The Parish Council and SODC’s Planning Committee both objected to the proposed development of housing by Kler Group on the field at the corner of Fieldside and Didcot Road.
Kler appealed and a public enquiry was held in Didcot in November 2017. After four days of arguments the inspector had the final decision on whether the development would be given consent or not.
Despite all the efforts of the Parish Council and SODC’s barrister the housing development has been given outline consent together with full consent for a new access off Didcot Road.
The Parish Council, our consultants and residents who spoke at the enquiry put forward a lot of reasons why the development should not proceed but in the end the inspector decided that the provision of new homes including 40% “affordable homes” (usually rental properties managed by SOHA) was the most important consideration. Our position was significantly weakened by SODC’s lack of a 5 year housing land supply (a technical issue where they have too few houses being built to meet demand over the next 5 years). In the absence of a 5 year land supply a lot of the policies that would normally protect us as a small village are set aside by the Government.
However, there still remains a technical issue with the design of the new access to the development as it crosses neighbouring property. This will have to be resolved before any homes can be built on the site.
Now Kler (or another developer, if they sell the site) has up to two years to apply for full consent for the new homes and to resolve the access issues. The PC and SODC will have the opportunity to comment on these proposals when they come forward.
The Parish Council is disappointed that our Neighbourhood Plan did not give us full protection against a development which is outside the plan. In the light of this planning consent, we will take advice about the possibility of revising the existing Neighbourhood Plan.
Read the inspector’s full appeal decision here.