Monday, 21 June 2021

Now 1,100 new homes could be built in village

ANOTHER 260 homes are being proposed for Benson, bringing the potential total of new properties in the village to almost 1,100.

David Wilson Homes wants to develop more than 12 hectares of farmland between Hale Road and the B4009 Watlington Road from which there would be vehicular access.

This would take four years to complete and would extend the development already being planned to the north of Benson.

The company says it hopes to submit an application for outline planning permission by the summer.

The development would be provide “high quality” housing and open space in a sustainable location close to the village amenities. It would feature a range of house sizes from two bedrooms to five.

David Wilson Homes says: “The proposal represents a deliverable development site on the edge of the residential area of Benson, providing an opportunity to meet local housing needs together with the potential to provide much-needed affordable housing.”

The company says it will compile a detailed report on the potential impact of the development on the local transport infrastructure but that its initial assessment is the effect would be “negligible”.

It also says the scheme could enable the creation of an “edge street” — effectively a bypass — running north of Benson in the future.

“For example, land has been safeguarded on Watlington Road and Hale Road to facilitate the type of junctions that are likely to be required to facilitate such a route,” says the developer.

The company says the development would be landscaped with most of the existing trees and hedges being retained plus some new planting.

It would also provide allotments for residents.

Benson is in the process of preparing a neighbourhood plan designed to give residents more say on where development should take place and a draft document is due this month.

However, the village is already facing the prospect of hundreds of new homes with some developments having already been approved and others awaiting planning

Parish councillors have warned the village is “under attack” and fear it could be changed beyond recognition.

WestWaddy has planning permission for 400 homes on farmland north of Littleworth Road, owned by Ray Stiles. There would be 159 in the first phase of construction and 241 in phase two.

However, since permission was granted Cala Homes has submitted plans for 187 homes on the site, which would override the first phase.

WestWaddy has also submitted plans for another 180 homes on land south of Watlington Road.

Gladman Developments has applied for permission for 130 homes on land off St Helen’s Avenue, south of the village.

Thomas Homes, of Thatcham, has earmarked 3.5 hectares of farmland to the west of Hale Road for another 84 homes.

If all the proposed developments were approved it would bring the total of new homes to 1,082.

Benson’s neighbourhood plan team will hold a village meeting on Friday, February 3 to discuss its draft document before submitting it to South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, for review.

It is asking for volunteers who can either help transcribe residents’ comments from the drop-in sessions or who have desktop publishing skills.

If you can help, send an email to with your contact details.

Residents have until January 23 to respond to David Wilson Homes about its plans. Visit www.newhomes

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