Changes to DS3 Policy Classification: What You Need to Know


The Cotswolds & Vale of White Horse is known for its picturesque landscapes, charming villages, and vibrant communities. However, recent changes to the DS3 policy classification are causing a stir among residents and property owners.

What is the DS3 Policy?

The DS3 policy, also known as the Designated Service Villages policy, identifies certain villages in the Cotswolds and Vale of White Horse as having a higher level of services and amenities. These villages are considered suitable for development and growth to accommodate the needs of residents and visitors.

What do the changes mean and how will they impact?

Changes to Classification

Recent revisions to the DS3 policy have resulted in the reclassification in some villages.  Villages previously designated as DS3 may have been downgraded to DS2 or even DS1, reflecting changes in infrastructure, services, and development needs.

Implications for Property Owners

For property owners in villages affected by the change in classification, there are several implications to consider:

  • Development Restrictions – With a lower DS classification, there may be stricter limitations on new development and construction projects. This could impact plans for expanding or renovating existing properties.
  • Property Values – Changes in the DS classification can also influence property values. Villages with higher classifications may see increased demand and higher prices, while those with lower classifications may experience stagnation or decline in property values.
  • Planning Permission – Obtaining planning permission for new projects or changes to existing properties may become more challenging in villages with lower DS classifications. Property owners may need to navigate stricter regulations and requirements.
  • Community Services – The DS classification reflects the availability of services and amenities in a village, such as schools, shops, and public transport. A downgrade in classification could mean reduced access to essential services for residents.

What You Can Do?

If you’re a property owner in a village affected by the change in DS classification, here are some steps you can take:

  • Stay Informed – Keep abreast of local planning updates and policy changes to understand how they may impact your property and community.
  • Seek Professional Advice – Consult with local planning authorities or property experts to assess the implications of the DS classification changes for your property .
  • Engage with the Community – Get involved in local initiatives and community discussions to advocate for the needs of your village and ensure that any changes reflect the interests of residents.
  • Explore Alternatives – Consider alternative options for development or investment if the changes to the DS classification present challenges for your property plans.


The changes to the DS3 policy classification in the Cotswolds and Vale of White Horse are a significant development for property owners and residents alike. By understanding the implications of these changes and taking proactive steps, you can navigate the shifting landscape effectively and protect the value and character of your property and community.

If you need further information or advice on any planning-related matters, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced team members today.


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