Villagers seek legal advice over housing

Cherwell District Council had rejected the proposals

Cherwell District Council had rejected the proposals

First published in News

A PARISH council is seeking legal advice over a judicial review after plans for 45 homes were approved on appeal.

Earlier this month, planning inspector Ian Radcliffe backed plans by the trustees of the Norman Collission Foundation to demolish Ambrosden Court, off Merton Road, Ambrosden, near Bicester, and redevelop the site.

Cherwell District Council’s planning committee had rejected the proposals last July.

Following the inspector’s decision, the parish council said “the village is horrified by the decision”.

It has now agreed to seek legal advice over whether it can appeal, and to appoint a barrister.

Parish council chairman Mark Longworth said: “Many of the villagers surrounding the site have been shocked and dismayed at the decision by a planning inspector to overturn the district council’s refusal of a development of 45 houses.

“The inspector found that the council’s lack of a five-year land supply overcame the material harm the scheme would have otherwise caused.

“The parish council contacted three different planning specialists for comments on the appeal decision, and while all confirmed that we could not challenge the appeal due to the lack of a five-year land supply, it has become clear that there are a number of technical issues on which it may be possible to challenge the appeal decision.”

Mr Longworth said a legal challenge would be based on concerns over access to the site and the cumulative impact of housing in the village and nearby Arncott.

The trustees of the Norman Collission Foundation declined to comment.

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