Research and Findings

From our findings we can only concur that CDC is a complete shambles of bureaucracy and misplaced documentation.

Antony has highlighted many inconsistencies in the local plan, and why the numbers simply don’t add up. These include.

Housing numbers.
Planning has to be 5 yr firm and 15yr horizon according to the latest definition. All of the planning that I can find seems based on a top down number of 13400 houses needed in Cherwell 2006-26 (the revoked SE Plan/RSS figure), but with unclear extensions to 2031. One of your 2011 reports says this number has to be respected until new ones are defined, but there has been ample time to do this. Our MP has clearly said that this figure is no longer valid and a local figure must be developed from community inputs. There are other numbers, for example the Housing Projection of 12750, adopted also in the LDF Next Steps. But this also did not take any community inputs…

So who says we need 13400 or 12750 builds in Cherwell? And who says this has to be 4800 in Banbury? Again our MP says that we have already adequate site planning for at least the next 5yrs without new sites like BAN2 being proposed.

For Banbury there is confusion on both the number analysis and the nominated sites for development, it is almost impossible from all the reports published, including the latest AMR (Annual Monitoring Report) Dec 2011, to find out the correct data from 2006-2026, or even to 2031. There are no reports for the mandatory 5yr 2012-17.

As far as I can see from the AMR 2011 for Banbury:

Built 2006-11 is 1240
2012-17 AMR added up is 700
2018-31 AMR added up is 3442
Total 2006-31 would be 5382

But this is data about housing build expectations/projections, not available site capacity, I guess dependant on an evaluation of developer interest?

On the other hand data from the Core Strategy 2010 is

Plan 2006-26 4800
Built 2006-11 1240
Deliverable 2012-17 2153
Total 2006-26 3473

With these sites listed

Canalside 1200
W Bretch Hill 400
Bankside 2 400

Plus reserve sites of

W Warwick Rd 400
N Hanwell Fields 400

Then suddenly in the AMR 2011 and Draft “Cherwell places” we have for 2012-31:

Bankside 1 1092
Bankside 2 400
Canalside 1050
Southam Rd 800
W Bretch Hill 400
N Hanwell Fields 400
Total 4142

Southam Rd has just popped up in the AMR, it was not in the Core Strategy; Bankside 1 is now included here; W Warwick Rd is missing and Canalside has gone down to 1050 from 1200. This time the numbers quoted are the site projections, not the expected build rate.

So how come these are the right numbers and can we have some simple, consistent and rational data? Showing built 2006-11, land available for 5yr 2012-2017 and for 15yr 2012-2027, each site with proposed build numbers 5yr and 15yr and current site commitments of developers (names, dates and sites of interest). Forget 25yr plans out to 2031!

I would like to see a table like this, for Banbury alone:

2006-11 2012-17 2018-17 Affordable
—–Built and total nominated site capabilities———————
Built (inc. all) xxx xxx
Land 5yr xxx xxx
Land 15yr xxx xxx

——Sites breakdown, name and date, 5yr firm, 15yr proposals——-
A xxx xxx xxx
B xxx xxx xxx
C xxx xxx

——Developer interest/commitments, name and date——————
A xxx xxx xxx
C xxx xxx xxx

Always reporting housing actually built or site capability and developer projections.

Throughout the CDC documents the names of the sites change which make tracking difficult, for example BAN2 was BAN57 in 2006 and became BAN6A in 2008… during this time and right up to today the zone boundaries change considerably.

Sue Smith (Chief Exec, CDC) and others have indicated, I believe wrongly, that BAN2 nomination arose from three previous planning documents:

Banbury Site Allocations 2006
Options for Growth 2008
Draft Core strategy 2010

These documents list sites but with changing reference IDs in each one. And with different boundaries.

Banbury Site Allocations 2006 gives a map showing only the lower half of the BAN2 Southern Road West area. It also says, “West of Hardwick Farm BA57 is for B1 employment, hotel, medical centre and community facilities” not for housing.

Options for Growth 2008 gives a map only showing land East of Southam Road and says, “…to the North the land is too prominent in landscape for development and important to the setting of Banbury”. Note: Other reports also say that the land to the West of Southam Rd is too visually sensitive to support housing development.

Draft Core strategy 2010 gives a map which does not include BAN2 at all, only saying, “N Hanwell Fields BAN5, 400 homes + services is a 2nd strategic allocation”

Since BAN2 development was initially announced by the developer at a presentation in Banbury Town Hall, before your new Local Plan 2012 was publicised(!), though it popped up in the AMR Dec 2011, many people think that the motivation for nominating BAN2 came from the opportunistic investment by the foreign investor in the land. This needs to be addressed.

The need for BAN2 also has to be explained, and reasons why this land should not alternatively complete a ‘green boundary’ the the North of Banbury with development stopping at Dukes Meadow Drive (N of existing Hanwell FIelds housing) as was previously supported.

I have recently discovered amongst the myriad of documents on multiple pages of your web site, a sustainability analysis for BAN2. This shows 6 positive, 11 negative points and 6 points which have not been reported about the site.

+ = positive point
– = negative point
Sustainability Analysis Local Plan 2012 Analysis result

1 Affordable homes plan 30% requested ++ (1)
2 Flooding flood risk problem no report
3 Well-being/health TBD —
4 Poverty/Exclusion not specified no report
5 Crime not specified no report
6 Community/Culture if >400 only –
7 Accessible services TBD —
8 Land use Landscape impact —
9 Pollution not specified —
10 Bio-diversity not specified +
11 Countryside access relate to setting no report
12 Congestion not specified —
13 Local products not specified no report
14 Waste not specified +
15 Water resources not specified +
16 Renewable energy not specified +
17 Employment N/A
18 Education TBD no report
19 Tourism (?) N/A

(1) But the 30% number was not supported at the recent presentation by Radley in the Town Hall, who mentioned verbally 1 in 13 affordable houses.

Many points about the site are brushed under the table, not considered or negative. For example: the setting, the landscape, visual impact and aesthetics of the W site; the flood risk, the connectivity with existing housing; the crematorium; climate change; transport plans; education; health; open space; telecommunication (broadband).

There seems to be a disconnection between the points considered in the Sustainability Analysis and the points listed for the BAN2 site in the Local Plan 2012.

It is also worth mentioning that government targets are 40% new builds on previously developed land, but Banbury is overall only 25% with the plans to encroach on green field sites. BAN2 conflicts 100% with this.

It is incredibly difficult to find, trace and validity the thousands of documents that CDC has generated over the last few years. Especially on your web site where they appear on many different pages and with completely obscure file names.

As a consequence of all this initial analysis of data and inconsistencies, I request (under Freedom of Information):

A. What is your plan to generate a community bottom-up housing requirement for Banbury?

B. When can you provide the table 1) above for Banbury?

C. That you provide an index, chronology and hierarchy of documents history and connections, to resolve the huge difficulty in finding and understanding CDC planning activities.

That you provide a full list of current documents CDC offers as relevant to the specific proposal of BAN2 as a housing development, including developer interest (e.g. email and communications with the land owner). That you provide a Web URL for each document, or timescale for making it available and copies of all developer communications.

D. That you provide a program for community briefing and consultation, in depth, about all planning considerations. Meeting arrangements and time scale, with specific, personal invitations to all the Hanwell community. And that follow-up meetings be held at a detailed consultative level and fully taken to into account in your planning proposals. Including joint working level and high level meetings, including councillors and our local MP.

E. That the “Local Plan 2012” is delayed indefinitely until amended and our community is in agreement.

Antony Watts

Leave a Reply