Friday, 20 July 2018

Developer to fight for homes plan at inquiry

A PUBLIC inquiry is to be held into plans for 10 homes at Goats Gambol in Woodcote.

A PUBLIC inquiry is to be held into plans for 10 homes at Goats Gambol in Woodcote.

The scheme, put forward by developer Jumquest and Beenlore, was refused permission by South Oxfordshire District Council last year.

Now the company is appealing and the Planning Inspectorate has agreed to hold a hearing in the village before making its decision.

Comments will be accepted until March 25 and the inquiry will start on April 22 and is expected to last three days. A venue has yet to be revealed.

The applicant intended to offer four of the proposed dwellings to a housing association as affordable homes.

David Denham, the company’s agent, argued the site was brownfield land as several animal care businesses, including a dog walking service, used it.

However, the district council said it would detract from the character of the area and encroach on surrounding countryside.

Goats Gambol is not a named housing site in Woodcote’s neighbourhood plan, which was published following a referendum last year.

The document names five sites where 76 houses could go to meet Woodcote’s share of the district’s housing target by 2027.

Jumquest and Beenlore argues that figure is too low as South Oxfordshire does not have a five-year supply of housing land.

The council disputes this and says the development would be “completely at odds with the neighbourhood plan process and would undermine the views of the community”.

It told the inspectorate: “This is the first appeal lodged in Woodcote since the neighbourhood plan was adopted and this has inevitably added to the level of public interest in the decision.”

The inspectorate replied: “With such opposing views, this can be a complex issue to deal with and one which would benefit from a level of cross-examination.”

Woodcote Parish Council, which opposed the initial application, was due to discuss the issue at a meeting on Wednesday night.

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