RELIEVED neighbours are celebrating after controversial plans to build new homes on a treasured patch of green space were thrown out once again.

A developer targeting land in Didcot has seen their latest plans refused for building four homes on a small piece of land on Brasenose Road.

After almost 200 objections, South Oxfordshire District Council argued the construction of housing on the land would result in the loss of a valued open space and would be detrimental for the landscape of the area.

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The decision to reject the permission in principle request – which is not a full planning application – was announced by the council on Monday.

Council decision-makers also raised concerns over the need to remove trees in building work - including a protected Field Maple to the north west of the site.

Speaking after the decision, resident Nicola Stevens said: “This is a piece of land that is used by everybody in the community. It has some lovely trees, lots of children use it, as well as the school.”

“It would be a real shame to lose it. We want to protect the space from any developments.”

Householder Huw Palmer shares Ms Stevens relief, but fears that this is not the end of this situation.

He said: “It is a relief in this instance. It is a wonderful asset to the neighbourhood and should not be lost.”

The grassed space, near Stephen Freeman Primary School, has been there since the late 1960s.

Plans have been proposed for two years but have previously been refused.

The first planning application for three houses was refused. An application for four houses was then withdrawn by the applicant. This third application was filed on December.

Councillor Ian Snowdon believes the fact this application received so many objections and was refused showed how important this green space is for the residents.

Mr Snowdon added: “It has been fantastic the support that residents have shown. This is not a piece of wasteland, but an important asset for the community.

“Every new house development is built around open green spaces. It is ridiculous that at the same time, we’re building on a few remaining open green spaces in Didcot.”

If the applicant wishes to appeal, this must be do so within six months of the council’s notice to the Secretary of State for the Environment.

Applicant Derek Ray has previously defended his plans to build on the land.

Mr Ray purchased the plot at a public auction in 2019 with the intention of building homes for his family.


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