Hanborough Action Group Update 4 – 24 October 2015

Pye Appeal

The date of the appeal against the WODC refusal of Pye Homes’ planning application 14/1234/P/OP has been set for Tuesday 16 February 2016 starting at 10:00 a.m. It is scheduled to last for 5 days.

It is to be held in the Council Chamber at WODC offices in Witney. Because the public capacity of the Council Chamber is limited, there will be CCTV coverage that can be viewed from one of the Council meeting rooms, providing much greater public viewing access. The Statement of Case from the Hanborough Action Group has been submitted to the planning inspector dealing with the appeal.

Application from Pye Homes to Relocate the Manor School Playing Field

Yet another planning application, 15/03341/FUL, from Pye Homes was submitted on Tue 06 Oct 2015 to relocate the Hanborough Manor School playing field to part of a field in agricultural use and an area of grassland, including the erection of a storage shed. The full planning statement can be viewed here. This application is intimately connected with the application 15/02687/OUT, the reapplication of 14/1234/P/OP from Pye Homes. In their application 15/02687/OUT, they referred to the possibility of a new playing field for the Manor Primary School, located approximately 250 metres from the school, behind the new housing development of Kent’s Bank. In order that 15/02687/OUT can have any credence, planning approval is required for the proposed playing field, hence this full planning application for a playing field. This is part of their plan to build new classrooms on the existing playing-field adjacent to the school, in order to accommodate the children from their proposed housing development. Building on the existing field would mean that there would be much more limited space for all the children to play at break and lunch times. The provision of a replacement sports playing-field elsewhere would not compensate for the loss of daily play space.

Hanborough Action Group, the Parish Council, and others object to this application on a number of grounds, details of which will be published shortly.

On Tuesday 13 October this item was at the top of the meeting agenda for the monthly Parish Council meeting. 41 members of the public were in attendance along with Andrew Hamiton, headmaster of Bartholomew School and Chief Executive of the Eynsham Partnership Academy of which the Manor School is part. Mr Hamilton was invited to answer questions from the council and members of the public who were in attendance. The draft minutes of this meeting are available here.

Important matters to consider in this application are:

  • Do you want the school sports playing-field to be relocated to a remote field, 250 metres away from the main school, to which access would only be via public roads?
  • Do you want your children to be playing sports in a playing field, enclosed by a welded wire mesh fence, 2.1 metres high, in an open area of the countryside, and seen by people walking on the adjacent footpaths, such as the Coffin Path?
  • Do you want your children spending 10-15 minutes getting to the playing-field, and then again coming back, when that time could be better devoted to educational or recreational activities?

If you oppose the application, then you need to write to WestOxon Planning Department. Here are some points you can make:

  • Proposed playing-field is 250 metres from the school
  • Only accessible from Manor School by public thoroughfares
  • Time spent getting there and back is a waste of educational curriculum time
  • Smaller playing space at break and lunch times
  • Other than accompanying teachers, what is the security provision for safety of children going to the new playfield?
  • How would children be safeguarded at the new playing-field?
  • Total lack of screening for playing field – 2.1metre high hedge can take many years to grow
  • Public footpaths run alongside playing field
  • No provision for shelter/toilets/changing facilities other than a small hut
  • No provision for medical emergencies – help would have to be summoned from the school, 250 metres away
  • What is the provision for the annual school sports day?
  • Destroys open view of countryside and Pinsley Wood from edge of village and Kent’s Bank

If you wish to object to this planning application, please write with your objections as soon as possible and before 5 November 2015. You can email your letters to: planning@westoxon.gov.uk, giving reference 15/03341/FUL and your address.

WODC Local Plan

The first part of the examination by the Planning Inspectorate of the West Oxfordshire District Council new Local Plan will start on Tuesday 24 November. This may mean that Pye’s second application on Land South of Witney Road,  previously expected to be heard at Uplands Committee on 30 November may be moved to the new year in order that Pye can assess the outcome of the first part of the Local Plan hearing.