Mews houses will destroy Banbury green space, neighbours say

Cork Lane residents protest the plans to build housing and a car park in the small dead end lane NNL-180202-144046001
Cork Lane residents protest the plans to build housing and a car park in the small dead end lane NNL-180202-144046001

Residents and businesses in West Bar and Crouch Street have united in opposition to plans for nine ‘mews houses’ between their roads.

A meeting to discuss the plans for a development in Cork Lane – the access road to West Bar vets and Windrush Surgery – attracted more than 20 concerned householders.

Cork Lane gardens will be built on if plans go ahead NNL-180502-160514001

Cork Lane gardens will be built on if plans go ahead NNL-180502-160514001

Resident John Wreglesworth, who West Bar home would back on to the development, said the lane off Beargarden Road is too narrow and unsuitable as an access.

“More than 20 residents from Crouch Street, Beargarden Road, West Bar and the Upton Court flats attended the meeting at West Bar Veterinary Hospital and there was no one in favour of this plan,” he said.

Homeowners, the veterinary hospital and Windrush Surgery partners say Cork Lane is not wide enough and its junction with Beargarden Road too dangerous to take traffic from a new residential development.

And they believe the old gardens on which the homes would be built should be left as one of the last green areas in central Banbury.

Cork Lane residents gather to protest plans for homes on the tiny street NNL-180502-160733001

Cork Lane residents gather to protest plans for homes on the tiny street NNL-180502-160733001

Mr Wreglesworth said: “This is in a conservation area and one of the saddest things about building houses on it would be the loss of a small green space that has foxes, badgers and bee hives.

“The residents at our meeting agreed to do our own traffic count.

“The doctors’ surgery sent a representative and they are against it.

“There are commercial considerations too for the businesses affected concerning access to their car parks during building work.

“W’re all worried about access for emergency services vehicles and we are all concerned about whether ownership of the roadway in Cork Lane has been ascertained.”

The applicants, Jane Sands and Dr RW Hobbs – son and daughter of the late owner of the land – have commissioned transport and ecological studies on the site and access which they believe satisfy planning requirements.

The development would consist of seven two bedroomed homes and two one-bedroomed houses. Each would have a parkingspace and there would be a visitor parking area behind the buildings.

Richard Byrne MRCVS, partner at West Bar vets said: “The two main areas of concern are over development and access to the site.

“Cherwell District Council planners were approached by the applicants’ representatives for their opinion on a development of eight houses on the site.

“The planners’ view was that up to seven homes would be more appropriate. The application has been submitted for nine houses, putting the proposal at odds with the professional planning opinion.”

He said the site already has access to Crouch Street yet the plan is to take access from Corke Lane which is only four metres wide.

Neighbours have until February 15 to lodge their comments with Cherwell District Council.