can be obtained from Upavon Way. This important rural edge would be lost through prominent new development on the land sloping down to the Brook. Such development has been consistently resisted over the years in the planning policies for Carterton. 


The only development that will be allowed in the buffer area under Policy NE2 will be recreational and community uses appropriate for the open countryside, the conversion and minor alteration of existing buildings and agricultural development that cannot be accommodated elsewhere. 

Disclaimer: All Local Plan policies and proposals are 'saved' beyond June 2009 other than Policies NE8, NE9, T5 and T7 and Proposals 2, 6, 13 and 14 – see decision letter, Direction and Schedule.

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