Tuesday, 17 July 2018

94 per cent back housing plan in survey of villagers

PLANS for Benson’s fast-track neighbourhood plan have received the overwhelming support of residents.

PLANS for Benson’s fast-track neighbourhood plan have received the overwhelming support of residents.

Exactly 94 per cent of villagers who responded to a survey on the plan’s vision and aims said they supported it.

The survey was sent to every household and 339 responded.

Residents will now be asked for their views on Benson’s housing needs as well as other issues affecting the  village.

Benson is facing the prospect of at least 550 new homes being built under current plans and is creating a fast-track neighbourhood plan to give the community more say on where and what type of development should take place.

The Benson Plan Team has devised a detailed survey with the help of Community First Oxfordshire, which will also analyse the responses. Copies will be delivered by volunteers between tomorrow (Saturday, May 7) and next Friday.

The completed survey can be returned by post or to one of the special collection points that will be set up around the village.

In a statement, the team said: “The survey will provide essential data on which we will build the plan’s policies and it is therefore absolutely critical that we receive input from as many parishioners as possible.

“As well as asking our volunteers to deliver the surveys, we are also asking them to be available to pick up completed ones where residents are unable to deliver it themselves.”

The consultation will close on May 22 and the analysis of the results will be available in early June.

The plan team needs 40 volunteers to distribute and collect the surveys.

If you can help, email info@benson plan.org, stating your name, address, any preferences you have for round location and contact number.

The plan team comprises Benson Parish Council vice-chairman Jon Fowler, parish councillors Michael Winton and Philip Murray and residents Frank Farquharson, Dave Rushton, Martyn Spence, Edel McGurk and Lorna Denby.

In the last year, plans by West Waddy for 159 homes on land off Littleworth Road have been approved following a public inquiry and an application by the company for another 241 on the same site has been submitted.

West Waddy appealed last month against the district council’s “non-determination” of its first application after the decision date passed but a hearing is unlikey to take place due to the second application being submitted.

The company says it wants to work “positively” with the council in order to resolve the issues “without unnecessary cost and time of an appeal public inquiry”.

Archstone, which represents the owners of a site between the A4074 and St Helen’s Avenue, has met the parish council to discuss its proposals for a mixture of starter, affordable and family homes as well as sheltered accommodation for older people.

Developer Gladman has distributed a leaflet to residents outlining its plans for 150 homes on neighbouring land.

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