Following the recent opening of the £11 Million flood defences you’d think Banbury would be clear of flooding….errr, wrong. Take a look at the latest press release to see the flooding around the Mills Art Centre in the town. Press Release 114
The scary thing is the council haven’t learnt a thing, instead they still plan to allow the building of 800 houses on the hills overlooking the canal just North of the town centre. Perhaps the council could explain how concreting over the land will stop the rain gushing off the slopes and in to the canal, thus exaggerate the problems they have just spent so much money on to try and prevent.
We have been asked by Tony Ilott if we would like to attend a meeting. All members are welcome to participate. We have told him that we are already arranging a meeting with Tony Baldry. After discussions, it’s been decided that we are going to merge the meetings. However before we just jump in, we’d like to be a little prepared (unlike the council) So we are proposing a HFDAG gathering to which anyone can attend whereby we provide some focus to our concerns prior to the meeting with the councillors…you might call it a focus group 😉 I’d like the meeting with the councillors to be a Q & A, rather than just a full on assault. This would give a greater appearance of community involvement if questions come from the group rather than just myself or Antony. Time is of the essence so we are proposing a meeting, either for Sunday evening 23rd or Thursday evening 27th.
It may be we do both, to give everyone the opportunity to get involved. If you would like to attend then please let me know. We will then be prepared for our meeting with the councillors, Tony Baldry and hopefully representatives from CDC planning. I’d probably invite others as well, from Hanwell Village, the press, etc etc.
Please get involved, this is your chance to have your say.
Banbury Sound called me today for a radio interview, so I pushed our campaign as much as possible.Though not sure when it’s going out on air.
Antony has been busy sending press releases out to the local media to get their attention about our group and the planned expansion of Hanwell Fields. This has proved very useful as now we are to be interviewed by the Banbury Guardian on Tuesday. I have invited all members along, but just incase you’ve haven’t heard we want to get as many people as possible to join us at the sports ground on Dukes Meadow Drive at 7.00pm for a photo op.
We will continue to hassle as many relevant people as possible to make sure they know we are not happy with the plans.
I put together a flyer and with the help of some volunteers (thanks to John Davis and family, Maggie Watts and her family and of course my wife) we have managed to inform most of the estate of our campaign with a letter drop. Again this has proved fruitful as we now have more members.
Today I have written to the Prime Minister to see if he can at least assess CDC to see if they are breaching some code of practice, regulation or even a law for misleading the public with the housing figures. If CDC were a corporation or even a bank they would be in court now for mis-selling or something similar.
I have been informed today that there could be some quite rare wildlife in the fields, in particular, mating skylarks. Now I may not be a keen twitcher but if this is the case then we ought to try and get it proved. Other than getting in touch with RSPB, I’m not sure who to contact to get someone in. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated. Of course this goes along with all the other wildlife in those fields but please don’t try and capture one. We need them in the fields, not in the oven ;-). Other wildlife includes nesting buzzards, wild deer, snakes, badgers, bats and rabbits etc etc. I will investigate further to see if CDC have already done a wildlife and environment analysis on the area. If they have, then perhaps a more thorough one is needed.
Thanks to you all for the support, lets try and get more to join and get involved.
The new local plan will be issued for public consultation on Aug 29th for 6 weeks ONLY. As soon as we know the details of how we can all comment on the plans then we will let you know.
I have also attended the Hanwell Village Parish Council Meeting tonight. Thanks to them for inviting me, it was very informative. I found out that Dukes Meadow Drive is supposed to be the Northern Perimeter of Banbury before it encroaches on the nearby village of Hanwell. This is a permanent marker of the Banbury Boundary, or rather it’s supposed to be and CDC seem to have just forgotten this.
We need more members so we can fight these developments. Please spread the word to friends, family and neighbours. If you would like a poster to put in your window or perhaps stick some of the smaller flyers around. Either download one of the pdf’s below – print them yourself or send an email and I can deliver some to you.
The Development Area East and West of Southam Road at Hardwick Farm is a sustainable location for housing growth on the northern periphery of Banbury. The site is bounded to the east by the M40 and by a cemetery to the west.
The design of the development will need to respect the landscape sensitivity of the site, especially to the west. The topography of the area rises to the north and the potential visual impact will need addressed. Careful consideration will be needed to the nearby heritage assets including Hardwick House, a listed building and an area of archaeological potential to the north of Noral Way (Hardwick deserted Medieval Village) in the creation of a high quality neighbourhood.
Banbury 2 – Hardwick Farm, Southam Road (East and West)
Development area: 42.70 hectares
Development Description –The Development Area east and west of the Southam Road is located in a sustainable location, close to existing employment uses and north of Banbury town centre.
Residential development (of approximately 800 dwellings) will be permitted across the two areas, provided it can be demonstrated that high quality design has been applied to address the potential landscape/visual impact issues and that careful consideration has been given to minimise the impact on historic asset/ potential archaeological sensitivity of the sites. Housing
Land area: 42.70 ha (17.75 west + 24.95 east)
Number of homes: approximately 800
Dwelling mix: A variety of dwelling types see policy BSC 6 (Housing Mix)
Education – remains to be negotiated
Health – remains to be negotiated
Open Space – to include general greenspace, play space, allotments and outdoor sports provision as outlined in Policy BSC12.
Community facilities – there will be a requirement for on-site community facility if 400 or more dwellings are proposed.
Utilities – to be confirmed
Key site specific design and place shaping principles
Development that respects the landscape setting with particular attention to the west of Southam Road- where the visual sensitivity is considered to be greater. Careful consideration should be given to address the topographical changes on the site to ensure minimal visual impact.
Development that addresses the flood risk of the site, where a small part of the site to the far west is within Flood zone 2 and 3 (along the route of the brook -a tributary of the River Cherwell); built development close to the watercourse will not be permitted. A green buffer should be provided along the watercourse.
Development that retains and enhances significant landscape features (e.g. hedgerows) which are or may be of ecological value; and where possible introduces new features (e.g. green buffer along the watercourse) to enhance existing wildlife corridors and therefore increase biodiversity in the area.
Development that respects and has minimal impact on the historic environment, including listed buildings (Hardwick House) and area of archaeological potential north of Noral Way (Hardwick deserted Medieval Village)
Layout of development that enables a high degree of integration and connectivity between new and existing communities.
A layout that maximises the potential for walkable neighbourhoods, with a legible hierarchy of routes and incorporates cycle routes to encourage sustainable modes of travel.
Development that considers and addresses any potential amenity issues which may arise including noise impact from the M40 (forming the north-east boundary), and any issues arising from the crematorium (to the north). The introduction of buffers/barriers/screening and the location of uses should be carefully considered to mitigate potential nuisances.
Public open space to form a well connected network of green areas suitable for formal and informal recreation, with the opportunity to connect to the Banbury Country Park (Banbury 14).
The incorporation of urban design principles (see Policy ESD16: The Character of the Built Environment) including consideration of street frontages and building heights in relation to the landscape setting
A well designed approach to the urban edge, which relates development at the periphery to its rural setting and affords good access to the countryside.
The incorporation of SuDS (Policy ESD 7)
Demonstration of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures including exemplary demonstration of compliance with the requirements of policies ESD1 – 5
As you can see from above the latest map indicates differently to the map below which we obtained from the documentation in August
An area of land to the north-west of Banbury has been identified for development as an extension to the recent Hanwell Fields development. The 27 hectare site lies immediately north of Dukes Meadow Drive, a carefully designed residential spine road which links Warwick Road to the west (adjoining the site) with Southam Road to the east. The road presently marks the northern extent of the town. The site will be developed in a planned, coordinated, integrated way using a single Masterplan for the area as a whole.
The site benefits from its proximity to employment areas, a secondary school, supermarkets and a retail park in the north of the town. It is large enough to accommodate some small scale employment uses in addition to providing local services and facilities to complement those nearby in Hanwell Fields and to the south in Hardwick. It can be readily connected to, and integrated with, existing residential development to the south and there is also the potential to improve local bus services to the wider area.
The site includes grade 2 and 3a ‘Best and Most Versatile’ agricultural land and has ecological value in its small areas of woodland, hedgerows and semi-improved grassland. Bats and badgers have also been recorded. However, the site is considered to have low landscape sensitivity and has no flooding issues. There is scope for wildlife mitigation and biodiversity enhancement through the replacement and improvement of existing features and the extension of green corridors.
Hanwell village is situated about 500 km to the north and the southern boundary of its Conservation Area is approximately 400m from the site. The village also hosts a community observatory. Development of the site can be achieved without harm to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area but the existence of a local ridgeline means that new houses could protrude into the skyline when viewed from the north. Careful design will therefore be necessary to ensure harm to the historic environment is avoided and the impacts on the character of the rural area and local amenity are minimised. This could include the enhancement of the band of semi-mature trees on the site’s northern and western boundaries and detailed consideration of building heights and lighting schemes. The improvement of woodland to the north would help permanently establish a green buffer between the site and Hanwell.
It will also be important that development respects the design and layout of the Hanwell Fields development, sits well in the rural landscape, and ensures that a ‘soft’ urban edge is created in view of the site’s prominent position at a northern gateway to Banbury. Land North of Hanwell Fields has been identified as having the potential to provide up to 400 homes and associated services, facilities and other infrastructure, set out in the policy below:
Policy Banbury 5: North of Hanwell Fields
Development area: 28.04 hectares
Development Description – Located at the northern edge of Banbury, this residential-led strategic development site will provide 400 dwellings with associated facilities and infrastructure in a scheme that demonstrates a sensitive response to this urban fringe location. The development area will require an integrated, coordinated and comprehensive planning approach to be taken with a link road between the various sites to ensure a sustainable and inclusive access and movement strategy for the Development Area to be taken and connection in to the surrounding road network.
Land area – 11.55 ha (net)
Number of homes – 400
Affordable Housing – 30%
Small scale local employment opportunities, such as would be appropriate for a semi-rural setting, such as live-work or small scale office / workshops.
Education – 100 additional primary school places will be required, 80 secondary school places, and that North Oxfordshire Academy has capacity (as at 2008)
Health – Health needs would be best met by expansion/improvement of existing surgeries or development of a branch surgery
Open Space – to include general greenspace, play space, allotments and outdoor sports provision as outlined in Policy BSC12. Additional playing pitches can be provided towards the western edge, and children’s play space on a phase by phase basis Access
Movement – Initial single access point off existing roundabout; later phasing will need second access point. Extension and improvement of existing bus services.
Community facilities – provision of a local centre including the opportunity for a local shop and small scale community facility. A contribution towards indoor sports provision may be required
Utilities – Two new electrical substations will be required; Hanwell Fields water booster station will need to be upgraded, Hardwick Hall booster pumps will need to be upgraded, SuDS will be required, sewerage networks likely to be required (Source: Site promoter’sreport).
Key site specific design and place shaping principles
Layout of development that enables a high degree of integration and connectivity with the Hanwell Fields development to the south.
A layout that maximises the potential for walkable neighbourhoods, with a legible hierarchy of routes and community facilities
Provision of a Travel Plan to maximise connectivity with existing development, including linkages with and improvements to existing public transport servicing Hanwell Fields and the Hardwick area
Careful consideration of street frontages to ensure an appropriate building line and incorporation of active frontages
A well designed, ‘soft’ approach to the urban edge, which integrates with the design and layout of the Hanwell Fields development and which respects the rural, gateway setting
The maintenance of the integrity and quality of the strategic landscaping for the Hanwell Fields development
Retention of the two Public Rights of Way and a layout that affords good access to the countryside
Enhancement of the semi-mature band of trees on northern and western boundaries and establishment of a Green Buffer between the site and Hanwell village
Public open space to form a well connected network of green areas within the site, suitable for formal and informal recreation
Provision of opportunities for Green Infrastructure links beyond the development site to the wider town and open countryside in accordance with policy ESD17
Detailed consideration of ecological impacts, wildlife mitigation including relocation of a bat roost and the creation and enhancement of wildlife corridors
Under Dave’s coalition government one of the first policies they conceived was the ‘BIG SOCIETY’ part of this idea was to give a greater freedom, influence and decision to local communities. This became realility with the Localism Act.
Extracts worth noting
“Early and meaningful engagement and collaboration with neighbourhoods, local organisations and businesses is essential. A wide section of the community should be proactively engaged, so that Local Plans, as far as possible, reflect a collective vision and a set of agreed priorities for the sustainable development of the area, including those contained in any neighbourhood plans that have been made”.
“Instead of local people being told what to do, the Government thinks that local communities should have genuine opportunities to influence the future of the places where they live. The Act introduces a new right for communities to draw up a neighbourhood plan.
Neighbourhood planning will allow communities, both residents, employees and business, to come together through a local parish council or neighbourhood forum and say where they think new houses, businesses and shops should go – and what they should look like.
These plans can be very simple and concise, or go into considerable detail where people want. Local communities will be able to use neighbourhood planning to grant full or outline planning permission in areas where they most want to see new homes and businesses, making it easier and quicker for development to go ahead.
Provided a neighbourhood development plan or order is in line with national planning policy, with the strategic vision for the wider area set by the local authority, and with other legal requirements, local people will be able to vote on it in a referendum. If the plan is approved by a majority of those who vote, then the local authority will bring it into force.
Local planning authorities will be required to provide technical advice and support as neighbourhoods draw up their proposals. The Government is funding sources of help and advice for communities”.