Village homes development set to be given thumbs down

Plans to build 58 homes in a village near Witney are set to be thrown out by councillors after more than 200 residents opposed the scheme over traffic fears and a lack of school spaces.

The planning application by  Witney-based Ede Homes for land west of Brize Norton Road in Minster Lovell is a scaled-down version of a previous bid for 74 homes which was rejected by West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) last July.

Council officers are recommended that councillors refuse the plans at a meeting of WODC’s lowlands planning committee on Monday, saying it would ‘urbanise’ the village and because of the ‘density of the development’.

Minster Lovell residents Julie and Marcus Marsh submitted an objection to the plans online.

Their objection said: “Minster Lovell has seen a dramatic increase in the volume of traffic that uses the Brize Norton Road. Walking along the current single path of Brize Norton road is extremely threatening as when HGVs need to pass each other one will mount the pavement.”

It went on to say: “The primary school located within the village is already at maximum capacity with several children from families already living in the village having to attend either Burford or Brize Norton.”

Many other residents submitted the same letter of objection as Mr and Mrs Marsh. It also opposed the scale of the development, the impact on the surrounding area and aired the fear the plans would set a precedent for further development.

Minster Lovell Parish Council also strongly objected to the plans because of “grave concern the proposed development will significantly harm and erode the historic character”.

The 6.3-acre site – equivalent to 3.5 football pitches – sits south of Ripley Avenue, just off Brize Norton Road.

A statement submitted on behalf of Ede Homes said: “The proposal is designed as a natural extension of Minster Lovell.  The proposal will help the council to restore its five-year supply of housing land, to accommodate some of Oxford City’s unmet housing need and to provide much-needed affordable housing by making good use of an area of rough grassland adjoining the built-up area of Minster Lovell.”

Ede did not respond to a request for a comment on the officers’ recommendation.