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Horn Hill Road revised planning application approved

Published: 19/05/2017 10:00 AM

An application for a single residential development on land next to the cemetery on Horn Hill Road has been approved by Cherwell District Council’s planning committee. The application had previously been rejected in June 2016 by the committee, but following an appeal to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government a revised application was last night (18th May 2017) considered acceptable.

The application on behalf of Mr Jeff Colegrave grants approval for a two storey four-bedroom traditional farmhouse style property, together with the conversion of a plot of adjoining land from agricultural to community use.

The application also includes a donation of £100,000 towards the upkeep of the listed Friends Meeting House.

In recommending acceptance of the revised application Cherwell District Council’s officers noted that the previous application had been rejected by Cherwell councillors who felt the dwelling was beyond the built up area. However the planning inspector disagreed and noted the “loose knit pattern” of houses in the area.

The planning inspector had rejected the appeal because of the request to use the land gifted to the village as an extension to the cemetery, feeling that it had not been established the land was suitable for this use. The revised application removed this request and instead specified the land to be for “community use” which Cherwell’s officers therefore felt addressed the only reason the planning appeal had been refused.

Council officers also noted that the financial contribution of £100,000 towards the upkeep of the Friends Meeting House, and the offer of a pedestrian link from Horn Hill Road to the new sports pitches and community facility on the Milton Road were not a material part of planning consideration.

Nigel Wood of Lester Close spoke against the application focussing primarily on the offer of £100,000 towards the upkeep of the Friends Meeting House saying he spoke on behalf of “a large number of people” who were not happy with planning permission linked to financial gain. Mr Wood publicly attacked the stance of the Chair of Adderbury Parish Council, Mrs Diane Bratt, for supporting the application and stated it was disrespectful to offer a footpath to the new Milton Road sports pitches site through the cemetery. Mr Wood also suggested some felt this application was being used to gain access to agricultural land behind the area under consideration.

Jonathan Porter, speaking as the agent for the application, felt Mr Wood’s address was “off stream” and based on assertions which had all previously been dismissed by the planning inspector. Mr Porter noted he could only find 8 comments with regards this application on the Cherwell planning portal, although officers had earlier noted 19 submissions, including an objection from ACAG (Adderbury Conservation Action Group). Mr Porter noted that the community benefits on offer were not actually needed in order to make this a sound application in the eyes of the planning inspector.

Councillor Mrs Heath, who represents Adderbury within her ward, stated she felt people were getting things mixed up by “muddling different issues” into this planning application. She described the situation as a “total fiasco”. Councillor Heath felt that the objections raised by the inspector had been addressed and therefore proposed acceptance of the application.

Councillor Reynolds noted that whilst he still felt a little uneasy over the benefits offered within the application he knew in planning terms the application was now acceptable and therefore seconded acceptance.

Acceptance was then agreed by the committee.

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