Parish plans legal battle over homes plan in Ambrosden

thisisoxfordshire: Villagers Nikki Cockerill, Tina Hawkins, Mark Longworth, Pam Newall, Maureen Cossens, Ros Gaskins and Malcolm Cossens at the site Villagers Nikki Cockerill, Tina Hawkins, Mark Longworth, Pam Newall, Maureen Cossens, Ros Gaskins and Malcolm Cossens at the site

A PARISH council is seeking legal advice over whether it can call for a judicial review after plans for 45 homes were approved at an appeal hearing.

Last month, planning inspector Ian Radcliffe backed the scheme by the Trustees of the Norman Collission Foundation to demolish Ambrosden Court, off Merton Road, Ambrosden, and redevelop the site.

Cherwell District Council’s planning committee had rejected the proposals last July.

Following the reversal of the veto, a parish council spokesman said: “The village is horrified by the decision.”

The parish council has now agreed to seek legal advice over whether it can overturn the inspector’s decision. It will appoint a barrister, hoping that the district council will fund a judicial review.

Mark Longworth, chairman of Ambrosden Parish Council, said: “Many of the villagers living near the site have been shocked and dismayed at the planning inspector’s verdict.

“The inspector ruled that the council’s lack of a five-year land supply overcame the material harm the scheme would have otherwise caused.

“The parish council contacted three different planning specialists to find out their views on the appeal decision. While all confirmed that we could not challenge the appeal because of the lack of a five-year land supply, it has become clear that there are a number of technical issues on which it may be possible to make a challenge.”

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Mr Longworth said a legal case would be based on concerns over access to the site and the cumulative impact of housing on the village.

A Cherwell District Council spokesman said it was unaware of the parish council’s legal move and was unlikely to fund a judicial review.

The Trustees of the Norman Collission Foundation declined to comment.

Mr Longworth said: “These issues include the assertion by the planning inspector that it would be possible to walk over private front gardens to overcome insufficiently wide footpaths, and the failure of the inspector to review the cumulative impact of recent permissions affecting the parish, including 1,900 homes at Graven Hill, Ambrosden, and 90 houses at Springfield Farm. This is a 340 per cent increase in houses in a small parish of only 700 homes.

“The approvals of 82 homes in Arncott in the past two years put even more pressure on the facilities that Ambrosden provides – such as schools and a doctors’ surgery – and should have also been considered.”

He said the parish council supported a smaller development at the site, and would expect Cherwell to fund any judicial review.

The 1.63 hectare site was given planning permission in 2010 to demolish existing buildings, alter the access and build five new homes.

Comments (2)

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10:07am Fri 2 May 14

snert says...

"The Trustees of the Norman Collission Foundation declined to comment" - They probably declined to comment about the backhander they've provided to the council.

“The approvals of 82 homes in Arncott in the past two years put even more pressure on the facilities that Ambrosden provides – such as schools and a doctors’ surgery – and should have also been considered.”

It isn't just the schools and surgery that have pressure on them. The substandard phone network won't allow for a decent net connection. The sewers haven't been upgraded to cater for the increased waste. Pressure will also be put onto the postal service for extra deliveries. Similiarly the bin lorries will need to extend their routes. The roads need to take increased traffic. Ambrosden may have just had the main road patched while it was closed for 7 - 10 days but that's all it has had; a simple patching rather than a full new surface.

Planners don't care about villagers. The worst thing that happens is when planning is approved, it is easier to get standard permission for private planning permission under the guise of "infill"
"The Trustees of the Norman Collission Foundation declined to comment" - They probably declined to comment about the backhander they've provided to the council. “The approvals of 82 homes in Arncott in the past two years put even more pressure on the facilities that Ambrosden provides – such as schools and a doctors’ surgery – and should have also been considered.” It isn't just the schools and surgery that have pressure on them. The substandard phone network won't allow for a decent net connection. The sewers haven't been upgraded to cater for the increased waste. Pressure will also be put onto the postal service for extra deliveries. Similiarly the bin lorries will need to extend their routes. The roads need to take increased traffic. Ambrosden may have just had the main road patched while it was closed for 7 - 10 days but that's all it has had; a simple patching rather than a full new surface. Planners don't care about villagers. The worst thing that happens is when planning is approved, it is easier to get standard permission for private planning permission under the guise of "infill" snert
  • Score: 0

12:49am Sat 3 May 14

Severian says...

One assumes that the reason this application has been granted is because Cherwell District Council doesn't actually have a Local Plan? Which means that for some years our councillors have failed to come up with a credible and viable plan for how to develop Bicester, Banbury and the surrounding villages. And it isn't as if they didn't know they needed one!

Hard to believe that for years they have been happy to take their council expenses, while not properly preparing our area for the future.

The inevitable consequence of which is that almost any housebuilder can get permission for almost any development, because the council can't say whether the development fits with their plans, because they don't have any.

Get all the legal advice you like, but I think the outcome will be that the Planning Inspector could find no grounds on which to stop the application. It isn't "the Planners" to blame - it's our councillor "non-planners" who are at fault.

As for Ambrosden it's tough - most of the councillors who make decisions about their area are either Banbury based, or will follow the party line (which is set by Banbury councillors). Bicester and its surrounds rarely get a say in anything which affects them.
One assumes that the reason this application has been granted is because Cherwell District Council doesn't actually have a Local Plan? Which means that for some years our councillors have failed to come up with a credible and viable plan for how to develop Bicester, Banbury and the surrounding villages. And it isn't as if they didn't know they needed one! Hard to believe that for years they have been happy to take their council expenses, while not properly preparing our area for the future. The inevitable consequence of which is that almost any housebuilder can get permission for almost any development, because the council can't say whether the development fits with their plans, because they don't have any. Get all the legal advice you like, but I think the outcome will be that the Planning Inspector could find no grounds on which to stop the application. It isn't "the Planners" to blame - it's our councillor "non-planners" who are at fault. As for Ambrosden it's tough - most of the councillors who make decisions about their area are either Banbury based, or will follow the party line (which is set by Banbury councillors). Bicester and its surrounds rarely get a say in anything which affects them. Severian
  • Score: 0

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