LETTERS: Flooding - Well said Sir...

The flooded pitch at Spencer Stadium
The flooded pitch at Spencer Stadium

Well done the Banbury Guardian and Steve Smith for highlighting the flood risks of building on Banbury United sports ground.

If this site was ever developed nearby properties would, through flood displacement, also be clearly under threat.

The large scale warehouse developments already started on the marshy land adjacent to the M40 will also add further risks.

I used to go duck shooting on these wet lands!

The Banbury Flood Prevention bund is not a cure all and as I said before it’sconstruction would, and is now, causing greater flooding on roads upstream.

The catchment of the Cherwell bund reaches upstream as far as Charwelton, beyond which there is an escarpment and the start of the rivers Leam & Nene which flow away from us.

There is also the Hanwell valley catchment which starts at Farnborough but enters the Cherwell below the Banbury defences.

Many of the proposed new developments north of Banbury will enter this catchment and will not be arrested by the Cherwell’s bund.

The old Alcan sportsfield, which often floods, could be adapted to hold water back and slowly release sudden run off from these estates but what’s the betting that sooner or later there will be a planning application on this ground.

We must stop increasing our woes by building in such places but no matter how often local opinions are ignored the planners, consultants and builders are never held to account and the public is left to suffer and pick up the cost of their errors.

We were told that the Government would listen more to local opinions, but Eric Pickles rode roughshod and overturned popular planning refusals at Bloxham and Hook Norton – so much for democracy!

Brian P Cannon

High Acres Farm, Great 

A cunning (local) plan...

The decision by the Cherwell District Council planning department and committee to approve the application by Banner Homes for up to 40 houses at Crouch Hill off the Broughton Road is concrete proof Baldrick is alive and well and seemingly working for the council!

Literally days after submitting their long debated and formulated Local Development Plan to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for examination, CDC has already voted to approve a major speculative new housing development completely outside the areas identified within the same, thus setting a dangerous precedent for further such developments on and around Crouch Hill.

Indeed, Gleeson Developments has already submitted an application for a further 117 new houses and, given past experience for this area, it is almost certain now that others will follow. How can the Local Plan now be given any credence when it has been so summarily ignored almost at birth and in spite of the surge of protest from both local residents and 
parish councils amongst others?

Major concerns have been raised about the inevitable traffic congestion on the already extremely busy Broughton B-road and the fact that now we shall have even more traffic switching between this and the Bloxham Road, in an area far from the M40 and town centre.

Similarly, the inevitable negative impact on the historic landmark of Crouch Hill and its landscape and environment, plus the increased demand on already stretched infrastructure and facilities.

It is fully acknowledged there has been a recent spate of similar planning applications for other local areas outside the plan (such as those in Bloxham, Hook Norton, Deddington and at Salt Way) rejected by the council only then to be granted on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate, but surely the most basic common sense dictates you don’t add to this total disregard towards local democracy and ‘localism’ by then deciding to also ignore and override your own plan, literally the day before you then sent out an e-mail to residents advising that the plan has just been formally submitted!?

What an own goal against its credibility and survival prospects before it has even been examined and approved, so encouraging and allowing speculative developers to triumph.

As Baldrick’s partner in farce, Victor Meldrew, would say “I just don’t believe it!”

Mike Smail


More letters in this week’s Banbury Guardian