Saturday, 21 July 2018

Neighbours defeat plans for new village scout hut

PLANS to build a new scout hut in Benson have been scrapped following opposition from neighbours.

PLANS to build a new scout hut in Benson have been scrapped following opposition from neighbours.

The parish council had applied for outline planning permission to build a “low-profile” building in Bertie West Field to replace the existing scout hut in Littleworth Road.

The application was withdrawn after about 20 residents of neighbouring properties wrote letters of opposition to South Oxfordshire District Council, claiming the development would lead to more traffic and access problems.

The land was bequeathed to the parish council by Bertie West following his death in 1979 on the condition that it was used as a children’s playground.

One corner of the field is currently used as allotments by Benson Primary School and the village scouts occasionally use the field for camping trips.

Andrew Blizard, of Horseshoes Lane, called for a public meeting to be held for residents of his street, Oxford Road, Littleworth Road and Old British School Lane.

He described the size of the proposed building as “excessive” and said that if planning permission was granted then parking in Horseshoes Lane should be available only to residents.

Andrew and Sarah Stuart, also of Horseshoes Lane, called the plans “illogical and unnecessary”.

They said: “Surely the money would be better spent renovating/altering some of the other facilities to provide the facility for youngsters in the village.”

Neighbours Janet Worroll and Robert and Rosemary Fastnedge said the existing scout hut in Littleworth Road should be repaired or rebuilt, saying it had good access and parking.

Jon Fowler, chairman of the parish council, said: “There was quite a lot of opposition from residents in Horseshoes Lane and South Oxfordshire District Council had indicated it was likely to refuse planning permission so we decided to withdraw the application.

“The council would still like to see the land put to use as per Mr West’s bequest and we’ll be looking to work with the residents of Horseshoes Lane in order to find a mutually agreeable solution that benefits the children of the village and local residents.” The current scout hut is more than 100 years old and is the last existing scout hut to be visited by Lord Baden Powell.

Alison Wood, who chairs the village’s scout group, has said a new hut is necessary as the scouts are oversubscribed and the existing building is not fit for purpose.

She said: “We want to be able to have more scouts join our organisation. At the moment we can only take 12 beavers, 12 scouts, 12 cubs and 12 rainbows when we have 10 to 15 children on the waiting list for each group.

“That piece of land has been left for many years now and it would be nice to see it used.”

More News:

Latest video from

VIDEO: Tributes paid after rugby player's death

POLL: Have your say