Village meeting on 19th April (7pm) at Crowmarsh School to discuss the local community plan for Crowmarsh Parish.
Our Community is delighted that planning permission to construct houses on the ‘Field east of Benson Lane’ was recently refused unanimously by the elected Councillors that comprise the District Council Planning Committee. We now need to plan for the next Bloor attack on the village. We understand that Bloor Hallam are hard at work preparing a case to Appeal to have the Planning Committee decision reversed (and you thought you lived in a democracy!). They will be looking at the comprehensive list of objections to their proposal in order to try and undermine those objections; they may come back quickly they may wait until the six month appeal deadline is almost up. Either way we need to be prepared for them.
There are two immediate tasks we need to deal with:
The first is to get ‘Land east of Benson Lane’ currently listed as land allocated for housing in the draft Local Plan Preferred Options 2 document removed. This draft document was published the same day as the Planning Committee meeting.
The second is that we need to progress our own Local Community Plan to an extent that it will make our wishes as a community clear to the Planners and to any Appeal Inspector.
Removal of the ‘Land East of Benson Lane’ from the draft Local Plan requires each and every one of us to raise an objection to it having been included as suitable for housing development. It has now been demonstrated that the site is not able to provide sustainable housing at this site at the edge of the village (see the Refusal Letter from SODC to Bloor Homes on the Save Crowmarsh Facebook page if you want to include details). It is vitally important that you do this for the village. The Local Plan is available with the comments form for you to complete at www.southoxon.gov.uk/newlocalplan . If you have not already registered with SODC you will need to fill in a few details about yourself. Not difficult, it will take you ten minutes at the very most to tell them why ‘Land East of Benson Lane’ should not be allocated for housing development. An objection could be just that the scale of the development is too big, or:
Grade II agricultural land should not be developed while lower grade land is available,
our school cannot cope,
our Medical Centre cannot cope,
our roads cannot cope,
150 houses is too many,
The second issue is that Crowmarsh Parish Council voted in favour of proceeding with a Local Community Plan at their meeting at the beginning of this month. The necessary agreements between them and the District Council are now being put into place and work has already commenced on aspects of the Plan. The Plan is ultimately put to a community referendum, so it is your plan. It will be a Parish plan so it will include North Stoke and Mongewell.
So what is a Local Community Plan? It is the vision of the respective communities to see how we want to develop up until the early 2030s. It includes, most importantly, allocation of land for housing, which is why it is so timely for us to embark on this project, and it will also include other themed areas such as
Industry and Jobs,
Resources, including schools and medical care, and
Transport, including air quality in Wallingford.
A lot of the underpinning evidence base is already available while additional information will need to be sought from yourselves and others by questionnaires and surveys. We will need help with this project and this is where you come in.
We plan an inaugural meeting to introduce the Local Community Plan Project to you the community of Crowmarsh. A separate meeting is planned in North Stoke. The Crowmarsh meeting will be held at… on… and we look forward to telling you why we need and how we can together produce a Local Community Plan, a Plan that will ensure growth , but growth of a kind that will ensure a sustainable community.
We can also talk about raising objections to ‘Land East of Benson Lane’ being allocated for housing in the District Local Plan. CRAG will also brief you on its various recent activities and development of collaboration with other stakeholders in our future development.
If you feel you can help us develop our Local Community Plan, please contact the core Local Plan Team which includes Nick Robins (CRAG) [email protected] and Nigel Hannigan (Parish Council) either by messaging Save Crowmarsh on Facebook or the Parish Council also on Facebook. We look forward to working with you in order that we can Save Crowmarsh!
Please note: This meeting is open strictly to residents of Crowmarsh Parish ONLY.