Cropredy fears threat from developers

Jesse Crosse stands at the site of the proposed Cropredy housing development NNL-160729-123629001
Jesse Crosse stands at the site of the proposed Cropredy housing development NNL-160729-123629001

Residents of Cropredy are fighting a proposal for planning permission to build 60 houses on a green-field site behind Station Road.

This is not new to the village as in 2014 residents successfully fought against plans to build 67 homes on the same site. The new proposal was put before Cropredy villagers by Catesby Estates Ltd at a meeting on June 15.

Spring Lane, Cropredy NNL-160508-120714001

Spring Lane, Cropredy NNL-160508-120714001

The response was swift as Cropredy action group, CROPPERS (Cropredy Residents Opposing Planning Permission on Exquisite Rural Sites) organised a door-to-door survey and petition to gauge the views of residents. The petition reveals that 89 percent of households contacted are opposed to the Catesby proposal, or any similar development.

The villagers believe the proposed development is unsustainable, swelling the number of properties by 20 percent and overwhelming the character of the village.

The site is exclusively accessed along what is currently a farm track which has been formally named ‘Spring Lane’ in the last few years. The narrow, unsurfaced track will be converted into a two-lane road.

CROPPERS spokesperson Jesse Crosse said: “Villagers are concerned about many aspects of the proposal including the ludicrously high volume of traffic entering Station Road which is already extremely busy at peak periods.

“No doubt the developer will present favourable traffic volume statistics but in real-world terms, locals know how congested the road can get, especially at school run time when there is a large influx of cars bringing children to school.

“We believe lives may be put at risk if this goes ahead. The whole idea is absurd and all the residents know it.”

The Cherwell Local Plan originally allowed for Cropredy to grow at the rate of one house every two years, or ten houses between now and 2031.

However, a clause in the new plan allows for an additional 750 houses to be built in category A villages like Cropredy. 470 of these are expected to be built leaving 280 to account for throughout the district.

Aside from safety concerns Cropredy is also a conservation area and villagers believe that the construction of such large scale developments seem contrary to this categorisation.

Mr Crosse said: “Families moved in to their Spring Lane homes expecting the secluded position was protected by a conservation area.

“Now they face the prospect of over 100 cars passing within a few feet of their doors at peak periods with a steady stream of vehicles throughout the day. If the application succeeds, their village life will be converted into an urban existence they didn’t choose, with noise and exhaust emissions from vehicles queuing to get on to Station Road in the mornings.”

CROPPERS has hired a planning consultant and is drawing on other resources to help fight the planning application.