26 May

SODC responds to Benson residents’ concerns and rejects plan for 120 houses

On 24 May South Oxfordshire District Council rejected an application to build 120 houses on land south of Watlington Road (BEN5).

Many Benson residents objected to the plan including over 25 who attended the planning committee meeting.

Parish Councillor Jon Fowler said: “The village was firmly opposed to plans that undermined their Neighbourhood Plan which is nearing completion. It is great news that the council listened to their concerns and rejected the proposal. Benson can now get on with seeing the Neighbourhood Plan through to adoption.”

18 May

Express your views about proposed 120 houses on land north of Black Lands Road

SODC has just published details of the next meeting of the Planning Committee on Wednesday 24th May and it includes a recommendation from SODC Officers to approve a development of 120 houses on BEN5 – see letter from SODC below; agenda and reports pack for the meeting are here .

This site is not allocated in our Neighbourhood Plan and both the Parish Council and the Neighbourhood Plan team are opposed to the development for a number of reasons:

  • Benson does not need any more houses over those already approved and those allocated in our Plan
  • Unlike the allocated sites, which will each provide for sections of the Edge Road to be built, BEN5 provides no compensating benefits whatsoever to the village.
  • BEN5 will add to congestion and exacerbate existing traffic problems, especially during peak hours, as cars attempt to enter and exit the development through the single access road provided, onto the B4009 and running west through the village.
  • OCC has advised that there is a limit on the number of extra places that can be realised by extending Benson Primary School – we are already at this limit with the developments being built/committed and those allocated in our NP, so if BEN5 is approved, an equivalent number of houses will need to be removed from the allocated sites, for lack of school places, and this will make it impossible to deliver a joined up Edge Road.
  • BEN5 is outside the boundary established in the NP and, if approved, would radically alter the historic shape of Benson following the line of Benson Brook and significantly harm the landscape views in and out of the village, by taking it up onto higher ground
Recent decisions by the SODC Planning Committee give us some confidence that they can be persuaded not to accept the Officer recommendation and refuse the application.  We are asking residents to help us to do this in two ways:
  • Email expressing your views to our SODC Councillor, Felix Bloomfield at felixbloomfield@hotmail.com
  • Attend the Planning Committee meeting to show the strength of feeling that exists in Benson – this will be held at 6pm on Wednesday 24th May at Didcot Civic Hall, Britwell Road, Didcot OX11 7JN
04 May

NEWS UPDATE – 4 May 2017 – SODC Local Plan 2033 (Second Preferred Options)

In this draft plan, SODC has included its intention to safeguard land for an Edge Road (Bypass) for Benson. This does not in itself secure an Edge Road but is an important step on the way. The link to SODC’s Plan is below and the relevant sections are Policy ‘TRANS3’ on page 112 and in Appendix 5 ‘Safeguarding Maps’, page 212.

The link is: http://www.southoxon.gov.uk/sites/default/files/SODC%20LP2033%202nd%20preferred%20options%20CHAPTERS_2.pdf