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Response from Diocese of Oxford

by Haddenham Webteam – 5th October 2015
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dioceseofoxfordglebe plan

Regular visitors to Haddenham.net will be aware that Lightwood Strategic, the development company seeking planning permission to develop the Aston Road / Glebe land opposite Tiggywinkles, has requested a judicial review of AVDC's decision to 'make' (i.e., to accept and publish) Haddenham's Neighbourhood Plan. The original article can be seen here, and the comment from Haddenham Parish Council can be seen here.

Although Lightwood Strategic has options to develop the agricultural land, a significant parcel of land adjoining this plot is Glebe land owned by the Diocese of Oxford.

The Parish Council understands that the Diocese is a collaborating partner with Lightwood Strategic, in terms of the planning application submitted to to AVDC for permission to build 280 homes on the site.

Today (Monday 5th October 2015) however, the following statement was received from the Editor of The Door, the church newspaper, on behalf of the Diocese of Oxford:
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"Both the Haddenham Parish Council and Aylesbury Vale District Council asked us two years ago to demonstrate that we could find a way of selling the Glebe for development, by working in partnership with the adjoining landowners. Those landowners had already signed up with Lightwood, and both councils did not want us to promote our land individually. That meant that in order to achieve the requirements of the council we had to join that partnership and enter into an agreement with Lightwood who have been tasked with promoting the land for us jointly and objectively.

"We will not be selling the Glebe land to them. Our aim is always to work with the parish and district councils to ensure the best use of the land for everyone involved when we do sell to a developer.

"We would like to make it clear that the sale of the Glebe land is a process that is overseen by the Diocese of Oxford and has nothing to do with St Mary's Church."

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Who or what is the Diocese of Oxford?

If you are not a communicant member of the Church of England, you may not be aware of the nature or purpose of the Diocese of Oxford. Here's what its website has to offer:

The Diocese of Oxford is the administrative area of the Church of England that, broadly speaking, covers the three counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

It covers 2,200 square miles – and much the same area as Thames Valley Police.

There are 815 churches in our diocese – more than any other diocese in the Church of England. So in many ways the best description of the Diocese of Oxford is that it is the family of the 55,000 or so regular worshippers in these churches.

However, the relationship between Church and state in this country means that every one of the 2.2 million or so people who live in our area has a parish church.

So even if you are not a regular churchgoer, if you live within the Diocese of Oxford, welcome. The Church is there for you.

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