With all the action going on with this planning application, we felt it would be helpful to put a summary down for people to read! Enjoy…

An ill-conceived planning application which should be refused

The Savills/Lioncourt Planning Application (P18/V2791/O) for 700 new dwellings plus a 70-bed care home on Fyfield Land East of Kingston Bagpuize has attracted objections from many stakeholders, most notably from Oxfordshire County Council. Consequently, the Vale of the White Horse District Council have put the planning application on ice pending further investigations. FLAG are confident that the required new traffic surveys and air quality monitoring exercises will confirm our predictions. The development can only proceed if predicated by a major upgrade to the A338/A415 Frilford Junction and, we believe, by the additional delivery of a Marcham bypass. Even then, problems would remain regarding traffic congestion on the A420 and the aesthetic qualities of such a commuter dormitory.

1. The local population is united in opposition

Over 40 local residents objected to the Planning Application (PA).

Fyfield & Tubney PC and FLAG concluded their substantial objection based on traffic impacts on the local road network and on air quality in Marcham as follows;

“The application is premature, it lacks detail of development phasing and triggers, and the development is of questionable viability without the increase in the number of dwellings and the C2 care-home add-on. The District Council should not consider it until the Marcham by-pass and Frilford Junction improvement have been fully costed and committed.”

 Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor PC agreed:

“[The Council] fully endorses the grounds for objection that have already been submitted by Fyfield and Tubney Parish Council, as well as the objections from OCC and Thames Water.”

2. OCC require more studies and secure funding to be agreed

Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) have submitted a lengthy document in response to the PA setting out officer views by technical discipline. The general view is that the PA is premature. Road congestion, air quality and infrastructure funding are serious concerns requiring more work before the PA can be determined.

Lynette Hughes, Senior Planner

“Funding for school and transport infrastructure cannot be suitably identified as a result of the current CIL Charging Schedule and Reg 123 list and no alternative means of providing these has been offered by the applicant. “

“The timing of development is a particular concern. We consider it necessary to have elements of strategic transport infrastructure in place prior to development of housing.” 

“The district planning authority should take into account the whole impact of the proposed development on the county infrastructure, and the lack of mitigation in making its decision.”

“we generally support the development of additional Extra Care in the County and are interested as to whether any of the Extra Care Housing is to be classed as affordable housing.”

Kt Hamer, Senior Transport Planner

“This application for Land East of Kingston Bagpuize is premature, as it is not able to mitigate its harm in terms of congestion and air quality.”

“I require the base line traffic flows to all be updated, so we are as informed as possible about the current conditions on the highway network.”

“Any mitigation measures to combat traffic flow through Marcham must consider the air quality issue and be thoroughly assessed for their feasibility and impact.”

3. The DC’s Officers also have major concerns

Tim Williams, Environmental Health Officer, VoWH DC 

“The development is predicted to increase the quantity of traffic travelling through the Marcham Air Quality Management Area and modelling has assessed the air quality impacts on this area to be substantial… Whilst a suitable mitigation scheme is worked up, agreed and signed off as effective and deliverable by the Highways Authority, I wish to put in a holding objection to this application on air quality grounds.

Jake Bassett, Urban Design Officer, South Oxfordshire and VoWH District Councils

“Currently the illustrated layout achieves the proposed 700 units, but as a result the illustrated house types and pattern of development within each block represents a lack of design quality.”

Samantha Allen, Conservation & Design Officer, VoWH DC

“I would be concerned that there would be harm to the listed building [Kingston Bagpuize House] and conservation area. Where harm is identified, it should be demonstrated that all possible mitigation has been considered and there is clear and convincing justification that public benefits would outweigh the harm. In this case, it is possible to mitigate the impact of this proposal and as such the application has not met the tests of the NPPF.”

 Avril Williams, Landscape Officer, VoWHDC

 “Holding Landscape Objection. There are a few items which are a concern … with regards to proposed building heights … nearly half the development would be 2.5 stories or above with substantial proposed areas of 3 stories on the sites eastern boundary. These proposals do not respect that this … will be the new rural edge of Kingston Bagpuize.

4. Objections from other important organisations

Oxford Clinical Commissioning Group

“At present the OCCG objects to these plans as it can see no mitigation on how the increase on pressure on local health services would be abated.”

Thames Water

“… sewage works upgrades are anticipated to be necessary to ensure that sufficient capacity is made available to accommodate additional flows.”

 “Thames Water has identified an inability of the existing water network infrastructure to accommodate the needs of this development proposal.”

CPRE Oxfordshire

“In the LPP2, the number of dwellings proposed for this site is ‘up to 600’. Yet the number of dwellings in the above application significantly exceeds this quantity, by some 100 dwellings. Unless the Inspector specifically determines that the site could accommodate more than 600 dwellings, we believe it is unjustifiable for the Council to consider approving an application in excess of this number.”

“We share the concerns expressed by the Fyfield and Tubney PC and F.L.A.G., spelt out in their letter to the Inspector (29 August 2018), that there would be a substantial, if not severe increase in air pollution in Marcham due to the traffic from committed and proposed developments in the Fyfield and Kingston Bagpuize area.”

Historic England

“Historic England’s interest in this application concerns the potential impact of building 700 dwellings on this site on the significance of the Grade II* listed Kingston Bagpuize House and the conservation area of which it forms part. In our view the proposals as currently formulated would harm the significance of the house, by virtue of impacts to its setting, and we do not consider that this harm is justified as is required by paragraph 194 of the NPPF.”

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