Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor is a community of about 2,000 people in the Vale of the White Horse. Its location on the main A420 to Swindon just 8 miles from Oxford, together with its distinctive character and vibrant village life makes it an attractive place to live.
ike many villages, it welcomes the development of a few houses here or a cul-de-sac there. Organic development like this allows a village to evolve, its infrastructure to cope and still retain its character. But property developers don't see things in those terms. They're in business. And they're are now arguing that the Vale of the White Horse District Council cannot prove they have an adequate five-year housing supply, which leaves developers more or less able to apply for planning permission to build just about anywhere without the usual restrictions. Combine this with the Vale's lack of a Local Plan, and developers have spotted Kingston Bagpuize as a great place to get in.
Plans to build more than 200 homes in the village are on the table. The villagers formed a campaign group to resist the threat of their community being overwhelmed. This threat has been hanging over the village since the autumn. We at CPRE Oxfordshire have added our voice to their many objections.
We have objected to planning application (P12/V2653/FUL) to build 98 houses near Draycott Road. This development, in addition to the 113 houses recently approved, is over-development, and the houses in the proposed development are too densely packed. The character of the village would be detrimentally changed.
The position of the development, in the middle of the village, next to the Village Hall, is a site specifically ruled-out in the recent Parish Plan. Villagers have stated that this is the very last major site in the village that they would choose to build on. They want to preserve it as an open space.
And then there's the infrastructure. The development would create a great deal of extra traffic in the village and cause congestion at already busy junctions. It would seem to negate the very reasons for which the bypass was built. We are not convinced that surveys show proper attention to water pressure, sewage and drainage.
The application does not seem in any way to satisfy the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in preserving the character of the village or proper community involvement in this scheme.
The KBS village website states: "We don't object to sensible, proportional development but will fight the onslaught of large applications from greedy developers."
A decision is due on P12/V2653/FUL on 24 April 2013.