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Sweetener offered in third bid to get homes approved
A DEVELOPER hoping to build homes on sports pitches has launched a third planning bid to grab the land by throwing in £250,000 to sweeten the deal.
Cantay Estates has already had two bids for planning permission rejected for 43 homes and sports pitches on the fields of the former Lord Nuffield, in William Morris Close.
Now the developer has launched a third bid which includes fewer homes, fewer parking spaces, “open space” instead of pitches and £250,000 in payments for community infrastructure costs.
But residents and campaigners have complained about a “bombardment” of planning applications for a site not included in local development blueprints.
Bob Timbs, Horspath Road Residents’ and Tenants’ Association (HART) secretary and former councillor, said: “They’re giving the council a carrot in the form of £250,000 and hoping it will make them vote in favour of it, but the application should be judged on its planning merits.
“It has been turned down twice before and the councillors should turn it down again because the site is not in the local plan and there’s no way it should be allowed to go ahead.
“I do get annoyed with the bombardment of planning applications, and they shouldn’t be using what I think is a bribe to get permission.”
The first application for the site was received by Oxford City Council in November, but was refused on the grounds that the loss of open space in the area – despite the site being private – was unacceptable.
An appeal was launched against the decision and another similar application was made in July, but both were refused.
The new bid is for outline planning permission, which seeks to get leave for the building work in principle, with exact details to be confirmed at a later date. The major difference in the new plans is a reduction in the number of car parking spaces proposed from 71 to 55.
Objections have been received by the council since the planning bid was announced.
Beresford Place resident Michael Lister said: “In the first rejected application the council took the view that the proposal for 43 dwellings constituted an overdevelopment of the site. The current proposal is for 40 dwellings and this still represents over-development of the site.
“The new plans contain few substantive changes and do nothing to override the reasons for rejection in the two failed applications. The space is protected from development by the council’s own plans.”
The submission comes after Oxford City Council’s refusal of planning permission for the Tyndale Community School’s occupation of the former club building was quashed by the Government.