Following the recent rejection of the Local Plan by the Planning Inspectorate due to CDC miscalculating the housing numbers the Inspector has now added more houses to Cherwells allocation. Previously the housing number was 16,000 however due to Oxford City Council proving they don’t have the required space to accommodate their required amount. OCC (city) have said that any further increases in housing numbers would fall in to the other districts of Oxfordshire. Cherwell must now accept an increase to 22,000 houses over the next 25 years. I will now highlight what this means to Banbury and to Hanwell Fields.
The old Local Plan (we’ll call it ADCU1 – Anti Democratic Cock Up 1) showed 2 areas on the map that would have a significant impact on HF. These being BAN2 and BAN5. The revised Local Plan – ADCU2 now shows a new area BAN18.
After the successful appeal by Miller Homes regarding land to the West of Warwick road for 350-400 homes. Councillor Turner has decided to close down Drayton Golf Course from October and the owners of the land – Trinity College, Oxford have decided to sell more of this land for further development. We are now expecting an increase of 300 houses making the combined total of all developments to around 1,700 properties. I’m a little suspicious of this decision by Cllr Turner. I can’t understand why he’s closing down so soon as the land has not been designated for development yet. Most developments of this size will not start work for about 2 years, so he has the potential to keep it open for that amount of time….unless he knows that work will be starting soon on the Miller Homes plans.
There have been a few rumours that I’ve heard about these developments. Firstly they may not be financially feasible due to costs of getting mains water to them. One figure I’ve heard is £20 Million to get pipes up to BAN5. For those that don’t know the small building on the left side of Dukes Meadow Drive as you go down the hill is a pump to get water to the top of the estate. Those at the top will know about losing water when the pump fails. From one document I’ve read it is estimated that BAN5 will need a further 2 of these.
The second rumour is the Chinese investor for BAN2 – Pandora Developments doesn’t see enough profit in the build as they have had the number of houses to the West of Southam Road reduced to 90 from 400. Plus they have to build a school. Therefore this development may not come to fruition.
These are only rumours and no one is willing to confirm or deny such things. Let’s hope they’re true.
The other thing to comment on is the amount of other houses that earmarked for Banbury, Saltway is now in the new revised Local Plan which adds another 1500-1700 houses to the plan. Demand for houses isn’t as great as the developers and the government are saying. Mostly due to the changes in Mortgage rules.
If you’d like to comment of this news then please do so. Don’t forget our website is www.HFDAG.org.uk
Who do we think is to blame for the demise of Banbury ? Cherwell District Council. Why ? Still no Local Plan, if they’d bothered to get the plan approved earlier then we wouldn’t be seeing these mass developments because the plan would have been approved. By leaving it so long OCC and the Oxford Universities have made their acted upon updated information and leaned on CDC to fulfill the housing numbers.