GOOD NEWS – A LEGAL CHALLENGE TO THE SODC LOCAL PLAN

OTHER NEWS – LOCAL CONSULTATION  FOR THE MASTERPLAN ON LAND NORTH OF BAYSWATER BROOK BEGINS

 

A LEGAL CHALLENGE TO THE SODC LOCAL PLAN

 

At the beginning of January many members of the Save Bayswater Brook Countryside team made personal financial contributions, along with CPRE, the Gresswell Environmental Trust and others to gain a barrister’s opinion on a possible legal challenge to the SODC Local Plan on Oxford’s ‘unmet’ housing need calculations.  Cherwell Development Watch Alliance are making a legal challenge against Cherwell’s Local plan on this basis, but legal opinion said they we didn’t have a case against the SODC Local Plan on this issue.

 

A Community Interest Company - Bioabundance, has been formed by some of the members of South Oxfordshire Sustainability (SOS). SOS is a community action group with over 70 members started in 2011 and Bioabundance has become its campaigning arm.   Bioabundance has support from Save Bayswater Brook Countryside, save Sydlings and the Bayswater Green Belt and a number of other local organisations opposing the SODC Local Plan.

 

On Monday 4th January Bioabundance sent SODC a pre-action protocol letter that sets out the grounds for legal action against the soundness of the SODC Local Plan. On 21st January Bioabundance CIC filed in the High Court for statutory review of the SODC LOCAL PLAN 2035, on the grounds of climate change, excessive housing numbers, bullying of councillors and inadequate consultation.  It is likely to be a few months before we know the outcome. In the meantime fundraising now begins in earnest.

 

A crowdjustice page has been set up asking for pledges https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/southoxonlocalplan/ and contributions can be made via https://www.bioabundance.org.uk/ . You will only be charged if the case meets its target of £10,000 by Feb. 20, 2021, 6 p.m.

 

See link to report in the Oxford Mail - https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/19033074.south-oxfordshire-local-plan-facing-judicial-review-challenge/

and the Guardian - https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/jan/28/uk-government-plan-to-build-24000-homes-faces-legal-challenge

 

LOCAL CONSULTATION  FOR THE MASTERPLAN ON LAND NORTH OF BAYSWATER BROOK (LnBB) BEGINS

Local parish councils and community groups have just been contacted by Camargue on behalf of the site promoters and owners - Christ Church/Pegasus Group and Dorchester Residential Management to carry out consultations with the local community on the masterplan for LnBB.

 

The first meeting was held on Wednesday 27th January and all the members of ‘Save Bayswater Brook Countryside’ representing our local communities and parishes attended.  The presentation is attached and we would welcome your detailed feedback on it.

 

Our concerns so far are –

 

Slide 1. This is the Concept Map in the SODC Local Plan which the masterplan should follow, but their masterplan map slides 11,12 and 13 show additional development immediately to the south of the fragile SSSI Sydlings Copse and College Pond.

 

Slide 11. Says  the 35 hectare site could deliver “1,100 and 1,600 dwellings depending on the average density”.  The housing number in the SODC Local Plan is for 1,100 dwellings across both this (the former Lower Elsfield and Wick Farm site) and the Bayswater Farm site.

 

Slides 2. and 4. There is to be no development to affect the ‘Oxford View Cone’, but there has been little consideration of the views across the land from the surrounding villages and communities and residents surrounded by or next to the development including Wick Farm, Lower Farm and the Bayswater Road.

 

Slide 5. Heritage – According to a survey carried out for a gas pipeline there are at least 21 archaeological sites on LnBB, but only one is shown on this map, plus some of the listed buildings at Wick Farm.  We would welcome more information.

 

Slide 6. Drainage – the flooding is much more extensive than shown.  Again any evidence and feedback would be welcome.

 

Slide 7. Ecology – The 200m buffer zone around the SSI was suggested in an inadequate, incomplete ecology report and is supposed to help protect only against road pollution from fumes.  It has not been agreed by Natural England or BBOWT. A full ecological assessment is required.

 

Slide 8. Transport – The Inspector introduced a ‘low car policy’ promoting more pedestrian and cycle use. There has been no modelling of this policy and whether alleviation for local roads, the ring road and Headington roundabout will be required.  If alleviation is required particularly the ‘Link Road’ this will need to be included in the masterplan as a separate road.  A pedestrian and cycle bridge is required in the plan over the A40 ring road.  This is missing as are any dedicated cycle routes.

 

Slide 11. Masterplan options A and B – both potentially exacerbate the severe traffic problems on local roads – Woodeaton, Elsfield, Bayswater Roads and Marsh Lane and links these roads allowing the 2,600+ new residents to access these with no alleviation.

 

Slide 12. And 13.  Options A and B– proposed new ‘bus only’ routes

1. To the west of Barton Park directly onto A40 ring road with new traffic lights and cycle and pedestrian access very near the existing traffic lighted junction for Barton Park

2. To the west of Lower Farm which floods seriously

 

  • Mitigation for loss of the Green Belt is required – this is not mentioned,
  • A new permanent definable Green Belt boundary is required.  It was the Bayswater Brook – this is not mentioned

 

We have just received a response to an enquiry to Adrian Duffield Head of Planning SODC about public consultation on the masterplan for LnBB and this consultation is it.  We have grave concerns about this consultation and have informed Camargue of these. 

 

So we welcome any feedback from you about your concerns to Ginette Camps-Walsh g.camps-walsh@beckley-and-stowood-pc.gov.uk

 

Future meetings -

  • Tuesday 2 February, 6-7.45 pm: Masterplan issues and constraints – landscaping and visual; heritage; flooding and water management and ecological constraints
  • Thursday 4 February, 6-7.45 pm: Putting the site in context – focus on the masterplan including the types and densities of homes, green infrastructure, connectivity and the protection/enhancement of Bayswater Brook and SSSI
  • Monday 8 February, 6-7.45 pm: Community uses – existing uses and gaps in local provision, Wick Farm, sports facilities, integration with existing communities and key employment sites, supporting non-car travel, long term management
  • Wednesday date TBC, 6-7.30pm: Understanding, working with and supporting Barton – aimed primarily at Barton residents
  • Tuesday 9 March, 6-7.30pm: Presentation of revised and updated masterplan and opportunities for further discussion and feedback