Revised plans to build 350 homes of the edge of Banbury have been approved.
The application on land south of Salt Way and west of Bloxham Road was made by Mr M Horgan and Barwood Strategic Land LLP, and initially included 400 properties reduced to 350. It was given the green light at a Cherwell District Council planning meeting last Thursday,
In a lengthy debate at Bodicote House, councillors acknowledged the significant benefit the development would bring in meeting the shortfall in the five-year housing supply and the provision of new homes, 30 per cent of which would be designated for affordable rent and shared ownership.
Councillor Michael Gibbard, lead member for planning, said: “Cherwell has been influenced by a number of factors stemming from government. This including the Oxfordshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment, a national requirement which identified a need to provide 1,140 homes a year.
“This led to modifications to our Submission Local Plan following the advice of the planning inspector and it was for those reasons that land to the west of Bloxham Road was included within the document.”
Cherwell’s Local Plan initially proposed 150 units to be built on land near Salt Way but following further landscape assessment work, it was agreed a higher number of housing units could be proposed for the site.
Alongside members considering the scheme, there were objections from Banbury Town and Bloxham Parish councils, as well as four letters from members of the public.
One of the letters was from Peter Monk, who lives near the proposal. He said: “I wish to object to both of these proposals on the grounds of that there has been no effort made to demonstrate housing ‘need’ and in any event the highway proposals do not constitute a safe or comprehensive contribution to the needs of the area’sinfrastructure.
“The council will be aware of the public disquiet over the Cherwell DC’s acceptance of the SHMA’s requirements, particularly as these requirements have not been the subject of independent scrutiny, and the apparent abandonment by the district council of the long held view that the Salt Way defines the south-western boundary to Banbury.
“The fact that a development has been allowed on the Bloxham side of that line, on appeal, regrettable and mis- guided as it was, must not be taken as a precedent that all the green space between Banbury and Bloxham shall now be available to every opportunistic developer who sees this as a chance to make money at the expense of our environment and the loss of much-needed productive agricultural land.”
The approved scheme also includes the provision of outdoor sports pitches and associated infrastructure and open space.
The exact mix of properties is yet to be confirmed, and access to the site includes a new roundabout on Bloxham Road.