A plan to build houses on a former transport depot and an adjacent field has been thrown out even though the local district councillor spoke in favour of the scheme in Oxhill.
Cllr Peter Fielding (Con, Red Horse) urged members of this week’s Stratford District Council planning committee to go against the recommendation of officers and allow up to 18 houses on the Kineton Road site that previously housed Wixey Transport.
But his calls went against the wishes of neighbours and the parish council who claimed the scheme would have led to the loss of agricultural land, been an overdevelopment on a site that was away from the village centre and create highways problems. The highways team at Warwickshire County Council also objected along with the lead local flood authority.
Cllr Fielding said: “This is an unusual application as it comprises both brownfield and greenfield land. The owner had tried to look for other uses for the buildings but they are not suitable due to their size, insulation and asbestos.
“If this land is not developed for residential use then the only schemes that could be considered are light industry or a gypsy and traveller parking area. Neither of these two alternatives would meet with the council’s approval and its proximity to the AONB.”
He suggested that a footpath in the field led to the village and could provide a link to the development.
Cllr Derek Harbour, chairman of Oxhill Parish Council, told the meeting that his council strongly supported the recommendation to refuse permission.
He said: “This is a prominent site both when approaching the village and from the conservation area of the village. The scheme involves the loss of trees which currently obscure the site from view.
“The parish council’s view is that this location is highly unsuitable for new affordable housing.”
He also pointed out that all the affordable homes had been grouped together in one area which was against district council guidelines which stated that they should be distributed around the site.
Members of the planning committee were also opposed to the plans. Cllr Andy Crump (Con, Southam South) pointed out that there was strong local opposition to the development while Cllr Chris Mills (Con, Kineton) added that while other building schemes had been undertaken close to the village centre, this site was ‘out on a limb’.
Cllr Matt Jennings (Con, Henley) said: “There are so many objections here and the scheme isn’t ready. To me this is the wrong scheme for this plot and I’m proposing that we go with the officer’s recommendation.”
Councillors voted unanimously to refuse permission.