Two separate appeals against decisions to refuse planning applications in Botley have been upheld this week. I’m disappointed.
First, the applicant for flats at the congested and dangerous corner of 2 Lime Rd and 50 Laburnum Rd wasn’t satisfied with permission for 7 flats, and wanted 9 instead, which require another storey. Vale refused, but applicant has successfully appealed. This development is overly tall and massive, with little amenity for residents and not enough onsite parking. It’s also unneighbourly, but will certainly line the applicant’s pockets well. A poor decision, not in the public interest, but in the interest of the land owner there.
26-28 Westminster Way has also had their appeal upheld. They also had permission for flats over 3 storeys, but greedily wanted more over 4 storeys. That’s been allowed. Concers there about not enough on site parking and building residences that overlook the noisy and polluted A34.
All of these decisions have to do with the fact that Vale still do not have a 5 year land supply for housing development. Until we do, nearly all applications for housing will be approved. Prepare yourselves for even more awful and ugly developments. There is no requirement for quality, beauty or enough parking.
I asked last night at a planning training session if the priority for Vale was to achieve this 5 year land supply. I was told yes. When I asked how we were working on it, I was told that once the Local Plan is approved, we will be there. So the main strategy seems to be to wait for approval of the Local Plan? But that might not happen for two or more years! In the meantime, all our communities are being overrun with cheap as chips, over-crowded flat developments, even right up alongside the noisy and polluting A34.
It’s an astonishing failure of planning policy. Tories have had more than 4 years to get a Local Plan adopted, and we are still a long way away.