Agricultural land sacrificed to accommodate village expansion

Over three hectares of farmland in Oxfordshire was judged suitable for up to 80 dwellings, an inspector also deciding that another scheme on a site adjacent to the village should be approved (DCS No. 200-004-221).

200-004-221  (Image Credit: Savills)
200-004-221 (Image Credit: Savills)

The site lay close to the Chilterns AONB and due to its proximity contributed to its setting, the inspector held. Some harm due to the loss of a greenfield site would arise but the scheme had been designed to retain the gentle topography and it would relate well to the existing built edge of the settlement. It would also assist in restoring the site’s former diversity and structure taking into account historic enclosures. The visual effects would be mitigated by planted boundaries and existing built development.

In order to meet anticipated housing need in the village some loss of greenfield land was required. The proposal would involve a development which would comprise a significant proportion of the planned expansion of the village which was supported in a core strategy, without involvement by the local community in discussing preferred locations. But since it would be in general accordance with the distribution of development agreed in the spatial strategy for the area and would boost the supply of both open market and affordable housing, the benefits outweighed the harm.

Inspector: Roisin Barrett; Inquiry

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