Friday, 18 June 2021

Draft plan nears end

A DRAFT version of Benson’s neighbourhood plan will be ready in January.

Parish council vice-chairman Jon Fowler said this would be in time to use it to oppose appeals by developers who were refused permission for new housing by South Oxfordshire District Council.

Benson has spent the last year preparing a “fast-track” plan designed to give residents a say over where development should take place.

However, since then the district council has approved an application by WestWaddy for 241 homes on farmland north of Littleworth Road in addition to one for 159 homes on the same site that was approved last year following an appeal.

WestWaddy also wants to build 180 homes to the south of Watlington Road behind homes in Blacklands Road, while Gladman Developments has applied to build 130 homes near Benson airfield.

Councillor Fowler said the district council’s planning officers who had been helping to prepare the plan had left the council.

“I don’t think we have had a continuous period of someone helping us,” he said. “We’re not going to get any help in the short term.”

In August the neighbourhood plan was delayed. It was hoped it would be ready for scrutiny by October but the council said the timeline was being reviewed.

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