Anger after village homes given go-ahead

Cllr Michael Gibbard at the site
Cllr Michael Gibbard at the site

More homes are set to be built in Banburyshire after a government planning inspector ruled plans for 65 homes in Adderbury can go ahead.

Cherwell District Council refused plans for the homes along with associated access, open space and landscaping on land south of Milton Road in June.

But following an appeal by applicant Berkeley Homes in November, inspector Tim Wood granted permission for the scheme on Monday, citing a housing shortfall in Cherwell as the main reason for his decision.

Councillor Michael Gibbard, the council’s lead member for planning, said: “While the decision to permit this development may help Cherwell make up for the shortfall for the five-year land supply, it completely contradicts everything localism is supposed to stand for.

“Cherwell and Adderbury Parish Council are not adverse to accepting development within the village. Adderbury’s emerging Neighbourhood Plan and Cherwell’s proposed submission of the Local Plan both recognise the village as a sustainable location to accommodate additional housing.

“However, despite both parties taking proactive steps to identify alternative, more suitable sites, the voice of the local residents and councillors has once again fallen on deaf ears.”

Recent reviews of Cherwell’s housing provision have confirmed the council can only demonstrate a 4.7-year land supply, falling short of the Government’s five-year target.

Summarising his decision to uphold the appeal, Mr Wood said: “In the absence of demonstrable five-year housing supply, significant weight is attached to the contribution that the proposal would make in this respect.

“The appeal site is in a relatively sustainable location where residents would have access to shops, services and employment opportunities. I found that dismissal of the appeal on prematurity grounds in relation to the proposed submission Local Plan or the Adderbury plan is not justified.”

Villager Elaine Bryant wrote on the Banbury Guardian Facebook page. “This is a preposterous decision. What is the point of the Government getting towns and villages to draw up their local plans if the government inspectors ride roughshod over all the hard work that is being done?”