Hanborough Action Group Objection Letter to WODC

The Hanborough Action Group has sent the following letter of objection to the outline planning application 15/02687/OUT. A prettier pdf version, suitable for printing this document, is available here.

HANBOROUGH ACTION GROUP

LETTER OF OBJECTION TO OUTLINE PLANNING APPLICATION

No. 15/02687/OUT

Erection of up to 169 dwellings, with new Doctors’ Surgery (incl. Pharmacy) to be up to 740 sq metres in size, with around 27 car parking spaces (means of access only) on land south of Witney Road (A4095), Long Hanborough:

For the attention of Mr Phil Shaw phil.shaw@westoxon.gov.uk

3 September 2015

cc: jeff.haine@westoxon.gov.uk

Dear Mr Shaw,

Re: WODC Planning Reference – 15/02687/OUT Land to the South of Witney Road, Long Hanborough

Hanborough Action Group (HAG) wishes to express, in the strongest possible terms, our concerns and objection to the above application.

We note that this is a second application from Pye Homes Property Developers on behalf of Blenheim Estates for this location. This raises 3 specific points regarding the process that has been undertaken:

  1. This application should be considered in the context of the developer’s decision to lodge an appeal (it is acknowledged by HAG that they have the right to do this) as this renders the purpose of this second application unclear. Particularly in the light of the unanimous decision, by West Oxfordshire District Council’s Uplands Planning Sub-committee on the 2 March 2015, to reject their first application (14/1234/P/OP).
  2. Despite this unequivocal refusal and no determination of their appeal, the developers have submitted a second application (15/02687/OUT) that is virtually unchanged from their previous application (14/1234/P/OP). Both applications seek outline approval for the same number of homes, an identical health centre and the same arrangements for vehicular access. The minor changes that have been proposed, which would be subject to alteration when a full application is made, are as follows:
    a. Slight modifications to the boundary areas and screening.
    This offers negligible advantage to those that overlook the site from adjacent housing. It is also inadequate if the intention is to screen the development from the road. It also fails to address the erosion of the gap between Long Hanborough and Freeland.
    b. That traffic data has been modified to include results obtained by a monitor sited in Hurdeswell.
    It is accepted by the developers that there would be an increase in traffic movements to and from the site. But scant attention is paid to the impact of a larger relocated health centre (incl. Pharmacy).
    In relation to proposed health centre parking allocation (27 spaces), even the most modest estimates of vehicular movements would suggest this would be inadequate for an increased number of staff and patients, particularly at peak times and given its current demand.
    The relocation of the health centre places it at some distance from the centre of the village, and a considerable distance, almost two miles, from its eastern end. Moving it from close to the centre of the village will undoubtedly generate significant additional vehicle movements, as many of those that previously walked or cycled will opt to use their cars to reach the relocated health centre and pharmacy.
    The resultant increase in traffic would bring the A4095 even closer to a standstill, either at peak times, or whenever there is an incident on nearby roads
    . This is a serious and valid concern for residents in Hanborough and road users from further afield.
    c. A change to access route to the proposed new site of the Hanborough Manor C of E School playing field.
    This playing field, it should be noted, is located at a considerable distance from the school’s current play area. There is also currently no planning application for this new playing field.
    The first proposed access route to the site was unacceptable to the Hanborough Playing Fields Association (HPFA) as it involved crossing a public right of way and necessitating two-way lockable gates, which would bar users from their leisure facilities.
    The latest access route proposed by the developers would involve leading pupils down Riely Close and through Kents Bank, an estate of recently built houses. Having to negotiate such a route to a distant playing field presents obvious practical difficulties with regard to transfer times, toilet facilities and child safety. None of these have been addressed, despite the impact they would clearly have on teaching time and the pupil experience.
  3. Given that these revisions offer no material changes of significance and the appeal process is not yet concluded there is nothing to justify a re-application to WODC and the Uplands Planning Committee for their further consideration. It would seem therefore to be an unnecessary time wasting exercise for the Uplands Planning Sub-Committee to have to deal with, particularly as their previous decision was clear and unanimous.

In addition to the points highlighted above, we also wish to draw to your attention to the scale of this development and the lack of need for it in Hanborough.

From the statistics stated in the Council’s own Local Plan – Hanborough will need 284 houses between now and 2031; a rate of just less than 19 each year.

If approved the development proposed by Pye Homes Property Developers would result in Hanborough increasing by a further 169 homes; a volume that is not sustainable for the village. This increase is completely unnecessary, as it would be additional to the 64 new homes already built in the village in the last five years; Burleigh Court (5 homes), the recently completed affordable homes schemes at Corn Hide (24 homes) and Kents Bank (21 homes). Coupled with the other developments in progress at Myrtle Farm (9 homes), Swan Lane (3 homes), Bell Public House conversion (2 homes) and the recent granting of Outline Planning Permission for a development off Church Road (50 homes), this is a total of 114 homes already built or approved for the village, which is more than enough to satisfy the Local Plan requirement for growth in Hanborough. This present application, if granted, would also certainly overwhelm the community and its resources.

We are not suggesting we have no growth but that growth should be achieved at a level which enables sustainability and minimises the risk of losing the integrity of Hanborough as a village and a community.

In the interest of brevity, we will not reiterate the full list of objections previously raised regarding this application. These remain unchanged and can be referenced through the documents we have already submitted to WODC (see List of pertinent documents below) and the numerous objections submitted by residents for Application 14/1234/P/OP and Application 15/02687/OUT. By the time the window for receipt of objections to WODC closes the total figure will exceed 1000 objections to this development. Only one resident from Hanborough has expressed support for it.

It is also worth noting the unprecedented number of members of the public who wished to attend the hearing of the first application, so many that a considerable number were unable to get into the meeting room. This alone reflects the level of residents’ concern about this application. Taken together with the number of objections WODC have also received it is clear and unequivocal that residents do not wish this development to be approved.

List of pertinent documents:

  • Hanborough Action Group Objection to Outline Planning Application No.14/1234/P/OP Pye Homes Property Developers with Blenheim Palace Estates
  • Hanborough Action Group Final Representation to WODC Planning Application No.14/1234/P/OP Pye Homes Property Developers with Blenheim Palace Estates
  • Hanborough Action Group Pre-submission comments re. WODC Local Plan 2031

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information or have any questions.

Sincerely,

Hanborough Action Group (HAG)

getintouch@handsoffhanborough.co.uk