A Late Intruder to the Blenheim Estates / Pye Homes Appeal

Commercial Estates Group (CEG), the developer whose application 15/03797/OUT  for the ‘Erection of up to 120 dwellings’ next to Hanborough Station was rejected by WODC on the 29 February 2016, have managed to become involved with the appeal process on the side of Blenheim Estates / Pye Homes and submitted a 733 page document on April 12 2016 as their Proof of Evidence. The fact that they have managed to introduce themselves into the appeal process as a Rule 6 party so late in the day seems very controversial, but there is nothing can do about this at this stage.

There is more detailed information about the appeal in the Appeals page of this website.

Uplands Planning Sub-Committee Decision, 29 Feb 2016

The application 15/03797/OUT by Commercial Estates Group (CEG) for the ‘Erection of up to 120 dwellings’ next to Hanborough Station was considered today (29 Feb 2016) by the WODC Uplands Planning Sub-Committee.

It was rejected by 9 votes for, 2 against and 1 abstention

The councillors were particularly concerned that the application did not address problems that it raised relating to schools and doctors surgery, and further exacerbated traffic issues with an inappropriateness junction on the A4095

Details of the grounds for rejection can be made available when published by WODC.

Thanks to everyone who turned up – about 90 villagers were in attendance.

29th Feb 2016 Uplands Area Planning Sub-Committee — Please be there if you can

2 p.m. WODC Offices, Woodgreen, Witney

The application (15/03797/OUTby Commercial Estates Group (CEG) for 120 new homes next to Hanborough station will be decided on Monday 29th February at 2 p.m. at the Woodgreen Offices of WODC in Witney.

The HAG objection document is available and the planning officer’s report and recommendation to the voting Councillors can be viewed here. They are recommending refusal of the application.

As always your magnificent support and presence at the meeting will help greatly.


Planning Appeal Update

Key Players

  • Inspector – Philip Asquith
  • WODC Barrister – Westmorland Smith
  • Pye’s Barrister – Sasha White (Absent for personal reasons)
  • HPC – Niels Chapman
  • HAG – Stuart Brooks
  • Parishioners – about 60

The inspector opened by announcing that the appeal could not go ahead and would have to  be rescheduled. WODC and Pye Barristers had agreed a mutually acceptable date based on their diaries for the w/c of 16th May.  Niels Chapman, representing Hanborough Parish Council, informed the inspector that he would be away that week

A draft timetable was sent into Bristol by the inspector on Friday but had not unfortunately been shared between the parties. He informed the parties that It indicates that this is likely to be a 5 day event (rather than 4).

The Inspector decided that it will start on the 17th May and run into the following week. The inquiry may need to vacate the council chambers for the council meeting that cannot be moved.

The two Barristers previously were on opposing sides in West Wallingford where the housing supply was an issue. They have put forward a round table discussion approach to address this issue. Inspector was amenable to this approach rather than by formal hearing as being an effective way of getting information out and reduce time. HAG and PC were invited to attend this round table, but main parties would be WODC and the Appellant.

The Inspector agreed to a site visit later today. West Waddy have put forward a route and vantage points for the inspector to consider, which didn’t include all the points the council have suggested, however West Waddy conceded that the route would take these additional vantage points into consideration. Site visit will meet at the Reily close car park at 11:15 to view the school playing field first. Then move on to the main site.

Niels Chapman (PC) and Stuart Brooks (HAG) asked about the scope of the appeal and concern that new documents were suddenly appearing from West Waddy.  John Ashton (West Waddy) said they were allowed to submit additional papers to the appeal as they had ticked the relevant box on the appeal. The Inspector concurred with this and said he would be making his decision based on the evidence placed in front of him on the day.

A small group with representative’s of all parties then took a tour of the vantage points, with the addition of the Hurdeswell paddock to ascertain the impact of the development on the rural views currently possible from public vantage points.

Proofs of Evidence for the Appeal

Access to the Proofs of Evidence from all parties to the Appeal are now available from the Appeals page of this website.

The appeal starts at 10am on Tuesday 16 Feb at the WODC Woodgreen Offices, Witney and may last up to 5 days. Please be there if and when you can; your continued support for the Hanborough Action Group is greatly appreciated.

Uplands Planning Sub-Committee Decision, 1 Feb 2016

The application 15/02687/OUT from Blenheim Estates / Pye Homes for the ‘Erection of up to 169 dwellings, with new Doctors’ Surgery’ was considered today (1 Feb 2016) by the WODC Uplands Planning Sub-Committee.

It was unanimously rejected.

The councillors were particularly concerned about the impact on the school, coalescence with Freeland and, although it could not be cited as a reason, the impact on traffic. Details of the grounds for rejection can be viewed here.

Thanks to everyone who turned up – we had a record crowd of 157 villagers!

For those who were unable to attend, the presentations made by the Hanborough Action Group, Hanborough Parish Council and West Waddy (on behalf of Blenheim Estates / Pye Homes) were recorded and can be listened to here:

   Hanborough Action Group

  Hanborough Parish Council

West Waddy, on behalf of Blenheim Estates / Pye Homes

For those who want to hear the announcement of the unanimous verdict against the application, here it is:

The next phase in our battle with developers is the appeal by Blenheim Estates / Pye Homes against WODC unanimous rejection of their applications 14/1234/P/OP and 15/03341/FUL.  This starts at 10am on 16 February 2016 at WODC Offices, Woodgreen.

1st Feb 2016 Uplands Area Planning Sub-Committee — Please be there if you can

2 p.m. WODC Offices, Woodgreen, Witney

Despite the threat from Pye to apply for substantial costs against our local authority if they don’t back down (see the blog entry below), Council Officers have so far stood firm and are recommending PROVISIONAL REFUSAL at the next Uplands Planning meeting on February 1st.

The report for the meeting from Mr. Shaw (Area Development Manager at WODC) can be found here. This contains a summary of the consultations and representations that have taken place, the Council Officer’s Planning Assessment in section 5, and the reason for refusal. Please note in particular section 5.38, which explains why the recommendation is only ‘provisional’ to refuse.

Now we need the 12 voting Councillors to also hold their nerve on the day, and demonstrate that our community and WODC will not be bullied into submission by Pye.

Please come along if you can and show our Councillors that we support the proposal to refuse Pye planning permission, and help take the issue further to the appeal hearing starting on February 16th at 10 a.m.

Pye Make Financial Threat to WODC

This letter, from West Waddy on behalf of Pye Homes Property Developers and Blenheim Palace Estate, has just been sent to WODC (19 Jan 2016). It has been logged on the WODC planning website, from which the copy available here was taken.

It makes a direct financial threat to WODC that should they persist in resisting their applications for the following:

  • Land off Witney Road, Long Hanborough (for residential development of up to 169 dwellings with new Doctors’ Surgery)
  • The development of playing fields on land east of Hanborough Bowling Club.

…that they will press for full and substantial costs.

It asks WODC to cave in and allow the application to be approved on February 1st at 2:00 p.m. at Wood Green, and also to drop the appeal regarding the refusal of the relocation of the Manor Sports Field.

We have grounds to believe that WODC Officers are considering this option, but we won’t know for certain until we see the report and its recommendations from Officers this Friday afternoon. If the Officer’s recommendation is to APPROVE, it is then up to the 12 members of the Uplands Sub-Committee to have the courage of their convictions that this is the wrong course of action to take and again reject it, despite the Officer’s advice.

Your presence at the Uplands Sub-Committee meeting at Wood Green on Monday February 1st at 2 p.m. will be very important and show how much Hanborough rejects both the developments Pye have presented (which have been unanimously rejected by both residents and WODC) and the bully boy tactics that Pye are prepared to engage in to achieve their aims.

With our thanks in advance if you are able to come to the meeting.

Uplands Planning Sub-Committee Decision, 4 Jan 2016

The application from Pye Homes to Relocate the Manor School Playing Field (15/03341/FUL) was considered today (4 Jan 2016) by the WODC Uplands Planning Sub-Committee.

It was unanimously rejected.

Details of the grounds for rejection will be published soon. Pye Homes had already decided to take this application to appeal but the Council still had to formally consider the application in order to define the terms for rejection which will then have to be defended at the appeal.

It has already been decided by the Planning Inspector that this appeal will be heard along with the appeal against the Council’s unanimous rejection in March 2015 of application 14/1234/P/OP (Erection of up to 169 dwellings; with new Doctors’ Surgery, to be up to 740 sq metres in size, with around 27 car parking spaces; with access from the Witney Road, plus open space, and associated works on land South Of Witney Road Long Hanborough).

This appeal starts on Tuesday 16 Feb 2016.

Further information relating to this appeal can be viewed via the appeal tab of this web site.


Changes to the WODC Diary

Issues are developing quite rapidly at the moment and we just found out that yesterday Pye requested that their second application to build 169 houses on Land South of the Witney Road will not be considered by the Uplands Planning Sub-Committee until 1 Feb 2016. So, at the Uplands Planning Sub-Committee meeting on 4 Jan 2016, they will only be considering the Pye application to relocate the Manor School sports field.

The diary details have been updated to reflect this development. We will keep you posted of any further changes that come to our attention.