In 2026, Sonning Common parish will be at the hub of a thriving community, where the total settlement will extend to some 5,000 people - all living within a beautiful and valued Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Modern service centre
It will have a modern service centre, providing a good range of retail and healthcare, and modern recreation, sports, youth and care home facilities - all serving a total population of around 9,000 people from the community and surrounding villages.
Mix of housing
Our neighbourhood will provide a more even mix of housing, accessible to each segment of a balanced and inclusive community. We will plan for and support the construction of the 138 homes that have been allocated to us by South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC).
Modern community facilities
Sonning Common will be a healthy place where people of all ages can live, learn, shop, work, access healthcare and engage in active recreation, sports and cultural pursuits within modern community facilities.
Thriving village centre
The village centre will thrive and suffer less from congestion if we can succeed in providing an appropriate new car park, maintain a good bus service and enable free-flowing traffic through the main internal artery (along Kennylands Road and Wood Lane).
We also aspire to see a re-modelling of the village centre to focus on its key retail and healthcare provision role and to allow for the modernisation and expansion of these facilities - so that they remain of appropriate scale to meet future demands.
Community sports hall
We aspire to have a new, modern community sports hall, surrounded by an appropriate provision of playing pitches and car parking. Ideally, we would like this facility to be close to our secondary school to allow shared use of these facilities.
Sonning Common will continue to be a key nexus of educational facilities with excellent nursery, pre-school, library, primary school and secondary school facilities. We aim for there to be a genuine partnership between the community and these vital facilities so that all can achieve the highest standards.
We recognise that Sonning Common presently has a high degree of out-commuting for employment. By 2026, we aspire to have a new, small office park close to, but out of, the village centre. This will have modern ICT-enabled buildings and dedicated parking facilities.
We will encourage office users in the congested village centre to migrate their operations to the new office park. We will support the provision of a broadband and communications infrastructure to both local businesses and appropriate home-workers. We will encourage a positive employment environment generally with a more sustainable pattern of travel and less commuting.
In embracing development, Sonning Common will actively seek to ensure that change benefits the whole community. Families and people with strong local connections will be given preferential access to suitable new homes. We will work with the community to select carefully the best possible sites for potential development. Where possible, we will ensure that employment opportunities, arising from development, benefit local skills and capabilities.
Sonning Common will continue to protect and respect its cherished woodland character and its setting within a beautiful AONB rural environment. By designing a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) we will have actively avoided mergers with nearby areas which have a very different urban character and density.