Kingston Bagpuize is being left to ‘mercy of developers’

Brian Forster, chairman of Kingston Bagpuize Parish Council, and the land owned by St John’s College on which developers want to build 63 homes. Picture: OX54106 Ric Mellis

Brian Forster, chairman of Kingston Bagpuize Parish Council, and the land owned by St John’s College on which developers want to build 63 homes. Picture: OX54106 Ric Mellis Buy this photo

First published in Abingdon

ANOTHER week and another scheme to cover green areas in and around the village of Kingston Bagpuize and Southmoor with housing.

That is how it is beginning to feel to villagers as word began to spread that new planning applications had been submitted to build on two large sites.

One proposes 63 homes and a 45-bed care home on land west of Witney Road, owned by St John’s College, Oxford. The other could see 50 homes built on a site south of Faringdon Road.

They follow proposals in June to put 50 homes on a site in Abingdon Road, with the developer Landframe holding out the promise of a new sports complex as part of the deal.

Many residents will tell you that their village is being left to the mercy of developers because of planning policies at Vale of White Horse District Council .

Alarm bells for the Oxfordshire Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and parish councils first began sounding when the district council unveiled its Interim Housing Supply Policy.

We have more than 300 homes proposed. We do not have the infrastructure to support that number

Brian Forster, chairman of Kingston Bagpuize Parish Council

The council said relaxing some planning rules in villages would allow “limited housing developments proportionate to the village size”.

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As it turned out the Vale’s controversial IHSP policy had to be ditched in the summer, with the U-turn put down to a change in national planning rules in April.

But green campaigners claimed the council had already opened up the can of worms.

They also pointed to the fact that the Vale still has no core housing strategy in place, which effectively provides the planning blueprint for years ahead. It held out the risk of a planning vacuum, which developers would be all too willing to fill.

 

Chairman of Kingston Bagpuize Parish Council, Brian Forster, said: “We have more than 300 homes proposed, which in a village of our size is not welcome.

“We do not have the infrastructure to support that number. “The local primary school does not have to capacity to absorb such an increase. It would mean a big increase in traffic on the A415 between Abingdon and Witney.”

Mr Forster said while the Faringdon Road and Witney Road schemes went against the parish plan, the parish council supported the Abingdon Road scheme. This would provide much needed facilities on the sports ground next to the Kingston Bagpuize Business Park, including a pavilion with cricket and football pitches.

But he fears more housing development applications were now in the pipeline.

Helen Marshall, director of CPRE Oxfordshire, said: “The Vale’s now-abandoned Interim Housing Supply Policy generated huge interest from developers and encouraged potential applications in all sorts of inappropriate places.”

Vale leader Matthew Barber said that the council had good reason to be encouraging new housing development.

He said: “The district has faced a growing problem of housing under-supply for some years.

“First and foremost it is a very real problem to those people who are seeking to find a new home.

“This is also a double whammy for our local economy.”

“A limited housing market makes it tougher for local employers to attract and retain the best staff, and the construction industry is a significant contributor to local employment and business activity,” Mr Barber added.

Comments (2)

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7:44am Sat 8 Sep 12

Myron Blatz says...

It's all down to that middle-crass dream of 'living in the country' in excusive rabbit hutches knocked out by ever-greedy developers - like recently happened when sleepy Yarnton got catapulted into near-town proportions. Some years ago, friends bought and restored their own dream cottage out in the sticks, only to realise that while it had a lovely pub and lots of cows, the shop and garage had closed by the time their dream was finished (both shop and garage closing because of he effect of a new supermarket nearby) and saw the village school also closed due to 'rationalisation' plans. Nor did they have a local doctor, and the bus only passed twice day - mainly to take the kids to the new area school. Possibly why so many see living on a massive, mainly council housing estate such as Blackbird Leys as an option - with a bus every four minutes, beats the heck out of two buses per day, and none at weekends!
It's all down to that middle-crass dream of 'living in the country' in excusive rabbit hutches knocked out by ever-greedy developers - like recently happened when sleepy Yarnton got catapulted into near-town proportions. Some years ago, friends bought and restored their own dream cottage out in the sticks, only to realise that while it had a lovely pub and lots of cows, the shop and garage had closed by the time their dream was finished (both shop and garage closing because of he effect of a new supermarket nearby) and saw the village school also closed due to 'rationalisation' plans. Nor did they have a local doctor, and the bus only passed twice day - mainly to take the kids to the new area school. Possibly why so many see living on a massive, mainly council housing estate such as Blackbird Leys as an option - with a bus every four minutes, beats the heck out of two buses per day, and none at weekends! Myron Blatz
  • Score: -4

8:39am Sat 8 Sep 12

Lord Palmerstone says...

@lordpetermcvey wrote:
I find it strange that when the GREEN AREAS that became K.B. and S/Moor were covered with a thousand houses there were not all these NIMBYS complaining then. So it is a case of MY HOUSE was built on GREEN LAND years ago and I'M alright Jack, but YOU can't have a house on GREEN LAND because GREEN LAND shouldn't be built on. What such caring people live it those two villages. It makes one warm to the cockles of ones heart to know that people still want their own little world instead of opening up and allowing other people a place to live. Ah well either a few houses now, or a 20 storey tower block in 20 years time. What do they prefer.
You really do have to stop banging on about nimbys. Most people are able to understand that even if they live already in a heavily concreted part of South East England their lives are not going to be improved by more concreting. The debate is not about some daftness like nimbys -v-"working class"(which, sadly, because it had great strengths, barely exists any more) but "have we reached saturation point?". I would invite all those who answer "no" to get on a pushbike and circle Oxford on the ring road for the next fortnight and see if they still think that.I would invite all those who say "yes" to consider the part played in that by uncontrolled immigration 97-10 and the expansion of the EU to the old Soviet Union and to think what fun we're all going to have when Turkey joins,i.e Syria,Iran,Iraq,Geor
gia-for the Turkish border is porous. When will the madness stop?
[quote][p][bold]@lordpetermcvey[/bold] wrote: I find it strange that when the GREEN AREAS that became K.B. and S/Moor were covered with a thousand houses there were not all these NIMBYS complaining then. So it is a case of MY HOUSE was built on GREEN LAND years ago and I'M alright Jack, but YOU can't have a house on GREEN LAND because GREEN LAND shouldn't be built on. What such caring people live it those two villages. It makes one warm to the cockles of ones heart to know that people still want their own little world instead of opening up and allowing other people a place to live. Ah well either a few houses now, or a 20 storey tower block in 20 years time. What do they prefer.[/p][/quote]You really do have to stop banging on about nimbys. Most people are able to understand that even if they live already in a heavily concreted part of South East England their lives are not going to be improved by more concreting. The debate is not about some daftness like nimbys -v-"working class"(which, sadly, because it had great strengths, barely exists any more) but "have we reached saturation point?". I would invite all those who answer "no" to get on a pushbike and circle Oxford on the ring road for the next fortnight and see if they still think that.I would invite all those who say "yes" to consider the part played in that by uncontrolled immigration 97-10 and the expansion of the EU to the old Soviet Union and to think what fun we're all going to have when Turkey joins,i.e Syria,Iran,Iraq,Geor gia-for the Turkish border is porous. When will the madness stop? Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

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