Committee considered an outline planning application (with all matters reserved except for access into the site) for up to 300 dwellings and provision of public open space including associated landscape planting with associated infrastructure, drainage measures and earthworks and all other associated works (as amended by plans and information received 24 June 2022) on land east of Grove, east of the A338, Station Road, north of Tulwick Lane, Grove.
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 the meeting.
Officer shared a presentation with committee. Five further letters of objection were received since the report was written, and a further letter from Stagecoach who reiterated concern over lack of convenient stopping facilities for public transport, which would encourage reliance on private vehicles, which was contrary to current local and national policy.
The report detailed the objections raised by multiple consultees. Officers from the planning department assessed the application on its own merits, and in considering the adopted Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), officers are assured that the district has a five-year housing land supply, and the housing policies in the development plan can be given full weight. The proposal conflicted with the development plan, and the tilted balance in the NPPF did not apply. The NPPF was clear that where an application conflicted with a current local plan, permission shouldn’t be granted. There were further concerns detailed in the report. The officer advised refusal of the application as per the reasons set out in the officer’s report.
Two public speakers were present.
Mr Murray Cox spoke in support of the application on behalf of the applicant. Mr Murray Cox spoke of the beneficial transport links, and also defended the applicants view on the five-year housing land supply, stating that within Science Vale, the housing supply was lower. Speaker explained that this was a sustainable area that could support achieving housing land supply.
Clarification was given from planning officer regarding the council’s certainty over the five-year housing land supply.
Committee asked about the concerns over the lack of transport assessment, landscaping and archaeological work. Also concern over the lack of Section 106 agreement. Speaker replied that there was no impediment to S106 agreement, and that the applicant had felt that they had given enough response to the other concerns.
Councillor Batstone, a local ward member, spoke in support of the officer’s recommendation to refuse the application, due to it being an unallocated site and contrary to the local plan part 1 and 2. There would be an impact to the landscape and the local parish had objected. We do have a five-year land supply, so Part 1 and 2 of the Local Plan should apply. Oxfordshire County Council highways had objected due to proximity to a very busy road which could be a risk to pedestrians, especially if there were traffic management measures put in place such as lower speed limit and pelican crossings, making more congestion and related problems.
Councillor Batstone did not take part in the debate or vote on this matter, as declared.
The committee were welcomed to ask questions of the officer. Committee asked for further clarification of the five-year housing land supply. The officer responded that details were outlined in the report and also the published statement of 2021 confirmed this. Current position was that there was a five-year housing land supply.
County Council highways department had multiple concerns including access. Officer responded that their concerns were still valid but could have been removed if further information was provided.
Concern was raised about provision of schooling in the area. Complaints had been received already about dangerous conditions on the A338. Officer explained that education and health funding (S106) could alleviate those concerns.
Committee moved into debate. A motion was moved and seconded, to support the officer’s recommendation to refuse planning permission based on the reasons given in the officer’s report, especially as this was an unallocated site, and there was no evidence given against the opinion of officers that there was a five-year housing land supply. Members during debate did raise concern over landscaping and the other negative impacts listed in the recommendation. The motion was declared carried on being put to the vote.
To refuse planning permission for application P22/V0550/O for the following reasons:
1. This was an unallocated site beyond the built-up area of Grove and the proposal would extend development onto land forming part of the wider open countryside in a manner which did not accord with the District Council's strategy for growth as set out in the Development Plan. The proposal was therefore contrary to the adopted Vale of White Horse Local Plan 2031 Part 1, core policies 3, 4 and 15, the Vale of White Horse Local Plan 2031 Part 2, core policies 4a and 15a, and to advice within the National Planning Policy Framework, including paragraphs 11 and 15.
2. The site was located beyond the eastern extent of Grove, in an intact part of the wider rural landscape, highly visible from public viewpoints. It was the Local Planning Authority’s opinion that the proposal would adversely impact the quality of this part of the landscape in respect of character and settlement pattern and would cause harm. The proposal was therefore contrary to core policy 44 of the adopted Vale of White Horse Local Plan 2031 Part 1 and to advice within the National Planning Policy Framework, including paragraphs 130 and 174.
3. The submitted application had failed to provide sufficient information to fully assess the impacts of the proposal on archaeology. In the absence of field evaluation information (including trial trenching) to prove otherwise, the proposed development was therefore contrary to core policy 39 of the adopted
Vale of White Horse Local Plan 2031 Part 1, development policy 39 of the adopted Vale of White Horse Local Plan 2031 Part 2 and to advice within the National Planning Policy Framework, including paragraph 194.
4. The submitted application had failed to provide sufficient information to fully assess the impacts of the proposal on the highway network and to determine the suitability of development access. As such the application was unable to demonstrate that the impact upon the highway network would not be severe, as required by Paragraph 111 of the National Planning Policy Framework and
the application was therefore contrary to policy development policy 16 of the Local Plan 2031 Part 2.
5. In the absence of a s.106 agreement relating to the provision of affordable housing and financial contributions towards public transport, education, public art, street naming, waste bin provision, household waste and recycling centres and the provision of and management of public open spaces and play areas, the proposal would place increased pressure on these facilities and fail to provide the environmental, social, and recreational services needed to support this development. This was considered contrary to core policies 7, 24, 33 and 35 of the Vale of White Horse Local Plan 2031 Part 1 and development policies 20, 28 and 33 of the Vale of White Horse Local Plan 2031 Part 2.
1. The third reason for refusal could be overcome by the submission of an archaeological field evaluation.
2. The fourth reason for refusal could be overcome by the submission of up-to-date transport assessment information, with methodology and traffic distribution agreed by the Highway Authority.
3. The fifth reason for refusal could be overcome by entering into a section 106 agreement(s) with the Vale of White Horse District Council and Oxfordshire County Council to secure affordable housing, financial contributions towards infrastructure and services improvements. open spaces and play areas.
4. The applicant is advised this refusal is based on the following submitted plans:
Location Plan 1218 004 Rev I
Parameter Plan 1218 006 Rev E
Illustrative Framework Plan 1218 SK004 Rev V12
Highway Scheme Location Plan 184390-PD06 Rev D
Proposed Highway Alignment 184390/PD06.1 Rev E
Proposed Site Access Arrangement 184390/PD06.2 Rev C
Forward Visibility Measured at Entry 184390-PD06.3 Rev –
Visibility to Proposed Signals 184390-PD06.4 Rev –
General Arrangement & Visibility Splay 184390-PD07 Rev A
Swept Path Analysis (Refuse) 184390/PD06-AT01 Rev –
Swept Path Analysis (Refuse) 184390/PD06-AT02 Rev –
Swept Path Analysis (Refuse) 184390/PD07-AT01 Rev A