Residents petition council to stop homes

Residents have signed a petition urging councillors to throw out plans to build new homes close to their flats which they fear they will affect their quality of life.

Cherwell District Council (CDC) is considering a planning application for four three-storey town houses and parking on land adjacent to Westbeech Court, Banbury.

The residents of Westbeech Court, many of whom are retired and elderly, claim the new development will cause parking problems and reduce their privacy.

John Hatton, who has lived there for 18 months, said: “The houses being planned are not in keeping with the conservation area and will be a blot on the landscape.

“As they will be three storeys high they will overlook our homes, which are two storeys.

“The other concern that worries me is how emergency vehicles will get to the far end of Westbeech Court if needed as the parking area will be very congested.

“We have very little parking as it is and if the development goes ahead the parking will be made a lot worse. We will lose five out of the ten spaces.

“I think it’s a disgraceful state of affairs for the elderly residents down here to be disrupted in their twilight years.”

Another resident, Gordon Squires, said: “My wife is confined to a wheelchair and I’m worried that access will be a real struggle with extra cars parked on the road.”

In individual letters of objection, residents have also raised their concerns over construction noise and traffic, and the opening of an access route from The Shades, which they say will make them more vulnerable to crime and antisocial behaviour.

Out of the 32 householders at Westbeech Court, 22 of them have signed a petition sent to CDC objecting to the proposed development.

Last week around half the residents also attended a meeting with planning consultants Aitchison Raffety, which works on behalf of CDC, at the nearby Banbury Trades and Labour Club.

Gordon Suttle, who has recently bought one of the properties at Westbeech Court, said: “I had thought this would be a quiet, peaceful and secluded place to spend my retirement.

“If the development goes ahead, it will lower the quality of life for everybody here.”

Banbury Town Council has raised no objections to the application, which is due to be discussed by CDC’s planning committee at a future date. The developer is Norman White, of Oakthorpe Road, Oxford.