Anger in village after Local Plan adoption

Cllr. Ron Glynn in White Post Road, Bodicote. NNL-150728-102100009
Cllr. Ron Glynn in White Post Road, Bodicote. NNL-150728-102100009

The chairman of Bodicote Parish Council has said the village could lose its identity after the adoption of Cherwell District Council’s long-awaited Local Plan.

Ron Glynn has lived in the village for 36 years and has spoken out about last week’s adoption of the Local Plan for the district which will see the delivery of 22,840 homes until 2031, including more than 7,000 homes for Banbury.

And with work still ongoing to build 600 homes as part of the Longford Park development on the Oxford Road, now technically in the Bodicote parish, Mr Glynn said concerns raised by the parish council and other residents have been ignored.

He said: “The Local Plan says Bodicote has been identified as a ‘Category A village’ and that it should only have small developments and redevelopment of existing buildings. It does not say large scale buildings and we as a parish council have been trying to say this over and over again but the district council does not listen.

“It makes me feel angry. I came to live in this village and now it is going to lose its identity and be swallowed up by housing. We are being invaded from all sides by developers and I cannot see the point of a parish council if our views are not going to be heard. Even developers are referring to White Post Road in Bodicote as being part of Banbury.”

The village has a population of 2,500 people and as part of the Local Plan, housing sites near Bodicote include Salt Way East and Bankside Phase Two which is nearly 2,000 homes.

Although these sites will help guide future planning applications until 2031, Mr Glynn added that the village is already full to capacity and home to two of Banbury’s sports teams, with another set to be based there as part of the Local Plan.

He said: “We have already got Banbury Cricket Club and the rugby club based in the village and now in the Local Plan we will have Banbury United move to the village. There are all sorts of things that are not being taken into consideration.

“Bodicote is unique to any other village. Although we have heard about the problems in other villages such as Hook Norton and Bloxham which is a shame, their homes will be for the village and ours will not. It is part of this urban extension which will come into place next April, where Longford Park will become part of Banbury.”

In response, Councillor Michael Gibbard, Cherwell’s lead member for planning, said: “The recent adoption of the Local Plan by Cherwell District Council follows ten years of preparation, 18 months of scrutiny and thousands of officer hours as well as extensive consultation.

“The plan guides all planning applications over the next 16 years and, coupled with the fact we have a five-year land supply, will effectively put an end to speculative applications in the district. It contains strict guidelines that give the council full control over the expansion of the district without being open to interpretation by opportunistic developers.”