Village Meeting – 24 Sept 2012

(First published in the Bloxham Broadsheet)
There was hardly a spare seat in the Church as nigh-on 400 Bloxham residents assembled for the special Parish Council Information Meeting to address the continuing onslaught of speculative developers on Bloxham.
A measure of the strength of feeling may be judged from the fact that people leaving spontanously donated around £600 to enhance the Parish Council’s ability to retain the character of Bloxham which would include expenditure upon keeping residents fully up-to-date upon the issues that had been discussed.

Cllr. Alan Mole talked residents through the Gladman development proposals and Cllr. Geoff Mollard followed with an account of the Frampton proposals.
There were then brief inputs from other Parish Councillors and from district councillor Chris Heath prior to the meeting being opened up for inputs from the ‘audience.’

The overwhelming feeling was one of a need to retain the village character and that this was not best served by allowing successive disparate and totally innapropriate high-density urban-style developments to be added outside the existing village boundaries even futher testing our already creaking infrastructure. As if to illustrate the latter point part of the Bloxham Park estate was in darkness as I walked home past the crews of electrical maintenance engineers trying to restore power to Manning Close and nearby houses!

Three things to do now!

Object – but it needs to relate to the planning rules! You can access a letter from the Parish Council offering suggestions to include.

What When How
Send in your objections on the Gladman Development if you haven’t already done so. Now!
  1. Read through the Parish Council crib-sheets.
    Click here for a template letter.
    Click here for the arguments that are pretty much the same for both developments.
  2. You could write to Caroline Roche, CDC Planning Department, Bodicote House, Banbury OX15 4AA.
  3. Alternatively email Caroline Roche
  4. You could try clicking here. With a bit of luck it will enter the address of Caroline Roche + all the planning committee into your email for you so you can email everyone concerened!
Send in your objections on the Frampton Development Now!
Attend the Planning Committee decision-making meeting. 8th November at 4:00 p.m. at Bodicote House

Apparently – changed from 11th October because Gladman failed to provide the required information on time!

Put it in your diary now!

In theory you can also add your comments directly to the website but several computer-literate residents have tried this and spent a considerable time typing in an objection that the CDC site then turned into gobbledygook – so safer to email or write.

What large Bloxham developments are proposed?

Developers will choose when to reveal their plans.

Currently there are two definite proposals and one ‘screening option’ proposal with Cherwell District Council – but likely many more speculative bids in the pipeline as developers try to capitalise on the absence of district and parish plans.
All this takes no account of the fact that over the past six years, 179 new houses have already been added to the village. The issues of overfull schools and medical facilities, of dire traffic around the shops, Milton Road junction and the mini-roundabout, of overstretched utilities and of increased flooding affect the whole village. Besides which we have no desire to forfeit our village character in a haphazard townification process!

Developer Where What (Click to enlarge)
Gladman, Gladman House, Alexandria Way, Congleton, Cheshire
CW12 1LB
Barford Rd – A firm proposal to build 75 houses
Framptons,42 North Bar, Banbury. You can find out more about the company here. Milton Road – A firm proposal to build 85 houses
Woolf-Bond Planning, The Mitfords, Basingstoke Road
Three Mile Cross, Reading, Berks
Quarry Close – So far just an initial approach re 55 houses.

Can I see what other residents have said?

Yes – in theory but accessing the planning data on the CDC website is almost on a par with hacking into the pentagon!

So – here’s how you get into the CDC site!

Step Action Click to enlarge graphic
Go to the CDC Planning site Click on this link to get to a CDC Planning page
Copy the CDC reference number
For Framptons it’s 12/01139/OUT
For Gladmans it’s 12/00926/OUT
Type or paste the reference into the search box near the bottom of the CDC page. Click search. It may take a while.
You now have to choose the correct text to click on For Framptons it’s: Residential development comprising …
For Gladmans it’s OUTLINE – Proposed development of …
Now click the documents tab on the new page It’s always the tab on the top-right of the selection box
Now click ‘view associated documents
With a bit of luck you’re there! Click on the blue hyperlinked text to see the content
Navigate to older entries using the grey buttons near the top.

Can I see what the developers are saying?

You can see what they have submitted to CDC because their documents are in the same place as resident’s comments.
You can also find out something about them by clicking on the links below.

Developer Website PR Documents Planning Support Documents
Gladman Website Statement of Community Involvement Documents via Keith Mitchell’s website
Framptons and Miltondale
Framptons website
Miltondale – no obvious website but company information here.
Nothing I’m aware of yet. Only available if on the CDC website – see above.

What was all the talk about a Local and Parish Plan?

These will set the context for future development. So, they are important and at least checking out the summary is essential reading at some point but not necessarily the most urgent task at the moment.

CDC has Bloxham listed as one of the most sustainable villages which makes it a focus for developers. If we are to forestall ongoing speculative development attempts it will be essential that the Parish Council create a Parish Plan in the near future that sets out what appropriate development we see for Bloxham – so expect to be consulted on this soon.

What Click here to access
The summary draft local plan
The full draft local plan
National Planning Framework
Local and Parish Plans need to fit with this.
Planning Help
A useful website for those new to planning.

Who will make the decisions at CDC?

Cherwell District Council Planning Committee

Name and Link Role Email address
Councillor Rose Stratford (Chairman)
Councillor Alastair Milne Home (Vice Chairman)
Councillor Ken Atack Cropredy
Councillor Fred Blackwell Banbury
Councillor Colin Clarke Banbury
Councillor Tim Emptage Kidlington
Councillor Michael Gibbard Gosford
Councillor Chris Heath Bloxham & Bodicote
Councillor David Hughes Launton
Councillor Russell Hurle Bicester West
Councillor Mike Kerford-Byrnes Astons Heyford
Councillor James Macnamara Astons / Heyford
Councillor George Parish Banbury
Councillor D M Pickford Bicester
Councillor G A Reynolds Sibford
Councillor Leslie F Sibley Bicester West
Councillor Trevor Stevens Gosford
Councillor Lawrie Stratford Bicester East

There are also reserve members of the planning committee a list of whom can be found here.

Should I contact my District Councillor?

These decisions are made at District Council level.
Your District Councillors were all at this meeting and are all fully aware of the strength of feeling.
You representative on the Planning Committee is Chris Heath whom you should contact if you have specific points to make. Chris holds a ‘councillor’s surgery‘ at the ex-Servicemen’s Hall where you can speak face to face.

Should I contact my MP?

Tony Baldry has been helpfully active in asking questions in Whitehall to help clarify various points concerning CDC and proposed local developments.
He is not directly involved in the decision-making process but clearly he is a good person to have ‘on-board.’ He is almost certainly fully aware of the increasing strength of feeling within the village.
Should you want to contact him you can find details on his website here.

How do I keep up with events?

The Parish Council will use money from the donations to get information around the village in various ways.

Visit the Parish Council website

The Parish Council is also on Facebook and twitter.

Follow Bloxham PC on Twitter or FaceBook

Alternatively come back to this website which will continue to provide updates.

If you click on the orange RSS Feed button below it should put a feed button into your webbrowser toolbar that lists links on recent additions to the Broadsheet site without your even having to visit!

You can also type development into the search box near the very top of any online Bloxham Broadsheet page and it will bring up a list of every article pertaining to developments.

Doubtles the paper edition of the Broadsheet will contain updates although the long lead-in time here is likely to be problematic.

What else can I do?

If you are able to help by offering particular skills (e.g. design, printing, a willingness to help with leaflet drops or especially legal knowledge about planning) please contact a member of the Parish Council or the acting Parish Clerk.
If you use Twitter or Facebook click the Tweet or Share on Facebook buttons below.

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