Cherwell’s ‘misuse’ of planning system slammed

An inquiry into Cherwell District Council’s decision to refuse 60 new homes in Bloxham has got under way.

A four-day hearing started at Bodicote House on Tuesday after Cherwell district councillors refused an application by Miller Strategic Land to build the homes on Tadmarton Road in June.

In his opening statement, James Strachan, representing Miller Homes Ltd, referred to the council’s inability to deliver its five-year housing supply.

He said: “It gives me no satisfaction to repeat myself, but this is yet another appeal in Cherwell District Council’s area that should never have been necessary.

“It is a woeful tale of how the council has misused the planning system to hold up, rather than promote and encourage, sustainable growth in appropriate locations such as Bloxham.” The application also includes associated amenity space, community parkland and also additional parking for Bloxham Primary School at land to the rear and north of 29 to 33 Quarry Close.

About 35 per cent of the homes would be affordable housing.

Representing Cherwell District Council, Graeme Keen, said: “The council acknowledges it cannot demonstrate a five-year housing supply as required by the framework, and that in such circumstances, the relevant policies of the supply of housing in the Local Plan should not be considered up to date. The council accepts there is a pressing need for more affordable homes in the district.”