Friday, 22 January 2021

Objection to new house fails

PLANS for a new house at Howe Hill have been approved despite objections from Watlington Parish Council.

The family house will replace a bungalow.

The application said the plans complied with  the Watlington neighbourhood plan and South Oxfordshire District Council’s local plan and core strategy.

It added: “In addition to the visual benefits that the proposal would contribute to the local area, it would also replace a poor quality dwelling that does not offer any contribution to housing stock in its current partially refurbished form.”

But the parish council said the scale and bulk of the development were excessive.

It added: “There is, a very real risk of a severe impact on the ecology and biodiversity of the area as well as the views from within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

The application was approved by the district council, the planning authority, under delegated powers rather than its planning committee.

Planning officer Sharon Crawford said: “Subject to conditions, the proposed development would be acceptable in terms of its relationship to the character of the existing building, its site and the wider AONB.

“It is also acceptable in terms of its impact on neighbouring amenity and the local wildlife population.”

A meeting of the parish council’s planning committee last month heard that there was a “growing body of evidence” across South Oxfordshire that neighbourhood development plans were being “ignored” and that case officers were making decisions under delegated authority against the wishes of town or parish councils.

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