Proposed Local Centre

A community hub is proposed as part of the new local centre, with this area being easily accessible via the primary street corridor and new bus route into and across the North Witney SDA. The design of this part of the site will be more ‘urban’ in feel, with taller buildings to identify it as a unique space, clearly defined from the wider neighbourhood.

It is proposed to be in close proximity to the new primary school, and will offer a range of facilities, including co-working spaces, retail, and a mobility hub for existing and future residents of Witney.

Local centre ambitions

  • Local bus routes will service the local centre, with laybys nearby
  • Retail and community provisions
  • A pedestrian and cycle crossing point will help slow traffic and create a safe link
  • Apartments will be provided above the shops
  • The local centre green faces south to provide an opportunity for outdoor community events
  • Taller buildings to mark the importance of the centre
  • Reprovision of the school sports pitches
  • Financial contributions through the S106 and CIL, which will help deliver infrastructure improvements to support the development

Key Spaces

The illustrative master plan contains a number of different areas and spaces that will exhibit differing characters. These spaces respond to their context and seek to create a diverse and interesting townscape.

Middlefield Farm edge

Middlefield Farm is a unique collection of converted and new sympathetically designed replacement farm buildings that includes two listed buildings. This sensitive part of the site requires a bespoke design that responds to this setting. The illustrative proposals set built development back from the edge of Middlefield Farm with a landscape space that aims to repeat the paddock/small holding character found on the southern side of the Middlefield Farm complex. Spaces framed by new Cotswold stone walls or managed hedgerows will provide a transition between the existing settlement edge and the new neighbourhood. One to one and half storey barn typology buildings would flank this space with key taller marker building being reminiscent of a farmhouse.

Western core

The western core will exhibit a tighter grain, taller buildings and higher densities than the surrounding urban form. The focal point of the space will be the long distance views south towards St Mary’s Church, which will provide a visual link between the site and the centre of Witney.

The space will be softer than the local centre and aim to reflect the softer landscape spaces that can be found on the existing approaches to Witney. The softer landscape-led space will create a clear distinction from the local centre creating a highly legible difference in the sequence of space along the primary street.

Northern edge

This low density edge will have a looser form and more varied urban grain, including a mix of typologies and varied plot size. This will be reflective of village forms and help to create a transition between the new urban area and the countryside beyond to the north.

Central green corridor interface Northern edge

There is an opportunity to create a distinctive urban response along the eastern edge of the central valley corridor. The eastern edge is more appropriate for this response given its proximity to the local centre. The width and change in levels will allow a relatively urban response to help frame this wide landscape space, further emphasising its importance in the overall structure of the neighbourhood.