Council criticised over building control

Cllr. Ron Glynn by the damaged hedge in Canal Lane, Banbury. NNL-151003-115519009
Cllr. Ron Glynn by the damaged hedge in Canal Lane, Banbury. NNL-151003-115519009

Householders stuck in the middle of the Bankside housing development have lashed out at Cherwell District Council for not enforcing agreed conditions.

The residents of Canal Lane, around which the new estate – now called Longford Park – is being built, say new homeowners and construction workers are forcing huge holes and seriously damaging a protected hedge which was meant to be preserved as a barrier.

Ron Glynn, who lives in Canal Lane, said he has written to Cherwell District Council repeatedly since November asking them to enforce use of agreed pedestrians accessways.

“It’s been months since these huge holes have appeared in the hedge,” he said.

“The developers opened up an access into Oxford Road and then closed it for ‘safety reasons’ and this has resulted in people forcing their way through the hedge.

“The contractors are as bad or worse than the residents.”

“Canal Lane is very well used by vehicles to and from the farm and the practice of appearing unexpectedly through a gap in the hedge is dangerous and should be dealt with as a health and safety issue,” he added.

“We have gone to the trouble to try to fence off our side ourselves with wire fencing but holes appear elswhere.

“It is an ancient hedge that is protected as part of the planning consent for the development. Action needs to be taken urgently to stop this damage to our hedgerow and repair the damage already done.

“This has been going on and on with little or no action taken. CDC are the only ones who can enforce action and I depend on the council to do its job.”

Mr Glynn said he was told the official foot- and cycle-path had been closed off because it was considered unsafe for people to emerge onto the Oxford Road pavement before a pelican crossing was installed.

A spokesman for Longford Park consortium said: “Health and safety is an absolute priority at Longford Park.

“We are working closely with the council and highways to resolve the access issues and in the meantime, for the safety of all concerned, we would urge everyone to observe the signed directions and use the agreed access routes.”

Cherwell District Council spokesman Jemma Callow said: “On Monday, members of the planning team contacted Oxfordshire County Council suggesting an interim solution to allow the footway to be safely reopened until the highway works are complete and are currently awaiting a response.”