Thursday, 19 July 2018

Village could have 550 new homes with latest proposal

ANOTHER 150 homes could be built in Benson, bringing the total number of potential

ANOTHER 150 homes could be built in Benson, bringing the total number of potential new properties to 550.

Developer Gladman has distributed a leaflet to residents outlining its proposals for a parcel of land off St Helen’s Avenue south of the village.

The development would include up to 40 per cent affordable housing, formal and informal open spaces, footpaths and cycle links.

The company, which is based in Cheshire, says it wants the views of villagers and businesses on the plans.

Benson Parish Council is in the process of producing a neighbourhood plan in an attempt to give the community more say over new developments.

In the last year, plans by WestWaddy for 159 homes on land off Littleworth Road have been approved following a public inquiry and an application by the company for a further 241 units on the same site has been submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council.

Gladman’s leaflet says: “This will be your first opportunity to tell us what is important to you and what you would like to see on this development should it be built. Your feedback is important to us and will be used to help shape our final proposals.

“We give careful consideration to the sites we choose, identifying sensible locations in areas where councils have not met their full housing needs.

“This approach has enabled us to gain planning approval on more than 90 per cent of the sites we promote.

“We therefore believe that this site is likely to gain planning approval and hope that you take this opportunity to respond to this consultation.

“This will help to ensure that any development that may be permitted is as beneficial as it can be in meeting the settlement’s needs.

“While we fully understand why people may have concerns, these need to be balanced against the requirement to provide much-needed new houses to meet the differing needs of an increasing population and address housing affordability.

“It is schemes like this that enable younger people and their families, in roles that we rely upon, such as teachers, nurses and police officers, to have a suitable home conveniently located for their needs.

“We all know and accept that more housing is needed and a stance of ‘put it elsewhere’ will result in not enough houses being built.

“If new development does not take place in Benson then in 20 years’ time it could resemble a retirement community, not a thriving, vibrant and prosperous community of all age groups.

“While there will be some additional traffic generated from the proposed development, the harm will be offset by enhancements to the local footpath and cycle network to encourage people to travel more sustainably.

“If necessary, we will also carry out local highway improvements to ensure that the additional traffic does not produce a severe impact.

“It is intended that access into the site will be provided by simple priority junctions off St Helen’s Avenue. We believe that this form of access is the safest and most appropriate way to enter the site.”

The leaflet claims there is sufficient capacity at primary and senior schools in the area for the expected number of children living on the development and that the Mill Stream Surgery could accommodate the new residents.

Parish council chairwoman Pat Peers wouldn’t comment.

To respond to the consultation, visit www.your-views. or write to: Your views Benson, Gladman House, Alexandria Way, Congleton, Cheshire, CW12 1LB.

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