Thursday, 03 December 2020

Fifty-two new homes on allocated site ‘too many’

Fifty-two new homes on allocated site ‘too many’

PLANS for 52 new homes just north of Goring have been opposed by parish councillors even though the land has been earmarked for development.

McAdden Homes is seeking permission to develop the 3.8-hectare field to the east of Wallingford Road, which backs on to the houses in Springhill Road to the south.

One of the existing houses would be demolished and replaced with a smaller one to make room for a pedestrian and cycle access.

The main vehicle entrance would be from Wallingford Road.

The site was reserved for about 46 homes in the Goring neighbourhood plan, which was formally adopted after passing a referendum in July last year.

However, the parish council says McAdden wants to build on a smaller and “significantly different” footprint which excludes two areas deemed suitable for eight properties.

In its official response to South Oxfordshire District Council, which will have the final say, the council says the developer should be seeking to build about 38 houses and that 52 is too many.

It says: “The consequence of this much higher number is that the development overflows the acceptable area and height identified in the neighbourhood plan.

“It is at an unacceptable density and inappropriate for this location at the edge of the village and harmful to the setting of the [Chilterns] Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is inconsistent with the scale, character and rural edge of the village and non-conformant with the site-specific requirements specified to protect Springhill Road residents.

“While the development will provide much-needed affordable houses and smaller properties as required by the neighbourhood plan, the balance of this proposal is much too heavily weighted in favour of dense development rather than the environment and consideration for local residents. The parish council supports the development in line with the neighbourhood plan but objects to its present form.”

The Chilterns Conservation Board has called for seven proposed homes at the northern edge of the scheme to be removed.

It says they might be visible above the field’s ridgeline as people enter the village from the north, spoiling the rural appearance of the area.

The board’s official response says: “The iconic views of rolling dipslope landscape beyond Goring and as you enter the village are very dependent on the sweeping landscape edge with no hint of development at all. Such a feature very strongly defines the AONB... we would consider this a key issue.

“In spite of reassurances by the applicant, the views would be diminished by any glimpsed views of rooftops, however minor.”

More than 40 villagers objected, most of whom were neighbours, as did the owner of another field off Gatehampton Road which was rejected for inclusion in the neighbourhood plan. Sarah Morton, of Wallingford Road, said: “Put simply, the developer has tried to cram in too many houses.

“The application should be rejected and a new design produced that respects the neighbourhood plan... to protect the amenity and privacy of Springhill Road residents, which at the moment are being grossly disregarded.”

Meanwhile, proposals for 20 dwellings on a site earmarked in Woodcote’s neighbourhood plan have been recommended for approval by the parish council.

Richard Hazell wants to renew his consent to develop the former reservoir site at Greenmore, which elapsed after a failed bid to build mobile homes in their place.

The council is yet to comment on plans for 34 homes at Chiltern Rise Cottage and part of the adjacent garden centre, off Reading Road.

It supports the scheme by Rectory Homes in principle as the site is in the neighbourhood plan but it wants more detailed information on footpath, bus stop and screening arrangements.

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