30th May 2013

Brilliant news BAN5 has officially been deferred. The main reason’s are; It was a premature application, meaning it has been submitted during the Local Plan whilst it’s still being considered. The council has the right to defer the decision as they could argue they haven’t agreed the areas in which to build. Only because the submission of the local plan is imminent and out for public consultation are they able to do this. Any other time it would have been accepted. The second reason is the boundary. As we highlighted to them they deferred a similar application to the south, the BAN5 application was identical to the same reasons they gave for rejecting Saltway in November (also including prematurity). According to the press, public pressure made them realise they needed to act and defer the plans.

However this doesn’t mean it won’t get the go ahead. This is where Antony’s numbers plays a considerable part. As you are aware we are currently trying to prove that CDC have made a big mistake in the planning numbers. IF we can get them to see that we are correct, they may reconfigure their numbers.

So what next…The local plan has to go to the secretary of state who will appoint a planning inspector. The planning inspector will hold a hearing at CDC offices. I have asked if I can speak to him to put our case forward. He doesn’t have to see me if he doesn’t want to but let’s hope he does. The inspector will look at the plans that CDC have submitted and they will decide if the Local Plan is valid. They could change everything CDC has suggested in terms of numbers and locations or they could agree with them and approve the plan, which in turn will lead to persimmon building on BAN5. However the deferment gives us a bit of time to gather information, prepare to fight further and gain interest.

I have forwarded on the numbers presentation to other groups around Banbury to get their views but also to see if we can, as a much larger group, encourage the council to reassess these numbers. If the numbers come down then so does the demand for building houses. The problem being the developers read the local plan and see that CDC are suggesting they are short and therefore more housing is needed. The developers all quote the same thing…our houses will help CDC fulfil their housing need.

Thanks to everyone that submitted a reply to the council, it was only from this pressure that they gave in.

Following on from the meeting we had with the councillors, they have suggested our numbers are not great enough. I ask you all to encourage people to join the group, we need as many as we can….
We are looking to start a petition around the estate, which Moira will take lead on. So we are looking for volunteers to help go around Hanwell Fields to get signatures. If anyone can spare just a bit of time to go door to door that would be really helpful. Please email admin@hfdag,org.uk if you can help. I’ll get the sheets printed so don’t worry about that, Moira will liaise.
We are also looking at putting together a few events to raise awareness of the campaign, more news to follow on that.

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