Statement re Gladman Developments Ltd
Burford Road 260 Houses Application
Witney Town Council is extremely saddened by the disappointing news that the Secretary of State has this week allowed the appeal by Gladman Developments which will permit the building of 260 homes at the Burford Road site.
At a Witney Town Planning Committee meeting in September 2014, when the application was first considered, 60 residents voiced their feelings to Town Councillors. The Town Council was extremely concerned that despite this strength of feeling the agents failed to engage in any consultation with the Council.
Despite the fact that both Witney Town Council and West Oxfordshire District Council unanimously opposed the plans, Gladman appealed to the Planning Inspectorate and the Secretary of State has made a ruling in their favour.
Whilst Witney Town Council accepts that it is realistic to expect Witney to undergo some reasonable growth, it remains committed to protecting the historic character of the town. Any increase in speculative planning applications is a cause for concern for Councillors and residents in that that unchecked development may be detrimental to the market town character of Witney.
Witney Town Council considers that major development should not take place without provision of the appropriate infrastructure.
Chairman of Planning, Cllr Alan Beames, who summarised all the concerns raised by the Town Council Planning Committee in a speech to WODC when it was determining the application, commented;
“I am disappointed that the planning appeal by Gladman Developments against refusal to build 260 Houses North of the Burford Road Site has been granted after recovery by the Secretary of State. The loss of views over the picturesque Windrush Valley by the residents of Witney will be sadly missed.”
“ notwithstanding the conditions attached to the permission, I remain deeply concerned with the sustainable impact this development will have on local infrastructure provision; Schooling, Doctors, Traffic, Site Drainage, Utility provision and the Environment”
- Witney Town Council objected to this application on the following grounds:
- Lack of sufficient infrastructure to cope with the additional residents of 270 houses e.g. roads, schools, doctors, contrary to Policies BE1, T1 and T6 of the WOLP
- No consultation with the Town Council, despite the developers claims to the contrary.
- The proximity of Flogas is a major health and safety issue and the HSE would consider the proposed development area to be a major casualty zone in the event of an explosion.
- The development poses an increased risk of flooding. Some of the houses on the proposed development would be category 3B in terms of flood risk. Any excess water will run down the valley and into the river. This is contrary to Policies NE8, and NE9 of the WOLP.
- Run off water into the river could also pollute the waterway which would be detrimental to native wildlife such as otters which have recently returned to the area, and water voles, which is contrary to Policies NE15 and NE7 of the WOLP.
- Amenity space and the obstruction of the view should also be taken into account – this is contrary to Policies BE2, B E4, H 2, H12 (ii) NE1. NE2and WIT3 of the WO