Neighbours’ car park objections are ignored
Plans to build a £10 million multi-storey car park at Banbury train station have been given the green light despite strong opposition from neighbours and councillors.
Last Thursday, members of Cherwell District Council’s planning committee gave the go-ahead to the proposal submitted by Chiltern Railways.
It will see a four-storey car park with 707 spaces built next to the Royal Mail sorting office in Higham Way. Access to the station will be provided via a new pedestrian footbridge across the railway tracks.
Speaking at last Thursday’s meeting Bob Duxbury, the council’s development control team leader, outlined two significant issues to be taken into consideration – highway convenience and congestion and the impact on residents living in flats on nearby Marshall Road.
Mr Duxbury said: “It is a finely balanced matter of drawing an assessment of the need for the continued provision of adequate car parking for the rail travelling part of our community against a diminuiton in residential amenity for some of the residents on Marshall Road. That is a difficult balance and one that officers have considered very carefully and it is our view that you should approve it.”
Residents near the station submitted more than 40 letters and a 124-signature petition against the plans.
And councillor Colin Clarke, Cherwell councillor for Calthorpe, urged committee members to vote against the proposal.
“It takes a lot to upset me as I’m normally quite easy-going, however, I have to say that I’m very dismayed, disappointed, bewildered and very angry at the recommendations in this report,” he said. “I grew up not 200 yards from the railway station so I know the area extremely well.”
He outlined the traffic issues in the surrounding area, including the Cherwell Street/Bridge Street junction. “I travel this route myself at different times of the day and at peak times it’s quicker to walk,” he said.
Grimsbury ward councillor Ann Bonner said there was undoubtedly a need for additional station parking but the proposal’s disadvantages outweighed the advantages.
“For a councillor who has for years fought for additional parking at Banbury station to now be so vehemently opposed to this application must prove how flawed I think the proposals are,” she said.
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Monday 20 May 2013
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