Clanfield Parish Council
30 July 2011
West Oxfordshire District Council
New Yatt Road
WODC Local Development Framework: Carterton Expansion
As a resident of Clanfield, I am writing in response to your invitation to comment on the Council’s Draft Core Strategy, with particular reference to its proposals for the expansion of Carterton. My comments are as follows:
- I consider this to be a new consultation since there are now 4 proposals and one has increased from 1000 to 1300 homes.
- From a considered reading of all the documentation, I can find no validation whatsoever for the proposed building of a huge estate. There appears to be no demand for these homes, vacant dwellings on ShiltonPark and a complete ignorance about the demographics of Oxfordshire in respect of its aging population. If hosing growth is required at all, why is Carterton not proposing retirement developments?There is no need for a strategic site development of this size. There is no unemployment, much of VenturaPark and WestOxfordshireIndustrial Park lies empty and the growth of RAF Brize Norton will absorb any future employment needs.
Carterton is a Garrison Town and will continue to be one as long as the RAF remains. This fact dictates much of its style and atmosphere, it should not be allowed to expand outside its present confines, threaten ancient parishes, take their land and destroy the rural setting of West Oxfordshire.
- There is enormous growth in this area at the moment and time is needed to absorb the expansion of RAF Brize Norton and ShiltonPark. As an example of one of the strains, the traffic flow on the A4095 in Clanfield has increased by 57% in 5 years and the Parish Council is now in serious discussions with OCC and the Police on measures to handle and restrain it. It is quite astounding that the developer’s technical reports/ surveys completely ignore the expansion and impact of RAF Brize Norton.
- This type of massive Strategic Site development is totally against WODC policy and it is incomprehensible that approved policies may be ignored at will. For instance,
‘It is vital that its distinctive rural characteristics are maintained’
‘Ensure that new developments are located and designed to protect and enhance the individual form, character and identity of our towns and villages’.
‘Developments in the open countryside …. will be strictly controlled … to that which is appropriate for a rural location and which respects the intrinsic character of the area’.
‘Conserve and enhance landscape character and the historic environment’.
‘New developments will be expected to protect and enhance the setting of the town or village or rural landscape’.
‘….prevent urban sprawl and to protect existing character’.
These, and other policies, are ignored in the proposal to build an estate of 1300 houses.
- This site is an open, exposed site that will not be unified with Carterton but become a satellite, a carbuncle.
- Flooding is a major concern to the residents of Clanfield. No worthwhile boreholes have been dug, no water studies taken over a period of time and nobody has highlighted the enormous drop in height from 95-100m above sea level on the site to around 74m in Clanfield and Bampton. This drop alone makes this site unacceptable through the impact on flood water.
- Traffic has increased enormously in the last 5 years. We estimate that if Carterton West goes ahead it will double the traffic in Clanfield. This would be totally unacceptable, call for very serious restraints and generate other major problems.
- A large ‘Ecology’ Park is proposed along the Shill Brook. Who will take responsibility for this in perpetuity? Who will keep it clean, monitor the water flows, take corrective action when necessary? As Clanfield is only 1½ miles downstream there would have to be careful modelling over a number of years, continual water control and permanent oversight of this large (25 hectare) proposed area.
Who will pay?
- On May 17th 2011 a petition saying ‘We the undersigned residents of Carterton, appeal to Carterton Town Council and West Oxfordshire District Council to withdraw any support from the inclusion of land to the West of Carterton as a strategic site within the Draft Core Strategy document’. This was signed by 1,748 residents, 93% of all those approached representing 25% of the households of Carterton. The Carterton Town Council has chosen to ignore this.
In conclusion, the residents of Carterton do not want it, the surrounding parishes do not want it, the Localism Bill will shortly remove the previous planning; surely WODC should now listen to the people.