Residents will be disappointed to learn that the fight to stop Kler Group from changing the alignment of Didcot Road to facilitate the entrance to its prospective housing site has been lost.
The Parish Council, residents and South Oxfordshire District Council opposed plans by Kler arguing that it would impact on residents living opposite the entrance and harm the rural appearance of the village.
Kler appealed to the Planning Inspectorate and now independent inspector Veronica Bond has ruled in favour of the Kler Group. In her ruling the inspector says that the section of road has very wide grass verges on the western side, with a hedgerow boundary on the east side of the road and these aspects assist in creating a rural setting for the village.
She goes on to say that “the revised access would not alter the design of the junction itself as previously permitted but would reposition this forward of its approved position, within the adopted highway. The width of the road itself would remain unaltered but rather the consequence would be to reduce the width of the existing grass verge. This would though, essentially be replaced with an area of equal grass verge on the eastern side of the road.”
“Whilst the proposed access would be closer to residential properties on the opposite side of the road than the access previously approved, a fair width of grass verge would remain and these properties are also set back some distance from the road. Although the proposal would mean that there would be a footway in front of the hedge and either side of the access road, given that the western side of the road already has a footway, this is not uncharacteristic of the immediate area. Consequently, the informal rural village character would remain.”
Another concern from the Parish Council was that the road re-alignment work would mean months of very disruptive road works to move underground services such as water and electricity but Ms Bond says that temporary inconvenience related to construction works is not a valid planning reason to resist otherwise acceptable development.
The full text of the decision can be viewed here.