When the Parish Plan committee first met the view was that the village required a different housing mix especially more 4 & 5 Bedroom houses. The results of the questionnaire show that we also need more 2 bed bungalows for senior members of the community who would like to stay in Berinsfield, but find the upkeep of a house too much. There is also a need for accommodation for younger single people, who would like to stay in the village, but become independent of their families.

Berinsfield is unique in being the first newly created village for 200 years and it also has some other unique characteristics compared with other villages in South Oxfordshire and the South of England. The density of population is 8.9 people per hectare (Dorchester has 1.3 people per hectare and Benson 2.2). [Information from the 1991 Census]

The housing mix is also very different compared with other villages in South Oxfordshire and the South of England. It is felt that this needs to be reviewed and any proposed new housing should take this into account. The private to rented proportions of the village are 59% owner occupied to 41% social or privately rented, which is higher than the rest of South Oxfordshire which has 71 % owner occupied to 29% social or privately rented. Berinsfield has 5% detached housing, 41% semi-detached and 42% terraced. The comparable detached ratio for South Oxfordshire is 30% and 29% in the South of England generally. In South Oxfordshire 32% of housing is semi-detached and only 23% of the total stock is terraced.

housing mix diagram

homes and population diagram

As a village we have a close community, with 3 and 4 generations of families now living in the village and as shown above we are quite literally a close community with 8.9 people per hectare. For future developments the village is quite clear that our green centre is to remain 'GREEN' with 92% saying 'NO' to building on the Parish or School fields and only 4% saying there should be 'infill' within the village and 37% want no further building programmes for the village. There are many reasons for not building in the centre of our village and a major reason is that the infrastructure cannot take it. Putting the drains and sewers under more pressure causes problems as shown with 57% reported in the Parish Plan questionnaire having had problems with the drains, sewers or flooding. The flooding has been caused by new build and replacement build in the middle of the village. So the centre of the village is not the place for our village to expand. There is a group of residents working with SODC with the aim of getting Thames Water to adopt the drains and sewers . 44% of those being surveyed have problems with sewers and drains, with a further 13% having issues with flooding caused by the blocked drains from new build. 

The survey showed that residents thought that either Thames Water, SODC or OCC were responsible for the sewers and the drains with 82% saying that Thames Water should adopt the drains and sewers. It is good news that this is being progressed 37% said they were opposed to any further build for the village. 59% have said they are not opposed to building that would extend the village onto green field land or would support re-using brown field land within the village that has been built on before. 33% of the younger members of our community replied that they would require housing over the next 10 years. As a village we need to encourage the younger members of the community to stay and promote extended family support. We are currently going through what our neighbouring villages and towns are experiencing, in that the age profile is older, the number of homes have increased, and the population of Berinsfield is decreasing.

The survey put forward the question, asked by South Oxfordshire District Council [SODC] housing development programme of where to build in South Oxfordshire over the next 20 years. Berinsfield is classed as one of the larger villages with Benson, Cholsey, Crowmarsh Gifford, Dorchester, Horspath and Wheatley. Didcot is not included for further building as it already has plans agreed for its future.

SODC Future Build

The most popular option was to distribute the house building between towns, large and small villages. The options were:

A - 100% of new housing to be built around the towns of South Oxfordshire (Henley, Wallingford & Thame)
B - 80% of new housing to be built around the towns of South Oxfordshire & 20% around the larger villages
C - 60% of new housing to be built around the towns of South Oxfordshire & 40% around the larger villages
D - 60% of new housing to be built around the towns of South Oxfordshire & 20% around the larger villages and 20% distributed around the smaller villages
E - Don't know

If there is to be new housing for the village all these issues need to be taken in to account as well as the environmental issues. The following suggestions were received via the questionnaire for areas that could be in-filled with up to 4 dwellings : Fane Drive opposite the dentist, the bottom shops, beyond Barrington Close, the Drayton side of Fane Drive, Lay avenue car park. Behind Costcutters, opposite Fox’s Diner and the car boot field next to the Reading road. Respondents expressed opposition to using the school field or Parish council fields.

Return to Parish Plan page.