Sunday, 27 May 2018

Villagers expected to lose fight against 17 homes on wasteland

PLANS for 17 new homes on a landlocked site in Benson are set to be approved despite objections

PLANS for 17 new homes on a landlocked site in Benson are set to be approved despite objections from the parish council.

Brim Developments wants to demolish Nos 22 and 24 Blacklands Road and build on a parcel of overgrown land that stretches behind several neighbouring properties.

South Oxfordshire District Council’s planning committee was expected to approve the application on Wednesday.

The parish council objected on the grounds of overdevelopment, road safety, the impact on waste water drainage and the risk to wildlife. There were also 22 letters of objection from neighbours.

In 2012, Brim Developments was refused permission for nine homes on the land and then lost an appeal. The company’s latest application says that since then permission has been granted for 400 homes on farmland off Littleworth Road, 159 of them after an appeal.

The Blacklands Road site once formed part of the garden of a property in Brook Street as well as Nos 22 and 24 and belongs to Ross Williams, whose family has lived in Benson for generations.

District council planning officer Sharon Crawford recommended the plans were approved.

She said Benson was at an early stage of producing a neighbourhood plan and the land had been the subject of a survey of residents who claimed there was already too much proposed development in the village and approving this scheme could open up a wider area to development.

But she added: “No sites have currently been proposed and as such the neighbourhood plan has limited weight at this stage.

“Although the parish and local residents have identified concerns in terms of highway safety and capacity of facilities, there is no evidence of harm that cannot be mitigated.

“There are no objections from Oxfordshire County Council subject to the delivery of the mitigation measures for highways and Community Infrastructure Levy contributions for education and no other infrastructure providers have raised objections.

“There is no demonstrable evidence that there is a cumulative impact of allowing the [17] homes in addition to other recent planning permissions in Benson.

“There is a preference locally for housing to be spread around the village on smaller sites through their neighbourhood plan.

“Taking into account the benefits of the development and weighing these against the limited harm, I consider that the proposal represents a sustainable development. The proposal would contribute towards the objective to boost the supply of housing.

“I conclude that the limited adverse impacts would not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.”

• An application by Gladman Developments for 130 new homes on a parcel of land off St Helen’s Avenue, near the RAF Benson airfield, is due to be decided by the end of next month.

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