of a meeting of the

Planning Committee


held on Wednesday, 28 July 2021 at 6.00 pm

in 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, OX14 4SB



Open to the public, including the press


Present in the meeting room:

Councillors: Val Shaw (Vice-Chair), Jerry Avery (substituting for Max Thompson), Ron Batstone, Jenny Hannaby, Diana Lugova, Ben Mabbett, Mike Pighills and Janet Shelley


Officers: Paul Bateman and Adrian Duffield


Remote attendance:

Councillors: Andy Cooke, Hayleigh Gascoigne, Sarah Medley and Bob Johnston,


Officers: Martin Deans, Adrian Butler, Susie Royse, Penny Silverwood and Hanna Zembrzycka-Kisiel






Pl.60 Chair's announcements and election of vice chair for the meeting


Councillor Val Shaw the Chair.


Under the council’s constitution, the vice chair of the committee took the chair in the absence of the chair, councillor Max Thompson.


The committee considered electing a vice chair of the meeting. A motion moved and seconded, to elect councillor Ron Batstone the vice chair of the meeting, was carried on being put to the vote.


RESOLVED: that councillor Ron Batstone be elected the vice chair of the meeting.




Pl.61 Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from councillors Cheryl Briggs and Max Thompson. Councillor Jerry Avery substituted for councillor Max Thompson.




Pl.62 Minutes


The minutes of the meeting of the committee on Wednesday 2 June 2021 were agreed to be the correct record of the meeting. It was agreed that the chair sign them as such.




Pl.63 Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest. Councillor Diana Lugova declared an interest in the application for 16 Selwyn Crescent, Radley (P21/V0484/HH) as a local ward councillor.




Pl.63 Urgent business


There was no urgent business.




Pl.64 Public participation


The committee noted the list of members of the public registered to speak at the meeting. The committee had received, prior to the meeting, copies of the statements which had been made.




Pl.65 P21/V0140/FUL - Workshop and Premises 2A, 2-6 High Street, Steventon, Abingdon


The committee considered application P21/V0140/FUL for the redevelopment of previously developed land involving change of use from Class E to Class C3, demolition of light industrial buildings (No 2A) and erection of replacement apartment building providing 7 no. apartments with undercroft parking and cycle storage, part-demolition of buildings (Nos 6 and 6A) fronting High Street to facilitate provision of parking and bin and cycle storage, with retained floor area consolidated for commercial use Class E (as amended by updated contamination report received 1 March 2021, and as amended by plans omitting balcony to flat 4 and reconfiguring parking received 6 April 2021, and as amplified by noise assessment received 13 April 2021 and sun diagrams received 20 April 2021), at Workshop and Premises, 2A and 2-6 High Street, Steventon Abingdon.


Consultations, representations, policy and guidance and the site’s planning history were detailed in the officer’s report which formed part of the agenda pack for this meeting.

Consideration of this application had been deferred by the committee on 7 July 2021 to facilitate a site visit, which had taken place on Monday 26 July 2021. The planning officer reported that Mr Armid Akram of Oxfordshire County Council highways department was present virtually at the meeting to answer queries from the committee regarding highways aspects of the development proposals.

The planning officer reported that the application site was classified as brownfield land and was located centrally within Steventon. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) had changed since this application had been submitted and it had strengthened such elements as design. The application still complied with the NPPF standards. Officers had worked on highways and parking aspects with the developer, particularly the fact that the Causeway would remain usable for residents. Hedges would be restricted to 1m. height to ensure good visibility.  The engineering building had existing screening, but further screening would be required. There was a need for a demolition statement and a construction traffic plan, which would be covered in the proposed conditions. The three flats near to the Co-op building had been designed to be set back from the roof edge, so as not to overlook. Overall, the design of the proposal was acceptable. It was noted that the developer had made reasonable efforts to safeguard existing residents against noise nuisance; an acoustic report had therefore been submitted to support the application.  Subject to the full implementation of the measures identified in the acoustic report, officers considered that the development would be safeguarded from undue noise and disturbance. This would be secured by a proposed planning condition.

The planning officer also reported that the courtyard was within flood zone 1, and both access points were within flood zones 2 and 3. The adjoining High Street and the Causeway were in zone 3. The access to this site and connecting roads historically had flooded. In response to this, the Flood Risk Assessment had demonstrated that a low hazard access route existed between the site and areas outside high-risk flood zones. By virtue of the residential development being solely located in flood zone 1, and supporting evidence demonstrating that the low hazard access route existed, the development was considered to comply with national and local flood risk policy.

The planning officer referred to some objections on the grounds of the loss of the hot food facility. The site was not protected as a strategic site, though restaurants were classified as use class E, which meant that a new facility at this location would not require planning permission.

The planning officer concluded that the principle of residential development through the re-use of brownfield land was considered acceptable by planning officers. The loss of any employment was outweighed by the benefits brought about by the delivery of 7 apartments in a sustainable location, which would contribute positively to the district’s housing need.

Councillor Robert Green, a representative of Steventon Parish Council, spoke in support of the application.

Mr. Andre Botha, the agent, spoke in support of the application.

The committee requested further information regarding safeguarding residents from the noise and nuisance created by the demolition works. The agent responded that the proposed conditions entailing a construction management plan and a demolition statement would minimise disturbance to neighbours.

In response to concerns from the committee regarding the safety of any cladding materials to be used in the development, the agent responded that the details of the materials were yet to be finalised. Discussions with the urban design officer had not, to date, revealed any difficulties, and a proposed planning condition dealt with a schedule of materials, including cladding. The planning officer confirmed that proposed condition 9 dealt with such a schedule.

The committee asked Mr. Akram of the OCC about highways aspects of the proposed development.  He clarified that access to the development would be via the High Street, with a link to the Causeway, which would be a secondary access. In the view of the highway authority, the access was more than adequate for the development’s traffic. In terms of car parking provision, this equated to 1.4 spaces per unit, which was maximum provision. In response to a question regarding car parking for business units, Mr Akram replied that 3 spaces were adequate for the hot food takeaway operation.

In response to a question from the committee regarding minimising works’ nuisance to residents, the planning officer reported that there was an intention to have a site compound for demolition and construction works. Concerning a specific query from the committee regarding the prevention of mud on the road, the planning officer responded that the proposed management plan would deal with that issue.

The committee concluded that the proposed development of residential development through the re-use of brownfield land was to be supported, as it provided much-needed residential units for the district and that therefore planning permission should be granted.

A motion moved and seconded, to grant planning permission was declared carried on being put to the vote.

RESOLVED: to grant planning permission for application P21/V0140/FUL subject to the following conditions:

1.         Work to commence within three years.

2.         Approved plans.

3.         Demolition statement.

4.         Construction Traffic Management Plan.

5.         If contamination found, development to cease until remediation is complete.

6.         Detailed sustainable drainage scheme.

7.         Foul water drainage.

8.         Flood evacuation and management plan.

9.         Schedule of materials.

10.       Hard and soft landscaping details.

11.       Mitigation in accordance with acoustic report.

12.       Implementation of parking and cycle provision.

13.       Boundary Treatment.

14.       Screening to western edge of the balcony of flat 3.




Pl.66 P14/V2873/O - Land to the west of Great Western Park (Valley Park) Didcot (in the parishes of Harwell and Milton)


Part way through the consideration of this application, members took a vote just before the meeting guillotine of 8:30pm to continue.


The committee considered application P14/V2873/O for outline planning application for a residential development of up to 4,254 dwellings, mixed-use local centres, primary schools, sports pitches, community and leisure facilities, special needs school, open space and extensive green infrastructure, hard and soft landscaping, attenuation areas, diversions to public rights of way, pedestrian and vehicular access and associated works (as amended by drawings and information accompanying letter from Agent dated 10 March 2016, 21 August 2019, 24 January 2020, 30 March 2020, 20 May 2020, 14 December 2020, 6 May 2021 and 15 June 2021) on land to the West of Great Western Park (Valley Park) Didcot (in the parishes of Harwell and Milton).


Consultations, representations, policy and guidance and the site’s planning history were detailed in the officer’s report which formed part of the agenda pack for this meeting.


The planning officer reported that Mr Jason Sherwood of the Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) was present virtually to answer questions from the committee in respect of highways issues. The planning officer reported that since the publication of the agenda two letters of objection had been received from local residents, one related to the loss of mature trees and the other stating flood risk, landscaping and biodiversity concerns. The latest position was that the developer intended to remove 37 of 228 trees and 16% of the hedgerows. The developer was under a duty to enhance biodiversity on the site. Since the committee last considered the report, the NPPF had been amended, but the changes did not affect the recommendations to the committee.


The planning officer reported that the application was last reported to planning committee on 16 February 2021. The committee had resolved to defer consideration for the following reasons, allow work to review the proposed 5-arm roundabout design and investigate options for details of any pre-designs of the roundabout envisaged by the applicants and providing either a bridge or an open underpass to provide direct cycle and pedestrian access across the roundabout.  Deferral also intended to allow the applicants to commit to providing the £200,000 biodiversity contribution prior to the development commencing. This had now been agreed by the applicant. Also, planning officers were asked to engage with the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) to obtain their opinion on the impacts of the proposal for healthcare provision. The committee expressed a preference for contributions for improved healthcare facilities to be secured through the s106 agreement. It was noted that Andrea Warren was listed as a speaker at the meeting and would provide the OCCG’s position on the application, through her representation of a number of local health centres.


The planning officer reported on the situation regarding the proposed 5-arm roundabout, upon which SUSTRANS had been consulted. OCC highways engineers would normally wish to avoid a 5-arm roundabout, in preference for a 4-arm one. A 5-arm roundabout at the proposed site would have an irregular slope, increasing the number of conflict points and possibly leading to uncertainty for road users. Mr Michael Deadman of the OCC highways department, who was a virtual attendee, reported that a ‘green wave’ solution for traffic lights with sensors, giving priority to cyclists, had been considered. The OCC was satisfied with this technology being introduced and a s106 legal agreement or s278 legal agreement could secure it, together with financial contributions towards providing the technology and its maintenance. Mr. Deadman also reported that as an ideal, a roundabout should be circular and of a constant width, and a 5-arm roundabout would not have such features, potentially leading to an increase in accidents. The planning officer advised the committee that full details of the amended roundabout designs and technical reports were included in the report at paragraphs 1.3 and 1.4 and appendices 3 to 6 inclusive.


The OCC had advised that a bridge would be a safer option compared to an underpass but that its design and delivery would be difficult to achieve, due to the physical site constraints involved and would not meet the needs of all the highway users, particularly equestrians and mobility impaired users. However, OCC had concluded that a bridge option would not be recommended. An open underpass was considered to be a potential solution, subject to the design of the roundabout. A ‘Dutch style’ roundabout that prioritised cyclists was also considered to be unsuitable because of potential confusion to road users, especially cyclists, regarding priority and visibility.


Councillor Neil Paterson, a representative of Harwell Parish Council, spoke objecting to the application.


County Councillor Sally Povolotsky, speaking in her capacity as a county councillor for Harwell, spoke objecting to the application.


Mr. George Bushell, a local resident, spoke objecting to the application.


Ms. Andrea Warren, a representative of Oak Tree Health Centre, Didcot Health Centre and Woodlands Medical Centre, spoke in support of the application.


Ms. Sophia Thorpe, the agent, spoke in support of the application. In response to a question from the committee concerning the content of the amended proposal, Ms. Thorpe confirmed a number of the features, namely that 35% of the homes would be ‘affordable’, there would be a facility for extra care, two schools and land for a special needs school, football and sports pitches and a new surgery. Cow Lane would be subject to improvements for cyclists. The planning officer reported that Cow Lane through Valley Park was already earmarked for improvement. In addition, the applicants had committed £50,000 for improvements to the surface of Cow Lane from Townsend in Harwell to the A34 overbridge. This was agreed by OCC and could be secured through the s106 agreement.


Mr. Andy Birch, the applicant, and present to answer technical questions with Ms. Thorpe, responded to a question from the committee regarding the length of build time; this would be a 20-year build, with 250 to 350 dwellings being built per annum.  In response to a question in respect of promoting zero carbon homes, Mr. Birch advised the committee that the developer’s sustainability statement incorporated an intention to install carbon-friendly heating systems ahead of national requirements, including heat pumps and energy-saving gas boilers (further details were provided in Appendix 6 to the report, ‘Valley Park - Zero Carbon Notes’).


In response to a concern expressed by the committee in respect of tree loss, Ms. Thorpe responded that some hedgerow and trees would be lost owing to disease, but that new infrastructure planting would involve substantial planting of trees and hedging, with a high proportion of open space. This would result in an overall net increase of biodiversity. In response to a request from the committee regarding the installation of electric vehicle (EV) points, Ms. Thorpe advised the committee that technology in this field was rapidly changing and that any evolving policy requirement would be dealt with at the reserved matters stage.


In response to a question from the committee regarding the maximum number of dwellings which could be achieved on the site, the planning officer reported that the NPPF stated a need to boost housing on acceptable sites and thus, theoretically more than the 4,254 dwellings quoted in the report could be possible.


Councillor Andy Cooke, a local ward councillor, spoke to the application.

Councillor Hayleigh Gascoigne, a local ward councillor, spoke to the application.

Councillor Sarah Medley, a local ward councillor, spoke to the application.


In response to a question from the committee regarding the funding of OCCG facilities, the planning officer advised the committee that the council held s106 funding, which would be released upon application and that the council would ensure that this expenditure would benefit the Harwell and Didcot areas.


In response to a question from the committee regarding the retention of mature trees, the planning officer responded that proposed planning conditions included pre-commencement conditions 14 and 15, which dealt respectively with tree protection and landscaping.  The developers would be required to provide a tree report to the council, detailing the trees to be retained or removed.


The committee noted the table shown under paragraph 5.30 of the report, which listed financial contributions and the ‘triggers’ for the release of monies, dependent upon the number of occupied dwellings, or payment of a prior contribution. A question was asked about bringing forward to earlier dates some of the payments. The senior planning officer reported that many of the payments were linked to mitigation through s.106 expenditure. He offered to discuss the timings with the chair of the committee. The committee expressed a particular wish to accelerate the expenditure on OCCG projects.


The committee considered that the proposal was necessary for improving housing provision in the district and should be supported. The committee were of the view that the permission should make particular reference to the Cow Lane proposed improvements, OCCG expenditure and the necessity to review the payment ‘triggers’.


A motion moved and seconded, to grant planning permission was declared carried on being put to the vote.


RESOLVED: to grant outline planning permission for application P14/V2873/O subject to the delegation to the head of planning in 1.and following conditions in 2. :


1. Completion of S106 agreements between this council, Oxfordshire County Council, the applicants and land owners to secure affordable housing, housing for care, schools and public open space on site, on site infrastructure including roads, local centres, allotments, play areas, fitness facilities, sports pitches, sports pavilions and a community building, and financial contributions towards new and existing infrastructure improvements, including towards schools, public transport, off site road and road junctions provision and improvements, cycleway and footpath improvements, sports, and health centre provision;


2. Conditions as summarised below:


1.         Time limit for commencement – the later of 3-years from date of this permission and or 2 years from approval of the first reserved matters application

2.         Time limit for submission of first reserved matters – within 2-years of the date of this permission

3.         Time limit for submission of remaining reserved matters (14 years from date of the planning permission)

4.         Approved plans and documents

5.         Number of residential dwellings (up to 4,254) and market housing mix to accord with the 2014 Strategic Housing Market Assessment


Pre-Commencement Conditions (note these conditions will allow access and associated infrastructure works to take place before required details are submitted and agreed)


6.         Agreement of a Housing Delivery Document for whole site

7.         Submission of reserved matters before each phase – appearance, access (where not included as part of this application), landscaping, layout and scale)

8.         Development briefs for the local centres, recreation and community buildings

9.         Agreement of a site-wide Strategic Design Code which will follow the general principles of the submitted design and access statement and the parameter plans. The strategic design code shall:

-           Set out the principles of good design

-           Include site wide strategies and design principles for the built environment, landscaping, housing, local centre, permanent sport and recreation buildings, parking and the movement network, cross sections and perspectives of key streets, buildings and open spaces, building materials, boundary and public realm treatments, cycle and pedestrian movement and cycle parking;

-           Identify the Framework Plan Areas

10.       Agreement of Framework Plans for each sub area of the development to include:

a)         Permeability and road hierarchy (including location of key primary and secondary roads);

b)         Public transport accessibility (including bus routes and bus stop locations);

c)         Location of residential built development;

d)         Location of community infrastructure (details of which are to be provided in Development Briefs in accordance with Condition 8);

e)         Guidance on scale, building heights/lines/layout and features;

f)          Integration of foul water pumping station(s), electricity sub stations and telecommunication cabinets.

11.       Agreement of a site wide phasing plan

12.       Construction Environmental Management Plans (CEMP) for each phase or sub-phase

13.       Landscape management and maintenance plan submitted concurrently with details of landscape works under proposed condition 15

14.       Tree protection scheme before each phase/sub-phase

15.       Hard and soft landscaping scheme before each phase/sub-phase and what it should contain

Concurrent with Each Reserved Matters Application

16.       Submission of Noise Impact Assessment and mitigation measures for non-residential areas concurrent with Reserved Matters for each phase/sub-phase

17.       Submission of noise mitigation for all dwellings sensitive to noise concurrent with Reserved Matters for each phase/sub-phase

18.       Biodiversity Enhancement Plan

19.       Submission of Landscape Ecology Management Plan (LEMP)

20.       Archaeology – staged program of mitigation in accordance with approved Written Scheme of Investigation

21.       Contaminated Land – intrusive investigation

22.       Details of all lighting before each phase/sub-phase in the south of the site

23.       Submission of a foul drainage strategy for on/off site works

24.       Surface Water Drainage Scheme before each phase/sub-phase in line with Flood Risk Assessment

25.       Biodiversity/watercourse buffer zones

26.       Ecological Construction Management Plan

27.       Watercourse crossing details required

28.       Submission of a Community Employment Plan (CEP)

Prior to occupation/ use conditions

29.       Hours of operation for non-residential development (excluding schools) to be agreed

30.       No non-residential unit to be occupied until footpaths/roads linking to the existing highway have been constructed in accordance with approved details for that phase or sub-phase.

31.       No residential unit to be occupied until footpaths/roads linking to the existing highway have been constructed in accordance with approved details for that phase or sub-phase.

32.       Submission of Framework Travel Plan

33.       Submission of non-residential travel plans

34.       No occupation of last dwelling in phase until all connecting roads, footway and cycleways serving that phase to an adjoining phase are complete.


Post Occupancy Monitoring, Management and Other Conditions

35.       Except for access and associated infrastructure no development in flood zones 2 or 3

36.       Green buffer – no built development in areas north and south of B4493 as shown on submitted plan

37.       Time periods for construction 0700 hours to 1800 hours Mondays to Fridays, 0800 hours to 1300 hours on Saturdays. No working at all on Sundays, Bank or Public Holidays

38.       Replacement landscaping if damaged/destroyed within 5 years following its completion within phase/subphase

39.       Dwelling space standards in accordance with policy DP2 of the LPP2



1.         Broadband provision

2.         Land drainage consent needed for any works to watercourses or ditches

3.         A separate agreement under s278 of the Highways Act is needed from OCC for vehicular access, new footway links, bus infrastructure, carriageway widening, right hand turn lane

4.         It is an offence under S151 of the Highways Act 1980 for vehicles leaving the development site to carry mud onto the public highway

5.         No vehicles associated with the building operations on the development site shall be parked on the public highway, so as to cause an obstruction. Any such obstruction is an offence under S137 of the Highways Act 1980

6.         Thames Water will aim to provide customers with a minimum pressure of 10m head (approx. 1 bar) and a flow rate of 9 litres/minute at the point where it leaves Thames Waters pipes. The developer should take account of this minimum pressure in the design of the proposed development.

7.         Interference with a water main may be an offence under s174 of the Water Industry Act 1991. Any work that may require diversion of a water main, works within 5m of a strategic water main or piling within 15m of a water main could need the approval of Thames Water.

8.         Planning Obligation




Pl.67                  P21/V0484/HH - 16 Selwyn Crescent, Radley


Consideration of this application was deferred to the next meeting of the planning committee, to be held on 18 August 2021, owing to a lack of time, following the decision of the committee to close the meeting, which had reached the constitution’s two and a half hour time limit.




The meeting closed at 8.45 pm