Planning officers at WODC are recommending that a proposal to build 60 flats and houses on farmland at Churchill Road should be rejected.
The plans were submitted by Sharba Homes, and include a mix of accommodation from one-bed flats to houses with four or more bedrooms, situated on a site within the Chipping Norton Conservation Area and the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Planners have stated that the development would ’cause unacceptable substantial harm’ to the setting of Bliss Mill, our major landmark which is Grade II* listed, and also noted that they ‘fundamentally disagree’ with some of the arguments used by Sharba to support their application.
They have recommended the refusal of the planning application on several grounds, stating the harm to Bliss Mill’s setting (it would ‘erode the rural parkland setting’ of the Mill); the fact that this ‘major development’ would extend the town into open countryside and harm the rural approach into Chippy; that it does not conform with the West Oxfordshire Local Plan, and that it could also harm the local infrastructure.
The West Oxfordshire Local Plan allows for new houses in Chippy in terms of infilling, rounding off within the existing built-up area, the conversion of existing buildings, and on sites specifically allocated for residential development in the plan. However, the Sharba Homes scheme was for a development on a greenfield agricultural site that is not part of the built-up area of town.
Objections were sent to WODC from the Chipping Norton Town Council, Churchill and Sarsden Parish Council, the Chipping Norton Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, English Heritage, Natural England and the Cotswold AONB board.
A decision will be made on the planning application at the next Uplands planning sub-committee meeting at West Oxfordshire District Council on 2 December.