Plans have been approved to build 40 new affordable homes in an Oxfordshire village.

Solihull-based developer, Terra secured planning permission to build the homes off Cote Road in Aston, five miles south of Witney.

Within the appeal decision, the inspector cited the need for affordable housing in the area and the significant shortfall in the West Oxfordshire District Council's five-year housing land supply as clear evidence of the housing need to justify the development.

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The five-year land supply refers to deliverable housing land, which every authority in the country is required to identify and include in a local plan to meet specified government targets for new housing.

Jordan Langdon-Bates, Land & Development Director of Terra said: “West Oxfordshire’s traditional housing stock is considered largely unaffordable to those on lower incomes. However, the demand to live there – and benefit from the quality of life the scenic area offers – is exceptionally high.

“This site will deliver high quality Public Open Space for the enjoyment of all, together with much-needed new affordable homes.

“The Inspector clearly established the provision of affordable housing as a substantial benefit of the scheme.

“More well-located sites, such as this, need to be brought through the planning process so that quality new homes can be delivered to meet the needs of locals and those wishing to relocate.”

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Earlier this year, Cllr Dr Alaa Al-Yousuf, who represents Freeland and Hanborough Ward, said national planning policy and decisions being overturned on appeal are largely to blame for the council not meeting the government's house building targets.

West Oxfordshire District Council cannot currently demonstrate this which can lead developers using this as an argument to make speculative applications for sites not in the original local plan.

Last November the council claimed its land supply was 4.1 years.

However, the inspector in a recent appeal by developer Inspired Villages against refusal of a retirement village in Freeland found that WODC's housing land supply was closer to 2.5 years.

Cllr Dr Alaa Al-Yousuf, who represents Freeland and Hanborough Ward, said: "In these circumstances, the 'tilted balance' of the National Planning Policy Framework applies to all planning determinations although the appeal by Inspired Villages was dismissed on several other planning grounds.

"So I think we need to see the new NPPF and the updated West Oxfordshire Local Plan 2041 adopted ASAP to get us out of the mess we are currently in."

Dr Al-Yousuf said the current slower-than-expected rate of house-building cannot be remedied just by granting more planning permissions but it "becomes almost inevitable because of the appeal process".