Villagers’ hopes of shaping the development of their own community was given another setback when the Planning Inspectorate approved 85 new Deddington homes.
In May 2013, Cherwell District Council refused an application submitted by Prudential Pensions Ltd for the new dwellings with new access, public open space and associated infrastructure on land north of Gaveston Gardens, but the decision was overturned by the Planning Inspectorate last Tuesday despite contradicting Cherwell’s draft Local Plan and Deddington’s own emerging Neighbourhood Plan.
The appeal determined Cherwell does not yet have approval for its Local Development Plan due before Westminster in 2014, and under some methods of calculation has yet to meet its five-year government housing supply target for 4,800 homes by 2031.
Summarising the appeal, inspector Paul Crysell noted: “The council does not have an up-to-date local plan and has been unable to secure the delivery of new housing at the rates required to meet its needs.” The decision follows the Secretary of State’s controversial approval of 375 homes at Hook Norton, Bloxham and Salt Way earlier this year after their refusal by Cherwell and despite Bloxham’s emerging Neighbourhood Plan recommending smaller developments.
Cllr Michael Gibbard, Cherwell’s lead member for planning, said: “Obviously we are incredibly disappointed with this decision as once again the opinions of the district council and local residents appear to have been ignored on appeal.”
Banbury MP Sir Tony Baldry added: “The whole point of having a Neighbourhood Plan is to ensure local communities can determine where new houses are built, nowhere does the inspector acknowledge this.”