Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Developer submits plans for 130 homes near RAF airfield

PLANS for 130 homes on a site near Benson airfield have been submitted to South Oxfordshire

PLANS for 130 homes on a site near Benson airfield have been submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council.

Gladman Developments wants to build on a parcel of land off St Helen’s Avenue, south of the village.

If approved, the application brings the total number of new homes proposed for Benson to almost 550.

The development would feature a range of one- to five-bedroom houses, up to 40 per cent of which would be “affordable”.

There would also be public open space, footpaths and cycle links.  

The company, which is based in Cheshire, says: “The overall vision for the site is to provide a distinctive and high quality place, which complements the qualities and character of St Helen’s Avenue. The development will provide for a broad range of dwellings and house types, offering a mix of market housing from first-time homes to larger family homes.

“The vision responds to current conditions and future housing needs in South Oxfordshire.”

The site, which covers more than six hectares, is separated from established residential areas north of St Helen’s Avenue and allotments to the north west.

RAF Benson’s airfield lies beyond a grassed field to the east of the site. A line of trees along the A4074 defines the south-western boundary and visually separates the site from Preston Crowmarsh and Benson Lock on the River Thames.

The area of public open space is proposed for the south-east part of the site and would include a water run-off basin, new trees and areas of rough grassland and wildflower meadow.

A buffer of green space featuring native trees and shrubs would run around the site.

There would be two access points from St Helen’s Avenue.

The company would make a contribution to the existing play area at the request of Benson Parish Council.

Gladman carried out a consultation exercise in March which included a private meeting with parish  councillors. More than 600 leaflets were distributed to businesses and homes near the site. So far, 19 people have responded. 

A Gladman spokesman said: “Comments received were mixed with some level of support and constructive comments, while other residents opposed the scheme.”

The 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 past year, plans by WestWaddy for 159 homes on land off Littleworth Road have been approved following a public inquiry. The company has also applied for a further 241 units on the same site.

An application for 19 homes has been submitted by Brim Developments for land off Blacklands Road.

The district council is set to make a decision by August 2.

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