More devastation

Chris Tatton
👍 1

Mon 22 Feb, 21:54

Why would it be Simon, have we become that insipid in the rural Cotswolds? 

Simon Walker
👍 2

Mon 22 Feb, 21:42

Hang on, folks.  Let's keep to the point, or I fear that the thread will get banished to the netherworld of the debate section.

Chris Tatton
👍 5

Mon 22 Feb, 21:20 (last edited on Tue 23 Feb, 08:27)

Feel pleased for you Judith if that floats your boat, but really at the expense of nature and the local  environment? Are we really happy about Charlbury slowly being destroyed as a rural  community, and slowly becoming a part of suburbia? 

Judith Haynes
👍 12

Mon 22 Feb, 18:03

Having looked at the plans I think the proposed houses look rather nice and just the sort of place we'd be looking for when we downsize! There is a real shortage of smaller new homes in Charlbury. All the recent newly built houses have been very large and very expensive.  Destroying trees and green spaces is never going to be popular, but, as Steve says, Charlbury has been spared a lot of  the building that is taking place all over Oxfordshire. 

Gareth Epps
👍 3

Mon 22 Feb, 14:42 (last edited on Mon 22 Feb, 14:42)

Woodfield Drive was built well before I was born, but Ticknell Piece was a lot less controversial.  This probably was to do with the significant amount of affordable housing for people with a local connection.  Ticknell has the only significant such provision in the town in almost 50 years, indeed.

Hannen Beith
👍

Mon 22 Feb, 13:59

Ah yes, Vanderbilt were the outfit who wanted to build 55 houses opposite our cottage.  Thrown out.

They'll be back.

A Companies House search reveals a surprising number of Director resignations.  Also a relationship with the Spencer Churchills. Quelle surprise.

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/05011077/officers

Philip Ambrose
👍 1

Mon 22 Feb, 09:01

The Vanwall F1 car was backed by Vandervell Thin Wall Bearings hence the Vanwall tag.

Vanderbilt Homes is a nod to The Duchy of Marlborough as the American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt married the 9th Duke of Marlborough and brought a very substantial dowry with her.

Wendy Bailey
👍 3

Mon 22 Feb, 08:57

I expect when Ticknel Piece and Woodfield Drive area were developed they too were frowned upon. I am not saying it's right, but it happens. 

Charlie M
👍

Mon 22 Feb, 08:56

Wrong name! I quote from Wikipedia:
"Vanwall was a motor racing team and racing car constructor that was active in Formula One during the 1950s. Founded by Tony Vandervell, the Vanwall name was derived by combining the name of the team owner with that of his Thinwall bearings produced at the Vandervell Products factory at Acton, London."

stephen cavell
👍 2

Mon 22 Feb, 07:21

Steve - what tangled webs were woven. Is it the same family that built the F1 car The Vanwall special?

Rosemary Bennett
👍 2

Sun 21 Feb, 23:11 (last edited on Sun 21 Feb, 23:26)

Very good question, Stephen.

Steve Jones
👍 6

Sun 21 Feb, 13:14 (last edited on Mon 22 Feb, 20:00)

Hannen, the key entity to look for is Venderbilt Homes. I suspect it may be associated with the American railroad heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt, who married the ninth Duke of Marlborough. I believe the large dowry that came with that marriage enabled the Duke to save the estate from bankruptcy. It was a marriage arranged by her mother when she was a teenager and to which she was opposed (she claimed that she was locked up in her room until she agreed to the marriage). The marriage was eventually annulled, but the Duke received the equivalent of about $75m in railroad stock. They did, however, have two children, the famous "heir and a spare".

Consuelo went on to marry a French pioneer aviator and industrialist. Despite the annulment, there appears to have been no hard feelings as she maintained good relations with a lot of the Marlborough family, especially, Winston Churchill. 

Of course, it may have nothing to do with it, but the name is a bit of a coincidence if it isn't.

There used to be quite a market in the 19th (and early 20th) century of marrying off wealthy American heiresses to European aristocracy which saved many a country estate.

Hannen Beith
👍

Sun 21 Feb, 12:16

I agree Stephen.  Also agree with Liz and Steve and Deborah.  

This is far enough away from me not to have a direct impact, save for the additional vehicles whizzing along Hixet Wood which makes it hard to get in and out of my car at the best of times!

I've had a look at the planning application and confess I'm confused.  (I'm easily confused).  All I could see was an application to remove the planning conditions, which include preserving the trees, and ecological things, and management of the stream.  

I can't see a reference to Blenheim anywhere, but that's just me.

Can anyone of you clever people clarify any of this for me?  PM me here if you prefer.  Mind you, it seems to be a done deal, so perhaps it really is time to tend to the cabbages - on my allotment, which is owned by er, Blenheim!

Stephen Andrews
👍 2

Sun 21 Feb, 11:41

I would be interested to hear views on whether the amended Charlbury Neighbourhood Plan (www.westoxon.gov.uk/media/8d8be25f5cafbc5/examiners-report-charlbury-neighbourhood-development-plan.pdf) would make a difference if a similar planning application such as this were to be submitted in the future. On what grounds might it fail? It would be good test to see if there is something that can be more locally effective,  and its adoption would follow a huge body of 'unsung' work of our elected Councillors and other local groups and individuals.

Steve Jones
👍 6

Sun 21 Feb, 11:33 (last edited on Sun 21 Feb, 12:59)

There is an air of unreality in a lot of these debates. All the political parties have targets on building housing as they recognise there is a shortage. There is a massive shortage in the Oxford area. The Liberal Democrats, for example, have a commitment to build 300,000 new homes a year.

This is all being driven by increased population and other demographic changes, some of those trends are positively encouraged by the policies of some political parties.

All this sounds fine until people are face with the reality of what building more homes means. Yes, it's possible to provide some with redevelopment, in-fill (which is arguably what's happening in Charlbury in this case) but with the sort of numbers of new homes required there will inevitably be a lot of controversial developments.

I can understand why local politicians will oppose unpopular developments (and that pretty well describes any developments in Charlbury - a position mirrored across the land). However, it is often at odds with national policies of parties and the sort of easy answers such as build on brown-field sites only go so far. That is already happening, but often the housing isn't where it is needed.

As it is, Charlbury appears to be "spared", if that's the right word, the great majority of housing development in Oxfordshire and in recent times what has been produced is more in keeping with the nature of the town.

Deborah Longshaw
👍 6

Sun 21 Feb, 09:57

There is absolutely no doubt, in my mind, that these days money speaks louder than words when it comes to Planning permissions!! There is no respect for Conservation (just look at what is happening with HS2!). 
The Government wants our green fields & will get them). Just waiting for the fields next to the Bowls club to go - it will happen! 
It is shocking the devastation by the Police house & by the looks of things battles were fought to attempt to save that land but sadly Blenheim has deeper pockets & all the right contacts in all the right places! 
Where is Swampy when you need him? 

Liz Leffman
👍 7

Sun 21 Feb, 08:50

The May elections are local election, and it isn't the local authority that is the problem here, Hannen.  They can only operate according to laws made by the government. It is the government's crazy and outdated planning laws which allow this kind of thing to happen. In my opinion, more local responsibility and less government interference would be  a significant improvement. But the proposed government planning reforms are promoting exactly the opposite.

Chris Tatton
👍 3

Sun 21 Feb, 07:09

I am saddened to hear of this development.


There was a planning application for housing about 20 years ago when I was a District Councillor for Charlbury and a member of West Oxfordshire’s Planning Committee. Opposed by the Town Council and many local residents a housing development was prevented at that stage 

What a shame that such environmental destruction has been allowed to happen to central Charlbury’s green lung this time

Hannen Beith
👍 2

Sun 21 Feb, 03:23

I'm not inclined to vote in May.  Seems a waste of time.

I shall, like Sulla, tend to my cabbages.

Charlie M
👍 2

Sat 20 Feb, 19:47

I know it's not possible, but in an ideal world, if Blenheim are the people behind this, this new "estate" should be permitted ... but moved to in front of Lees Place.

Just an idea ...

Liz Leffman
👍 5

Sat 20 Feb, 19:23 (last edited on Sat 20 Feb, 19:27)

Many people objected to this plan when it was submitted, including your District Councillors. BUT it was submitted before the Local Plan was finalised, which meant that there was no protection against any development at the time and the District Council planners and committee believed they had no legal grounds for rejecting it. It is possible that if it had been rejected, the developer (which is Blenheim) would have won an appeal.  If the application had been made after 2018 when the Local Plan came into force,  it would certainly have been rejected as Charlbury and the surrounding area of the AONB is now protected against developments of this kind. 

If what is happening contravenes conditions imposed when permission was granted, then enforcement officers can be asked to investigate

Steve Jones
👍 3

Sat 20 Feb, 13:28 (last edited on Sat 20 Feb, 13:57)

To clear up one thing, these house are not being built under "permitted development". That is under the legislation that allows certain limited developments, such as a ground floor extension, to be made without full planning permission. The rules for that and what is and is not allowed certainly doesn't include the building of new houses (and is also subject to extra checks in conservation areas). I think Phil just used the term as meaning the housing development has received full planning permission. I hope that answers the questions that both Gareth and Hannen bring up as both issues are addressed in the planning permission that was been granted.

As Richard has pointed out there is a veritable library of planning and approval documents available on line. The planning permission will have included the felling of any trees required for the development. If the developers have gone beyond the planning permission that has been granted then that would, of course, be outside the law.

As it is, the time for objections to all this was when the planning permission was applied for. This development plan and the environmental impact assessment has been around for some time now. People might argue that the process by which planning permission was granted is flawed, but it's rather too later now.

For those that think there is a danger of the new properties flooding, then the development ought to have been assessed for such a danger and, presumably, the design includes appropriate drainage.

I'd also add that there is a legal requirement of developers that building land has to be assessed for the impact on protected species. If there creatures such as newts on the site then this ought to have been addressed.

Rosemary Bennett
👍 3

Sat 20 Feb, 13:18

I agree with Karen. To me, the ‘Conservation Area’ tag is worthless in Charlbury.

karen simpson
👍 13

Sat 20 Feb, 11:44

As others have pointed all appropriate protocol was followed for this development. This is a debating forum.  We need to focus our energy on questioning our planning policy /system which overlooks the objections of the locally elected Town Council and the Conservation Area Advisory Committee. The change in policy in the past few years has been swift, and our communities around the country have struggled to respond and be strong in retaining the precious parts of our landscape. We need to ensure all change is for the benefit of the community as a whole. I am sorry if this post has caused any inappropriate behaviour towards my neighbours – that was not the intention. Please respect our neighbours. My post was a gut response to the speed at which an ecosystem and wildlife can be obliterated. Knowing how many creatures live in and around the stream I was sad as know there is many small animals living around the stream and they did not have a chance to escape.  Hopefully the management plan will be followed though, and we (people and animals) can all enjoy the stream in the valley, with the new proposed access from Hixetwood.
martin
👍 12

Sat 20 Feb, 11:19 (last edited on Sat 20 Feb, 11:21)

That’s terrible Andrew, some people in this town need to have a word with themselves. 

Andrew Frost
👍 13

Sat 20 Feb, 11:01 (last edited on Sat 20 Feb, 11:04)

Following Karen's post we have had many people walking up and down the drive to look at the works behind my house. Please do remember this is not a public right of way and is a private property. With this in mind I ask you to not use my drive to attempt viewing. The abuse from some yesterday was not welcomed and frankly upsetting for myself and my family. This is still a family home in which many yesterday seemed to ignore.  As Richard kindly pointed out in his post there is a link to all documents submitted for this development that you can view from the comfort of your own home. 

Richard Fairhurst
(site admin)
👍 4

Sat 20 Feb, 10:55

The link Richard B gave explains what the developers have committed to do – see in particular the “Revised Landscape Management Plan” item (click on the icon to its right), where section 5 is how they say they’ll manage the tree works, and the plan on the penultimate page shows the site layout.

Both the Town Council and the Conservation Area Advisory Committee objected strongly to the development, but WODC decided to permit it.

Charlie M
👍 3

Sat 20 Feb, 10:29

It seems that Charlbury's "Conservation Area" means *nothing* in practice. Let's have a skyscraper! 

After reading this thread, I went past the site this morning. It is worse than I could have possibly imagined. One observation though: in the event of any flooding, I would imagine that anyone who buys one of those new houses will have water running through their lounge! Armchair fishing anyone?!

martin
👍 6

Sat 20 Feb, 08:40

Grab the pitchforks 

Hannen Beith
👍 1

Sat 20 Feb, 03:39

Charlbury is a Conservation Area so the felling or pruning of any trees requires Local Authority consent.  Have the developers obtained it?

Sam Small
👍

Fri 19 Feb, 23:21

Is this development area aligned to the Charlbury meighbourhood plan?

Richard Broughton
(site admin)
👍 7

Fri 19 Feb, 23:07

With the handy online facilities offered by WODC there is no need to speculate about environmental surveys and the deliberations of the planning department. I believe we are discussing the Police House development for 8 cottages. All 63 documents are available for inspection 17/00889/FUL.

Gareth Epps
👍 2

Fri 19 Feb, 21:43

Felling ancient or protected trees is not permitted development.  The question is: were the trees protected?

Rosemary Bennett
👍 7

Fri 19 Feb, 17:47 (last edited on Fri 19 Feb, 21:35)

I too lament this, greatly. A rare and lovely little piece of sem-secret ancient woodland, at a guess. I saw it with my own eyes today, a big tree being felled and entire flattening in the surrounding area. I was then politely told I was on someone’s private driveway. Now, who would do such a thing in this very special little corner, in the centre of old Charlbury?

Phil Morgan
👍 7

Fri 19 Feb, 16:27

To clarify Karen's posting: this is the land adjacent to her house at the bottom of the hill which forms the junction of Sheep Street with Hixet Wood. The land is currently being cleared by contractors employed by the developer. This is permitted development which passed through planning several years ago.

Having looked at the work this afternoon, I must agree with Karen's emotional response. Two big machines and a lot of men with chain saws. It is a sad spectacle!

karen simpson
👍 8

Fri 19 Feb, 13:43

Watching the devastation of another beautiful green space in the middle of our lovely town. Another victim of our lax planning system which is failing to preserve West Oxfordshire. I hope the ecological survey was done correctly and there are no rare newts, I know bats live and fly around these parts.   At least they can’t build on the mill field or the playing close. Or do we need to worry about these areas too?  

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