What Is Happening At Nethercote?

It is now a year since Nethercote residents learned that developers had submitted speculative proposals to turn the rural areas of Huscote Farm and the rural hamlet of Nethercote into industrial estates, as part of the Local Plan Review 2040 for Cherwell District Council. Local residents have been overwhelmed by the support to preserve the area, received by those living in Banbury, surrounding villages, and even further afield, all of whom would be in some way affected should the proposals be allowed. We are often asked what is happening at the moment and whether the threat is still there or if the area is yet protected. Sadly, the cogs of these things turn painfully slowly, so your support is still needed to preserve this beautiful area for the future!

The purpose of this blog is to summarise the current position of the threats and what we stand to lose!

Nethercote as it is today

Developing the area of Nethercote for commercial use would have a hugely negative impact on our countryside; increase traffic and place further pressure on the M40 roundabout which is already insufficient for the volume; increase noise from alarms and machinery; remove the natural habitat for wildlife and birds; increase flooding risks by removing permeable surfaces and destroy the Banbury agricultural heritage within the area, to mention a few.

What Developers Want To Do To Nethercote

Cherwell District Council Local Plan Review 2040

The Local Plan is the blueprint of decisions made across the district, it is a long-term document setting out planning policies and proposals for new development within the district and is used to guide decisions on future development proposals as well as addressing the needs and opportunities in the area

Apart from the small section between the M40 and A361, no land East of M40 is currently earmarked for any kind of development in the currently adopted Local Plan. In fact, suggestions to include Huscote Farm were specifically rejected by the Planning Inspectorate at examination stage due to the detrimental impact this would have on the landscape of this area

As part of the review process that is happening currently, Cherwell District council has given landowners and developers the opportunity to let them know about areas that might be suitable for future development for both housing and commercial purposes. Developers have speculatively suggested that Nethercote hamlet and Huscote Farm should be considered as suitable for employment development and propose around 30 warehouses could be built across both sites.

Developers say that the destruction of the local heritage, loss of biodiversity and the impact on traffic for those living locally simply doesn’t matter as these warehouses will provide jobs for the area. This argument though is clearly invalid, there are several warehouses nearby, including those built off A361 that simply can’t find occupants. The nearby units at Chalker Way, West of M40 & South of Nethercote that are occupied are unable to fill all of the roles they have available, so these are not the jobs that Banbury people are wanting. It is a known fact, and stated in the currently adopted Local Plan that Banbury residents are travelling out of the area for the quality of jobs that they are seeking and qualified for

Nethercote residents also made their own proposal as part of the Local Plan Review 2040 that the area be given Local Green Space designation, thus recognising the value to recreation and Banbury history

Currently, Cherwell District Council are reviewing the results of the initial consultation and are expected to publish the next stage of their Local Plan Review later in 2022 with the next round of public consultations in November* 2022. At this time, we should learn whether Cherwell District Council support the developers speculative proposals for Nethercote and/or Huscote and whether they will feature in the Draft Local Plan as well as the LGS Designation proposal

*now expected to take place in December, with an 8 week consultation being launched on 14th December 2022

Long Term Protection For The Area

Of course, even if Cherwell District Council don’t support them and they aren’t included at this stage, this will not prevent developers repeatedly trying to get their proposals supported and this is why more robust protection for the area is required with Conservation Area Designation.

Across the fields of Nethercote today, we see many remnants of its medieval and agricultural past, representing significant heritage for not only Nethercote, but the town of Banbury and the counties of both Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire.  Taken together, the elements are an important and increasingly rare survival of a working medieval and post medieval landscape and these elements contribute to the significance the heritage assets that lay within.

The historic landscape of Nethercote is the last tangible link with a forgotten Banbury industry (Banbury Cheese) as well as its deeper arable past. And in addition to the field system, adjacent to the original farmhouse and associated farm buildings, there lies the well-preserved features and remains of some of the abandoned house platforms from the now shrunken village, together with hedgerows still marking the boundaries of its medieval layout.

Huscote Farm As It Is Now – Viewed From A422

Planning Application For Huscote Farm

Despite the Local Plan Review 2040 not yet completed, and no public indication as to whether Cherwell District Council support any development in this rural area, developers have aggressively pushed ahead and submitted an outline planning application for Huscote Farm

The comment due date has since closed, however Cherwell District Council have indicated that they will consider all comments made up until the date of the decision so it is not too late if you wish to comment and haven’t already

Cherwell District Council Planning Committee meet monthly, with the agenda publicised around a week before each meeting.

What Developers Want To Do To Huscote Farm

Banbury LCWIP

Oxfordshire County Council and Cherwell District Council are currently working on a Banbury LCWIP – Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan. This is about identifying and highlighting safe routes for people to use when walking and cycling and looking about how these routes can be made safer and more accessible.

The proposed “Village Route 6” consulted on a proposal for a route from Banbury to Middleton Cheney via Overthorpe, this is very much supported but as part of the consultation it was suggested that this be enhanced to a circular route encompassing Nethercote. Such route would maximise the value of this tranquil area for recreation, already used by many for walking, running and cycling

The Blue Line is The Route Proposed and the Green Line shows the enhanced route suggested

Oxfordshire County Council are currently reviewing responses to this consultation and the next consultation is expected any time now

Planning Application for mixed use development including 240 bed hotel at J11 M40

This application is for the remaining earmarked land between M40 and A361, up to J11 Roundabout

Proposal for remaining earmarked land at J11

The comment due date has since closed, however Cherwell District Council have indicated that they will consider all comments made up until the date of the decision so it is not too late if you wish to comment and haven’t already

How You Can Support Us

We will of course update on developments and new consultations where you can have your say, as they are launched. The best way to keep up to date on these is to follow us on our Social Media Platforms which you can find by clicking each link!

Please make sure you have given your comments on the current planning applications

You can also sign our petition to #keepnethercoterural

If you pass through the area, you can also support our Bioblitz by recording any wildlife that you see

If you feel strongly about the impact these proposals will have on aspects such as traffic, the destruction of our local heritage, the loss of the biodiversity in the area then you should contact your own local councillors and MP to make them aware of your thoughts on these issues.


  1. I live in Chacombe and am very concerned about all the developments. I presume that CPRE is involved? I would love to write and object, but, not being very computer literate, I am not sure who to write to (and what the planning number is in the case of the second stage of theM40 development already started). Maybe you’d be kind enough to help? I will write to Andrea Leadsom, our MP, and if there is anything else I can do please let me know. We can’t let these awful unnecessary developments happen. The very best of luck with the fight.

  2. Hi Pauline, thank you for your comment, we are sending you an email to answer your questions, but are putting the answers here too in case anyone else is wanting to know the same!

    CPRE Oxfordshire are also against the developments and have written comprehensive objections to both as well as responding to the consultations relating to the Local Plan review

    You are not alone in the difficulty of being able to use the portal & it is acceptable to write an objection by sending a letter, here is the address you should send to:

    Planning Development Manager
    Bodicote House,
    Oxon, OX15 4AA

    The references to quote:

    Huscote Farm Outline Plans for large scale commercial development – 22/01488/OUT

    J11 Full Plans for erection of mixed-use development including a 240-bed hotel – 21/02467/F

    Thank you for your interest

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