Barwood’s Appeal Against Planning Refusal: Your Chance to Influence the Outcome
April 16th, 2013
Are you for or against another housing estate being built in the village? As expected, Barwood Homes has appealed against South Northamptonshire Council’s refusal to grant planning permission for a proposed development of 35 houses on agricultural land to the north of Hampton Drive. The appeal will be considered at a hearing held by the government’s planning inspectorate in June. In the meantime, the parish council would like to hear the views of all residents on this development. Please consider the arguments, then use one of the links at the foot of this article to add your name either to the survey of those for the development or those against. These surveys will close at midnight on April 30.
In January this year, concerned King’s Sutton residents took a petition from door-to-door and gained 521 signatures from people living in 426 houses in the village who were against Barwood’s plans. (Only a few refused to sign.) However, the petition’s organisers did not have time to reach all the houses in the village and in the interests of fairness, it was felt that everyone should get the opportunity to have their say one way or the other.
The Case for Opposing the Barwood Development
The proposed development of 35 houses by Barwood Homes is additional to the already-approved Banner Homes plan for 40 new dwellings in Banbury Lane. The village has therefore already done its bit to meet the requirement for new houses in South Northamptonshire and has no pressing need for more executive homes.
More housing on this scale will adversely affect the flow of traffic in and around the village, which already suffers considerable issues due to its use as a “rat run” by drivers during peak commuting hours, not to mention the narrow streets and blind corners in its medieval centre.
If the development goes ahead, there will inevitably be a significant increase in pressure on facilities at the village school that are already fully stretched.
The area of the village from the proposed development site behind Banbury Lane all the way to the railway station in Wales Street has long been prone to flooding. Additional development has the potential to bring even worse problems for those householders already badly affected by this flooding.
The building of yet more housing in open countryside will permanently damage King’s Sutton’s character as a village and will add to the creeping suburbanisation of rural areas.
The Case for Supporting the Barwood Development
Barwood has promised that a full 40% of the development will comprise affordable housing for people with local connections.
Some people in King’s Sutton have suggested that increasing the population of the village through additional housing will provide much-needed support for local pubs, shops and services.
The Parish Council’s View Broadly speaking, King’s Sutton Parish Council is against the proposed development for much the same reasons as those given above. (Click here for a summary of the parish council’s original response to the application.)
While it is accepted by many King’s Sutton residents that additional affordable housing and support for local businesses would be good for the village, there is some scepticism amongst councillors that these benefits would actually materialise in any substantial way. The affordable housing promised by developers at the planning application stage, for example, is very often reduced later on. The Banner Homes development is a case in point. (The affordable housing element of the approved development was originally 40% but has since gone down to 15%.)
As regards improved support for local businesses, some councillors have pointed out that this claim does not stand up to close scrutiny. Thirty years ago, the population of the village was smaller, yet there were more local businesses at that time than there are today: there were four pubs then and now there are three; there were three general grocery stores then and now there is one; and there was a baker and two butchers then but none of them survived.
In the past 30 years, we have seen three major supermarket chains building stores in Banbury and two more in Brackley. These developments have clearly had a huge detrimental impact on village pubs and shops and it is highly unlikely that additional residents will change anything in that regard.
What’s Your View?
Click here if you didn’t sign the petiton in January but would like to add your name to those opposing the Barwood development.
Click here if you support the Barwood development.