Oxfordshire housing appeal site listed as village green

A site in Oxfordshire which earlier this year was subject to an unsuccessful planning appeal in relation to an application for 94 homes has been listed as a village green, protecting it from future development.

Developer Gladman Developments Limited had appealed against the refusal by Vale of the White Horse District Council to grant outline planning permission for the development at the site on the edge of the village of Faringdon in June 2013.

The inspector had recommended that the appeal be allowed and planning permission granted.

But a decision letter issued on behalf of former communities secretary Eric Pickles in February said he had concluded that the scheme's landscape impact outweighed significant economic benefits and he refused the plans.

Now, Oxfordshire County Council has been listed the site as a town or village green.

A council report said that a planning inspector had found that the land had "been used for 20 years by the inhabitants of Faringdon Civil Parish for lawful sports and pastimes, up to the date of the application".

The report said the inspector found this was a "classic case" of use for dog walking and childrens’ play.

"The use of the footpaths indicated use of the land as a generally circular walk for recreation … The recreation and agricultural uses existed side-by-side and the landowners were aware of this and did not forbid or make use permissive" until a sign was erected in 2011, the report said.

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