Residents’ relief as homes plan rejected

Residents of Westbeech Court, Banbury, are happy that planning for homes nearby has been turned down. Spokesman John Hatton is on the right. NNL-150526-165634009
Residents of Westbeech Court, Banbury, are happy that planning for homes nearby has been turned down. Spokesman John Hatton is on the right. NNL-150526-165634009

Residents living in a Banbury cul-de-sac scored a decisive victory in their attempt to stop a garage block being replaced with four new homes.

Members of Cherwell District Council’s planning committee met at Bodicote House last Thursday to discuss the application in Westbeech Court.

Submitted by Norman White of Beechfield Developers, it sought to build three three-storey terrace houses and a fourth two-storey detached property, all with small private rear gardens.

Those living in Westbeech Court, most of them elderly, expressed concern with the proposal and the potential impact on parking in the area. They sent a signed petition to the council ahead of the meeting.

John Hatton has lived in the cul-de-sac for about 18 months and said: “It has been a weight lifted off me to be able to tell the elderly residents about the outcome of the planning application, as they have been depressed and worried about the parking situation.

“Had planning been approved four to five cars would have been forced onto the road which is very narrow, making it difficult or virtually impossible for emergency vehicles to reach the far end of Westbeech Court where there are a number of elderly residents.”

Cherwell councillors agreed that although the development of the land for housing was acceptable in principle, too many properties had been proposed in a small space. Councillors also said it was an ‘inappropriate development’.

Councillor Michael Gibbard, Cherwell’s lead member for planning, said “This site sits within a residential area so in principle we do not object to this space being used to accommodate additional houses.

“However what we do object to is the number of homes being proposed as this represents an overdevelopment of the site wich is detrimental to the character and appearance of Westbeech Court.

The application was also met with objections from the Trades and Labour Club, who said they had not been consulted during the process of the proposal.

Mr White said: “Beechfield Developers are conscientious and thoughtful developers, and we submitted the plans for the development upon the advice we received from a principal planning officer of Cherwell District Council, through two pre application planning reports.

“However, although we are disappointed with the outcome, we accept the decisions of the planning committee, and will take on board all the concerns of the residents of Westbeech Court, and the advice given by the planning officer at the meeting. We shall be taking the view to submit more sympathetic plans.”