Banbury cul-de-sac community still fighting

Residents of Westbeech Court, Banbury,in 2015 when their fight began. Spokesman John Hatton is on the right. NNL-150526-165622009
Residents of Westbeech Court, Banbury,in 2015 when their fight began. Spokesman John Hatton is on the right. NNL-150526-165622009

Three years after the residents of a Banbury cul-de-sac first protested about plans for four additional houses, their fight continues anew.

Westbeech Court off Banbury’s West Bar, is a small community of 32 homes mostly occupied by elderly and retired residents.

In February 2015 plans for four, three bedroom houses to be built on land by the garage block on Westbeech Court were submitted.

The community rallied around and successfully petitioned for the plans to be refused citing the narrow and only access into the court would become congested and unaccessible to emergency vehicles.

Their joy was short lived as just four months later a revised plan for three houses, was submitted.

Resident John Hatton had lived there for 18 months before the first application was submitted.

He said: “We’ve stopped the homes being done twice. We thought that was the end of it but the guy went and appealed to the government and won the appeal.

“The land then went up for sale then out of the blue it was taken off the market. Then it went back on the market about two or three months ago and a firm in Hounslow bought it.”

The residents’ concerns have been and still remain access to the site.

John said: “There’s a lot of elderly people here, in their 80s and 90s who rely on carers everyday. Our fear is, we’ve already had one person die because the ambulance couldn’t get down.

“If we’ve got lorries on the road out here there is no way an ambulance or a fire engine could get down here.”

One stumbling block to the approved plans could be the demolition of a wall whose ownership is unknown.

John said: “We’ve been digging everywhere and no one knows who it belongs to and the wall has to come down to build the houses.”

John added: “We don’t really want the houses but permission has been given by the state so we can’t do anything about that. It all depends on whether the building company gets planning to come down this road. If we can stop that they can’t build.”

To view the plan and have your say on it, visit Cherwell District Council’s planning page and search for 18/00111/DISC.