More than sixty people packed into Long Wittenham village hall last evening for an extraordinary parish council meeting to discuss plans by West Waddy and Lagan Homes to build twenty nine houses on land next to Bodkin’s sports field. Residents condemned the plans and the parish council backed the objectors by voting unanimously to oppose the development.
Speaker after speaker condemned what was described as a “totally unacceptable development” that would have a serious impact on the rural landscape and character of Long Wittenham much of which is designated a protected conservation area.
The residents action group Wittenham Against Overdevelopment detailed their “very passionate” opposition: the plans disregard the needs of the village and are against the principals of the Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP); there had been inadequate public consultation before the plans were published; the Kler development off Fieldside and the village’s own Community Hub plans will provide more than enough housing to satisfy demands in Long Wittenham which is designated a “smaller” village; the development is in a green field site in open countryside and not allocated as a housing site in the NDP; it provides no community facilities and is not sustainable; part of the land suffers from flooding and that would be exacerbated if the land was built over; children living in the new development would be at risk because they would have to walk along and cross busy roads; the development would have a serious impact on “the heart and heritage” of the village and would destroy landscape views.
Parish councillor Steve Brown highlighted significant problems in the plan including a dramatic change to the landscape, the effect on listed buildings, access onto a busy road, the harm the development would cause to the rural scene and history of the village, and concerns about insufficient information on several aspects.
Council chairman Gordon Rogers said: “There is overwhelming opposition to the development which brings no added value to our community. We hope that the district council’s planning committee will reject this application”.
Residents have until Wednesday 18th April to register their objections. View the planning application documents and make your comments here: