'NOT enough effort' has been put into a scheme to build more 'poorly designed' homes in a tiny Oxfordshire village.

A controversial proposal to construct 13 additional houses in East Challow, near Wantage, was refused by Vale of White Horse District Council after planners highlighted problems with the lack of local amenities, worsening traffic and the low-quality development.

This came despite a recommendation that the authority should grant planning permission.

The application made by developer Crest Nicholson was for land at Park Farm where 88 homes are already under construction, with some of them already handed over to buyers.

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The 13 extra houses – four of which would have been affordable – would have taken the total number of dwellings to 101, which councillors argued would put a 'great strain' on the village and worsen traffic on 'already inadequate' nearby roads.

Councillor Jenny Hannaby, who had also sat on the initial application for the site, revealed she was 'not impressed then, and certainly is not impressed now'.

She identified the single biggest concern as the volume and speed of traffic on the A417.

The original proposal included a roundabout, but this was dropped at a later stage.

Oxford Mail:

Jenny Hannaby

The councillor commented: "We all pushed for a roundabout because we, as locals, know how dangerous and fast that road is, and with this staggered junction it is worse than before the houses were built.

"I do not see any reason to support extra houses here.

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"There are 88 dwellings already and the village school is only small, with very little opportunity for expansion.

"The only pub in East Challow closed to be turned into flats and there are no shops in the village."

Ms Hannaby also highlighted that 'not enough effort' was put into the design of the dwellings.

She said: "I am very disappointed in the style of your housing – not a lot of effort has been put in to give us anything more than a red box."

The application also received a slew of strongly-worded letters of objections from the parish council and neighbours.

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These included overdevelopment, with too many houses packed onto the estate and small gardens, loss of public open space, increasing congestion, high risk of road accidents, strained health services, and the 'detrimental impact' on the village character.

Oxford Mail:

Local Andy Gregson, who addressed the planning committee on Wednesday, pointed out that since the original planning application had been approved, numerous amendments had been granted.

He commented: "The developer has used the pandemic to seize work and reapply for a permission to expand the site.

"While many people are suffering during this crisis , Crest Nicholson is seeking to profit from it."