2pm, WODC Woodgreen Offices – BE THERE IF YOU CAN !!!!!!!

Monday 4th January is another very big day for the future of Hanborough, and once again HAG would greatly value your continuing support. At 2 p.m. in the Woodgreen offices of WODC in Witney, our Uplands Planning Committee will meet and two key planning applications will be discussed, these being the relocation of the Manor School sports field to behind Kents Bank, and Pye’s second attempt to build 169 houses on Land South of the Witney Road.

You can make a difference by attending if you can possibly spare a couple of hours or so of your time on that afternoon.

For further updates closer to this crucial committee meeting please see this website or our Facebook page.

It’s Never Too Late to Write

The good news is that none of the property developers pressurising Hanborough is on the agenda of the next WODC planning meeting on November 30th. The next opportunity they have to put forward their cases to the twelve WODC Councillors on the Uplands Committee is now January 4th. We have no information as to whether they will do so on this date, or whether they will wait until the next meeting on February 1st. However, this DOES mean we can continue to make our views by emailing to planning@westoxon.gov.uk .

The following planning applications are still to be decided and it’s therefore not too late to write a letter of objection for any of them. In the table below, the title of the application will link to a document on this web site which will give some guidance on aspects of the application that you may want to write about. The application number will link to the relevant page on the WODC web site that provides all the details about the planning application and all letters written so far.

Land South East Of Pinsley Farm Main Road Long Hanborough Oxfordshire
Erection of up to 120 dwellings and provision of building for Class D1 use, together with associated works (means of access only)
15/03797/OUT
Land South Of Witney Road Long Hanborough Oxfordshire
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 (means of access only)
15/02687/OUT
Application from Pye Homes to Relocate the Manor School Playing Field 15/03341/FUL

The bad news is that the threats implied by these planning applications have not gone away. Maybe the developers are thinking that the longer this goes on the less people will keep writing (with over 99% of us NOT in favour) given that it’s easy to feel that no one is listening.

However, with WODC close to the point of weighing our letters instead of counting them, it’s fantastic to see so many people refusing to give in on the future of our village.

Yet another new planning application

Commercial Estates Group (CEG) join the increasingly long list of developers who want to turn our community into a dormitory suburb of Oxford. They have submitted planning application 15/03797/OUT  for a development of 120 houses south of the Witney Road and west of the  railway bridge. The formal closing date for submissions on their application and how to make your views known are available in our Newsletter Update 5 – 17 November 2015.

Appeal by Pye Homes

The website has been updated with a new menu – Appeal – at the top of the page . This links to some explanations about the appeal process and provides access to the documents that have been submitted by all the parties involved in the process, including HAG. The Appeal will start its public hearing at WODC offices on 16 Feb 2016.

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.

Pye Deferral Request

A request by Pye/Benheim for a deferral of their planning application 15_02687_OUT has been granted by WODC. HAG have already been in contact with WODC over this issue, who have confirmed that we can continue to send in our views right up until the committee date which is now expected to be November 30th.

If you haven’t yet written your letter of objection, please do so; there is still time. If you need some suggestions for objections or the address to send them, then scroll down from this update for detailed guidance.

The essential part of the letter from Pye’s planning consultant, requesting deferral, is:

“With regard to infrastructure provision we are almost there with regard to the negotiations with the doctors’ surgery and should have authorisation in the next 4 – 6 weeks. We have also got agreement with Oxfordshire County Council and Hanborough Manor School regarding the replacement playing field and the application for its provision should be submitted today.

We also consider that the Inspector’s views on housing need for WODC is an important material consideration and note that he will be considering this issue the week of the 5th October 2015 meeting. His views on this issue are likely to be known by the beginning of November as further Examination sessions are currently programmed for later that month and therefore we consider that the application should be delayed to allow an up to date consideration of this issue by the Council”.

In essence Pye want to wait until after the initial inspection phase of the Local Plan to see if the WODC proposal for building 525 new homes a year is acceptable. If it’s not then WODC will need to go back and increase the number per year to perhaps as many as 660, meaning they will look for more sites to be officially designated as “suitable” for housing. Currently the Pye site is deemed to be “unsuitable” and this is therefore not in their favour – what they are hoping for is that this situation will change should WODC be forced by the Planning Inspectorate to find new sites.

Meanwhile we expect Pye’s planning application for their proposed new school playing field to be submitted to WODC today 16 Sept. It will need validating before it goes online so may not appear until next week sometime.

Still Time to Write in with Further Objections

Although the WODC planning notice for 15/02687/OUT, on land south of Witney Road (A4095) Long Hanborough, stated the deadline for objections was 3 Sept 2015, you can to write to WODC with objections if you haven’t already done so and they will still be considered.

It is possible that the planning application will be considered by the Upland Planning Committee on Monday 5 Oct 2015. We will not know for certain until Friday 25 Sep when the council announces the agenda for that meeting. We will let you know if the application will be discussed on 5 Oct as soon as it is known.

Write quoting reference number 15/02687/OUT

You can either make your representation by email to planning@westoxon.gov.uk or by post to ‘The Planning Department, Elmfield, New Yatt Road, Witney, OX28 1PB’. If more than one member of your household hold a view on the application then if doing so by post you can put all the letters in the same envelope. It is the number of people who comment that counts, joint signatures only count as a single comment. 

Points you may want to consider in your letter or email, if you have any additional concerns to add to the list below then this would be helpful.

• The A4095 is already over capacity at peak times, and more cars means more congestion, danger, noise and pollution.

• That you do not wish to have an additional burden put on our Surgery, nor for it to be relocated to the edge of the village.

• That our school is already at capacity, and the scheme proposed to relocate the playground behind Reily Close to make room for building more classrooms on the current playground is unacceptable.

• That with 50 houses already given permission, and building expected to start soon on Church Road this is more than enough strain on all our services.

• That we value our green space, and our identity as a village, and our boundaries should not be extended towards other nearby settlements. It is only a matter of time before Hanborough ends up as part of Bladon and/or Freeland at this proposed rate of development.

• That you value the wildlife, biodiversity and productive agricultural land which borders Hanborough.

 

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

** NEW ** APPLICATION ON LAND SOUTH OF WITNEY ROAD

Pye Homes Property Developers and Blenheim Palace Estates have submitted another application in addition to appealing the previous WODC decision to unanimously refuse planning permission on 2 March.

• This is a new application to build 169 homes and a “surgery shell” on land south of the Witney Road, Long Hanborough.

This application is virtually identical to the previous application that was refused by WODC’s Uplands Planning Committee.

• The only significant changes are to the boundary planting scheme, and the inclusion of a new route to the proposed estate through the back of Hurdeswell. The new site plan and Hurdeswell Route can be downloaded here.

THIS MEANS THERE ARE NOW TWO ATTEMPTS TO DRIVE THROUGH THIS SCHEME, Pye’s appeal of the previous decision and this new application.

• You can view this new application either on WODC’s planning website searching for application number 15/02687/OUT or by going to their Elmfield offices in New Yatt Road, Witney to read the paper copies.

• This latest application is independent of the one they made previously. Although you may have sent comments in already they will not be considered in relation to this latest initiative – you do need to write a new letter.

If you wish to make your views known then details of how you can do this are below. You can use all the points of objection you used if you wrote last time, they are still valid.

• The deadline for comments is 3 September 2015 but late comments are acceptable and will be reported to the planning committee.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Write again quoting reference number 15/02687/OUT

You can either make your representation by email to planning@westoxon.gov.uk or by post to ‘The Planning Department, Elmfield, New Yatt Road, Witney, OX28 1PB’. If more than one member of your household hold a view on the application then if doing so by post you can put all the letters in the same envelope. It is the number of people who comment that counts, joint signatures only count as a single comment. The closing date is September 3rd, but if you cannot write before this time briefly state the reason why you are late in responding. HAG will ensure that your comments are considered even after this date.

Points you may want to consider in your letter or email, if you have any additional concerns to add to the list below then this would be helpful.

• The A4095 is already over capacity at peak times, and more cars means more congestion, danger, noise and pollution.

• That you do not wish to have an additional burden put on our Surgery, nor for it to be relocated to the edge of the village.

• That our school is already at capacity, and the scheme proposed to relocate the playground behind Reily Close to make room for building more classrooms on the current playground is unacceptable.

• That with 50 houses already given permission, and building expected to start soon on Church Road this is more than enough strain on all our services.

• That we value our green space, and our identity as a village, and our boundaries should not be extended towards other nearby settlements. It is only a matter of time before Hanborough ends up as part of Bladon and/or Freeland at this proposed rate of development.

• That you value the wildlife, biodiversity and productive agricultural land which borders Hanborough.