Neighbours say building plot has turned into a rubbish dump

Herald Series: Kennington Parish Council chairman Colin Charlett Kennington Parish Council chairman Colin Charlett

PARISH councillors have called for an “eyesore” building site to be cleared up.

The owner of the property, Anthony Woods, gained permission in July 2009 to demolish an existing bungalow in Upper Road, Kenninton, and build a two-storey block of apartments from the Vale of the White Horse District Council.

But since demolition work was carried out on the bungalow, the site has remained undeveloped and has since had rubbish dumped onto it.

Mr Woods, from Kidlington, has blamed the mess on fly-tippers.

But Kennington Parish Council chairman Colin Charlett said the council wanted the owner to clear the site.

He said: “It is an absolute mess and right in the middle of a residential area. I suspect it is being used as a building yard, but it is not a tidy one. We have been onto district council enforcement officers, but it’s been a long and drawn out process.”

One neighbour who wished to remain anonymous, said that two piles of rubbish had appeared on the site about two months ago.

The neighbour said: “Straight after purchasing the site, he cut down all the trees and shrubbery, then applied for planning permission.

“Since then there have been small amounts of activity now and then.

“Then a couple of months ago two piles of rubbish appeared.”

A white van parked inside had also been left at the site for “about two months” as well, the neighbour added.

Mr Woods, who says he is a sole trading developer, claims a neighbour saw two lorries unload the rubbish onto the site.

He said: “It is a secure site, but the locks were cut. I have gone through all the local authorities, the council, the police, and reported it to them.

“It is not my rubbish, but I have to pay to move it.

“I understand why people might be sceptical about my plans to develop the site but there was no problem until the rubbish was dumped.

“It is not being used as a storage site. Everything there is for that project."

Mr Woods said that although he had originally told the council he would clear the rubbish by “the end of February or beginning of March”, he could not confirm when it would be removed.

He added: “I need to get advice on how to get back the money I will spend on moving the rubbish.”

Plans approved in 2009 would have seen the site gain four two-bedroom apartments, with six car spaces and bike and bin storage.

In 2011 the council asked Mr Woods to comply with conditions of planning permission, which said work must be carried out within three years of July 22, 2009.

He later applied for a three-year extension to planning permission time limits, granted in July 2012.

A spokesman for the Vale said formal action by enforcement officers would be a last resort.

He added: “We were told that [the site] would be cleared by the end of February.

“Other than that, we can’t go into detail of what is an ongoing case.”

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