Councillors refuse 160-home plans for Aston Grove, Bampton

UNPOPULAR plans for 160 homes in a West Oxfordshire village were slammed as ‘ridiculous’ by councillors. Taylor Wimpey’s application for land east of Mount Owen Road in Bampton, near Witney, was refused unanimously at a district council planning committee meeting on Monday. Several committee members derided numerous aspects of the site, including the design, flood risk and even the name, Aston Grove.

Aston village is about a mile from the site and James Mills, district council leader and councillor for Bampton and Clanfield, insisted this alone showed proper thought was not put into the plans. He said: “Another 160 houses will have a big impact. “Aston Grove is a recipe for confused Amazon delivery drivers and lost taxis.”

The plans were granted outline planning permission in 2017, with housebuilder Taylor Wimpey submitting further details in a reserved matters application in March.

Read also: More than 30 homes to be built in village

A range of one-to-five bedroom homes were planned for the site, 40 per cent of which would have been affordable. Before Monday’s meeting, 28 letters of objection had been sent to the council, with criticisms including the impact on tourism and increase in traffic and parking. Mr Mills urged councillors ‘not to underestimate the feeling’ in Bampton over flooding, with the village hit particularly hard in 2007.

In June, a report by Bampton-based civil engineer, Roger Peston, argued the site’s redesigned attenuation pond is a ‘safety hazard’.

Read also: Housing plans create flooding fears for villagers

Taylor Wimpey said surface water drainage issues would be addressed and submitted revised plans, leading Oxfordshire County Council to remove its objection. Officers originally recommended that provisional approval was granted, but changed this to full approval after the county council changed its position. Aidy Hicks, speaking on behalf of Taylor Wimpey, maintained drainage discharge would be controlled, while district council planning officer, Abby Fettes, said there would be ‘no increased risk’ of flooding to existing homes.

Read also: PICTURES – 67th annual Bampton Shirt Race

But residents and councillors remained against the application, with Trevor Milne-Day, secretary of the Society for the Protection of Bampton, among those to criticise plans for the site entrance on Mount Owen Road.

He said: “There are many aspects where what we’ve wanted hasn’t been granted. The access is quite stupid, it’s a very narrow road.” Jeff Haine, district councillor for Milton Under Wychwood, added: “If we’re going to use Mount Owen Road, developers need to widen it so that HGV and a fire truck could pass quickly and safely in an emergency.”

Mr Haine proposed the application should be refused as it ‘doesn’t come up to scratch’, adding plans for bin collections points were ‘ridiculous in 2019’.

You may also like...