The Proposals

Merton College has submitted a planning application for site PR9, in line with the adopted Cherwell Local Plan. This page sets out the outline proposals. As a result, many of the details – including the precise design of the new homes – will be decided through a reserved matters application submitted at a later date.

Should you not be able to find all the information you are looking for on this website, please feel free to contact us directly using the details provided on our contact page. The submitted planning application, and all associated documents, can also be viewed here.

Delivering Cherwell's Local Plan

Site PR9 is currently used for agricultural purposes, but a proportion of the site will be removed from the Green Belt and developed following its allocation within Cherwell District Council’s Local Plan. Our proposals have been influenced heavily by the requirements set out in the Local Plan and will:

  • Provide around 540 new homes, with a portion set aside for affordable housing with the details to be agreed with the District Council
  • Deliver an elderly/extra care residential care home
  • Deliver a linear village extension with an attractive frontage to the A44
  • Provide a ‘Community Hub’ at the heart of the site
  • Connect to the existing network of streets and public footpaths, including the historic Dolton Lane and surrounding countryside
  • Provide space for school playing fields to enable the potential expansion of William Fletcher School
  • Provide space for the expansion of Yarnton Medical Centre
  • Retain most of the site within the Green Belt, providing public access along with areas of new community woodland, meadow land and a Local Nature Reserve

Cherwell District Council’s Local Plan identifies an opportunity to create an attractive village extension which relates strongly to the existing character of the village and other nearby areas. 

Red line plan

Enhancing green space across PR9

The proposals for site PR9 seek to enhance green space across the site by providing public access to a range of high-quality open spaces, habitats, and environments. This will include:

  • More than 50% of the site remaining within the Green Belt, the majority of which will be retained as agricultural land
  • Community woodland to the north of the site, accessible to the public
  • New meadow land to the immediate west
  • The development itself will have a new landscaped setting based on the retention of important trees, and a network of attenuation ponds
  • Informal parkland, to the west of the proposed development area, accessible to the public
  • Green open space will be provided, with play areas and a ‘Community Hub’, accessible to the public
  • Protections for existing public rights of way across the site, plus additional pedestrian and cycle routes
  • Flooding alleviation measures, aiming particularly to benefit existing properties in Rutten Lane, Stoutsfield Close and Cassington Road.

The proposals for PR9, aligning with Cherwell’s Local Plan, will therefore both protect and enhance local green spaces – providing improved access for both new and existing residents.

Delivering community facilities

The development of PR9 will deliver a host of benefits for the local community, over and above the housing required to meet identified local need. This will include:

  • Land set aside for the expansion of school playing fields for William Fletcher School
  • Land to provide an extension for Yarnton Medical Practice serving both new and existing residents
  • Affordable housing, with the details to be agreed with Cherwell District Council
  • A range of accommodation for all ages and demographics, including those in later life
  • Improved green open spaces, to include play areas and recreational space for both new and existing residents
  • Additional financial contributions for local services

As well as delivering all-important housing, as identified in Cherwell’s Local Plan, it is also recognised that the development should deliver benefits for the whole community.

William Fletcher School and Yarnton Medical Practice, both of which are set to benefit from the development of PR9 

Integrating with existing transport networks

The proposals have been developed using a comprehensive evidence base, which informed the allocation of PR9 within the adopted Local Plan. The highways and transport strategy includes:

  • Vehicular access in the northern part of the site will be provided from a new arm to the existing signalised junction on the A44
  • The second vehicle access point will be provided from Rutten Lane, adjacent to Yarnton Medical Practice
  • A direct, connecting primary street will be created between these two access points. The primary street will provide a new access to the medical practice, with secondary routes providing access to all parts of the site
  • Four pedestrian and cycle access points onto the A44 corridor providing direct access to the bus stops and cycling infrastructure along the A44
  • Enhanced pedestrian/cycle crossing points onto Spring Hill Road and Cassington Road, together with two similar routes from the site onto Rutten Lane
  • Access into the parkland and community woodland to the north and west, which will connect with the existing network of public rights of way and the surrounding countryside
  • Improvements to the existing bus stops on the A44 as well as the potential provision of a further bus stop located to the north of the A44 site access

The planning application will be accompanied by detailed transport studies which outline the effect of development upon the highway network, the measures which will be adopted to ensure that sustainable modes of transport are prioritised for all trips, and the links which will be provided to existing and future local services and amenities.


A high-quality development

Allocated within Cherwell’s Local Plan, the proposals for PR9 represent an exciting opportunity to provide a high-quality development which meets the housing needs of the community, but also provides wider benefits for new and existing residents. Green open space, play areas, and the expansion of William Fletcher School and Yarnton Medical Centre will all provide tangible community benefits.

Merton College has recognised its role as a long-term steward of land, and is committed to realising these benefits for residents. The College will work with carefully selected partners to deliver any development of the site, and it will remain engaged throughout to ensure that all the benefits set out at this stage are delivered.