Category Archives: Localism Act

Donger digs up the trees

dongers_trees leftside of field

Donger the Destroyer aka Amber developments have started to rip out the trees from the field opposite Winter Gardens Way. Work is supposed to be starting in the next few weeks.

This is part of the larger BAN5 development, which includes the persimmon development.
Also see: Ambers Revised Plans

More houses on the way!!

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

Here’s the new planned Local Plan Locations

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.

West of Warwick Road Appeal Decision

The Miller homes development to the west of Warwick road has been granted after an appeal. You can read the full transcript here.
Unfortunately it appears the planning inspector has agreed to allow the creation of an extra junction along Warwick Road instead of using the Hardwick roundabout. Though this is seen to be adding more housing to an already huge number it is hoped that this development would see off the expansion to the North of Hanwell Fields. This development is livable and in many ways makes sense. As we’ve always said we are not against house building just poorly planned ones. This fits in with the purpose of the Northern Boundary. The hope now, if somewhat of a gamble is that we can argue the 160 houses proposed by Amber and Rapleys to the north (which are very poorly planned) are no longer required as this site exceeds the additional numbers for BAN5.

Amber Development Plans

Here are the plans that have been submitted from Framptons of Banbury for the Amber Development. For those that remember their exhibition in the community centre apparently only 12 people gave feedback. I think they’ve made this up. I have included this as well. It’s a joke really.

The housing plan – Amber _160houses_ plan_07425909
Footpaths and Connections – amber_footpaths_connections_07425918
The feedback from the exhibition – amber_framptons_feedback_07425269
Trees and green space – Amber_green_plan_07425910

New Plans Submitted – Amber Developments

Plans have formally been submitted for 160 houses on the field opposite Wintergardens Way. The proposed housing continues along the edge of Dukes Meadow Drive up towards Warwick Road. Notices have been posted on the entrance to the field however I can’t find any details on the Council website.

Having seen the plans previously, the housing density is very high and overwhelming. Hanwell Fields already feels very compact and claustrophobic. The openness of the fields brings much needed relief  to this density. We already have issues with housing numbers on this estate, too many cars and too few places to park them leading to many problems. This particular development will only aggravate this further. I object to all the developments but luckily the others are of sufficient distance away to not impose in such a severe way.

Shame on Framptons – A local planners who assist the demise of their own town.

Miller Homes Application update

I have received a letter from the council regarding the Miller Homes application for more housing to the top of the estate just off Warwick Road, next to Drayton Golf Club. Cherwell Council have withdrawn their reasons for appeal based on the recent Deddington homes decision. Therefore it would appear this application will most likely (though not definite) be passed. The hearing which is scheduled for 10.00am on Tuesday 14 January 2014 at the Council Chamber, Bodicote House, White Post Road, Bodicote. Will only proceed for 1 day instead of the original 5 days. Hanwell Fields will now be expanding by a further 300 houses.

Can we all just thank the council for being overwhelmingly useless.  The blame for any of the passed housing, not just around Hanwell Fields but around Banbury falls 100% on their shoulders. If the likes of Cllr Gibbard and the incompetant planning department had done their jobs correctly and produced a viable plan (thinking about it they needn’t have even made it viable) then a lot of the housing would not have been allowed.
The only reason all the housing has been passed is because of the lack of a local plan. Cherwell Council have made very serious mistakes in this regard and as such I would like to see resignations from Gibbard and the planning department.

Miller Homes has been refused

The Miller homes application has been refused. Many members were in favour of this development as it would have the least impact on the area. Out of all the applications presented to the planning committee this site was the only one that had positive comments and yet was turned down….so much for the Localism Act, so much for the council actually listening to it’s residents. We asked our local councillors to help us fight these developments, did they ? hell no. Except when it affected one of their own. We’ll hear all sorts of rubbish about how they haven’t done that. In reality they should have helped us FIGHT ALL of the developments. Shame on them, they’ve lost my vote in the future.

The Miller homes application was byfar the most thoughtout and well planned of all the applications. I really hope CDC get their just rewards and we see the removal of the planning department, the removal of the Chief Exec for being incompetant, and finally the local councillors for having no backbone and no diginity.

BAN3 Bretch Hill has been approved

Though this may not be within our area – North of Hanwell Fields, it does show the council have yet again ignored comments from the residents of Banbury, and blatantly chose to forget the democracy of a public consultation with regard to the local plan.

This is a misrepresentation of public rights.

As voters, council tax payers and residents of Banbury we should expect our council to behave in a manner that is fit for purpose, presently I don’t we can say it is. It certainly does not have our interests in mind.

What are we doing about it ? Moira and I attended a meeting with Hanwell Parish Council to discuss what options we may have with regard to both BAN5 and BAN2, the answer is not a lot. We then discussed what we can do about the council, my view is that we shame them in to making changes. To do this we are going to raise a petition against them, hopefully to be timed in accordance with the planning inspector’s visit. I also received a call from the ITV program ‘tonight’ to chat about the possibility of being part of documentary about the effects of planning on local communities. After several more calls and the passing of information I have heard that unfortunately we came close to being chosen but ultimately the producer has decided to feature a local action group in the North of England. I had explained that not only are we effected by such large developments but so is Hanwell Village, as well as other communities around Banbury. Anyway the show is to be broadcast on the 8th August, 7.30pm ITV1. It will be very interesting.

Now the planning has been approved, Persimmon have been given 12 months to finalise their plans and a further 12 months to start the build. As yet Amber have still not submitted an application for the remainder of the BAN5 site. One detail in our favour now Bretch Hill has been approved is the council have their fulfilment of housing numbers, meaning we could argue that their is no need for further approvals.

I still maintain that these site have been approved prematurely to protect the precious South of Banbury, more importantly Saltway.

Next thing we need to do put together some demands for when the construction starts, for instance, a ban of construction traffic before 9.00am on Dukes Meadow Drive, No mud left on the road. Construction vehicles can only park on their designated land and not block DMD. You get the idea, so if any one has any particular concerns about the effects of the construction then please leave comments below.

Thanks everyone, we’ve lost a battle but not the war.