Anne-Marie Simpson

Jane Murphy



Sweetcroft Homes



Upthorpe Farm, Moreton Road, Aston Tirrold, OX11 9EW



Demolition of existing buildings and redevelopment to provide five dwellings with associated works (amended plans to reduce height of dwellings, layout and design received 14 February 2022).



Andy Heron






This report sets out the officer’s recommendation that planning permission should be granted having regard to the material planning considerations and the development plan.



The application is referred to planning committee based on an objection received from Aston Tirrold Parish Council who have raised concerns with sustainability and a lack of infrastructure to support the development. A map extract identifying the site is attached at Appendix 1.



The site has a 0.5 hectare area which consists of a former farmyard which contains large open ended agricultural storage barns. The site is situated to the north of the built area of Aston Tirrold, and directly to the east of a development site of 10 dwellings which is currently under construction. Residential dwellings are situated to the north-west and south, paddocks are located to the north and a farmyard is situated to the east. Vehicle access is via Moreton Road to the west and is shared with the residential site which is currently under construction.



The site is located within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The Aston Tirrold conservation area and neighbouring listed buildings are situated to the south-west.





Planning permission is sought for the demolition of the existing buildings and the redevelopment of the site to erect five dwellings. The dwellings will be designed to appear as barn conversions to replicate the development under construction to the west and will consist of a terraced block of three 3 bedroomed dwellings to the east, and two detached 5 bedroomed dwellings to the south. A large garage structure will be located to the west of the terraces to form a courtyard layout.



The terraced properties will be constructed of red brick with plain tile, pitched roofs, whilst the detached dwellings will have slate, hipped roofs with a black, timber clad walls on a low brick pier. The garages will be designed to replicate the large, detached dwellings with a slate hipped roof and black, timber cladded finish. Vehicle access is proposed to be taken via the existing access to the north-west.



Amended plans were received on 14 February 2022 to overcome officer concerns regarding the impact on the surrounding character of the rural area. The amended plans have reduced the height of the dwellings and altered the layout and the design of the development.



An aerial photograph showing the surrounding area is shown below.




Reduced copies of the plans accompanying the application are attached as Appendix 2 to this report. All the plans, supporting information and representations can be viewed on the council’s website under the planning application reference number.





The comments below represent the latest comments on the scheme. Full details of the representations can be viewed on the Council’s website under the planning reference number. 


Aston Tirrold Parish Council

Object. Unsustainable development. There are no medical, educational or employment opportunities within the village and no public transport outside of a school bus.

Letters of representation

37 letters of objection and 8 letters of support were received during the initial consultation period, and a further 2 letters of objection and 3 letters of support were received during the second consultation period following receipt of amended plans.


The initial 37 letters of objection were concerned with;

-       No need for additional housing

-       Impact on the character of the area

-       Harm to highway safety

-       Lack of infrastructure

-       Noise pollution

-       Air pollution

-       Contamination concerns


The initial 8 letters of support stated;

-       The development will tidy up the site and improve the character and appearance of the area

-       The development will improve wildlife habitats

-       The dwellings would be environmentally sustainable

-       Good mix of housing


The 2 letters of objection in response to the amended plans were concerned with;

-       Lack of affordable housing

-       Impact on the character and appearance of the area

-       Traffic concerns

-       Noise concerns

-       Light pollution


The 3 letters of support in response to the amended plans stated;

-       The amendments have overcome my original concerns.

Highways officer (Oxfordshire County Council)

No objection, subject to a parking condition, a construction traffic management condition, and a condition to prevent the garage being converted into accommodation.


No objection. Policy H9 of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035 requires 40% affordable housing on all sites within the AONB that propose a net gain of five or more

dwellings, or where the site has an area of 0.5 hectares or more. For proposals of less than 10 homes in the AONB, this will be sought as a financial contribution.


Therefore, for a site of 5 units this would equate to 2 affordable homes. A commuted sum amount of £244,530 is therefore requested via a planning obligation to provide 2 affordable homes within the district.


No objection, subject to conditions requiring material samples, boundary treatment details and landscaping.

Countryside officer

No objection, subject to a condition requiring submission of a detailed biodiversity enhancement plan (BEP). This application is supported by a preliminary ecological appraisal (PEA). The PEA has concluded that the habitats on site are not a constraint to development and that impacts on protected species are unlikely. The development on site, through the creation of gardens and drainage features, will likely achieve a net gain for biodiversity.

Archaeology (Oxfordshire County Council)

No objection.


No objection, subject to surface water and foul water drainage conditions.

Forestry officer

No objection, subject to tree protection and landscaping conditions.

Contaminated land

No objection, subject to conditions requiring a phased risk assessment and subsequent remedial works.

Environmental protection

No objection, subject to conditions to restrict the hours of construction, noise, and exposure to dust.

SGN Plant Protection Team

No objection.

Energy Assessor

No objection, subject to a sustainable energy compliance condition.





13 previous applications of relevance.


P21/S3349/FUL - Approved (17/09/2021)

Variation of conditions 1 (approved plans), 3 (vision splay) and 4 (parking plan) on planning application P20/S4588/FUL


P20/S4589/FUL - Approved (16/03/2021)

Variation of Conditions: 2 (List of approved plans), 3 (Materials), 8 (CTMP), 10 (Contamination), and 12 (landscaping) on planning application P19/S3277/FUL.


P20/S4588/FUL - Approved (17/02/2021)

Variation of Conditions: 2 (List of approved plans), 3 (Removal of materials - see notes), 5 (Vision splay), 6 (Parking), 7 (CTMP), and 9 (Licence) of application P20/S1889/FUL.


P20/S4586/FUL - Approved (17/02/2021)

Variation of Conditions: 2 (Approved plans), 6 (Vision splay protection) 7 (Parking & Manoeuvring Areas Retained), 8 (Construction Traffic Management), and 9 (Sample materials required) of application P17/S3714/FUL (making the following alterations: solar panels to all buildings, resiting of garage for plot 2, additional visitor space for plot 1, change to landscaping and update of materials sheet.


P20/S1890/LB - Approved (12/11/2020)

Listed building consent for the removal of modern building and walls affixed to and between the two listed black barns. Conversion, alteration and extension of barns to provide two dwellings. Erection of new boundary features and other work associated with the provision of two dwellings.


P20/S1889/FUL - Approved (21/09/2020)

Variation of condition 2 (approved drawings) on application ref.  P17/S3917/FUL (as amended by plans received on 23 July 2020 providing clarification of proposed changes and by plans received 10 August 2020 which revises the south elevation of the south barn with additional rooflights at the eastern end in lieu of the low level bedroom window, which is shown as being blocked in and plinth detail for the north barn and south barn).


P19/S3277/FUL - Approved (13/12/2019)

Variation of Condition 10 of application P16/S4241/FUL to amend the wording to address the matter of contamination.


P18/S4124/O - Refused (10/05/2019) - Appeal dismissed (06/12/2019)

Outline application for the demolition of existing buildings and removal of hard surfaces. Residential redevelopment of 9 dwellings with associated works at Lower Ham Buildings and provision of land for cemetery extension/area of community open space and footpath link at land northeast of The Croft.


P17/S3714/FUL - Approved (25/05/2018)

Demolition of existing structures. Erection of three dwellings and associated development including parking areas and turning.


P17/S3917/FUL - Approved (04/01/2018)

Removal of modern buildings and walls affixed to and between the two listed barns and existing house.  Conversion, alteration and extension of barns to provide two dwellings.  Erection of new boundary features and other work associated with the provision of two dwellings, including parking.


P17/S3918/LB - Approved (04/01/2018)

Listed building consent for the removal of modern buildings and walls affixed to and between the two listed barns and existing house. Conversion, alteration and extension of barns to provide two dwellings. Erection of new boundary features and other work associated with the provision of two dwellings, including parking.


P16/S4241/FUL - Approved (21/02/2017)

Demolition of existing structures/buildings and redevelopment to provide five dwellings with parking and gardens and associated works.


P03/W1062/O - Refused (18/02/2004) - Appeal dismissed (27/09/2004)

Outline application for the proposed demolition of existing farm buildings and construction of eleven dwelling houses.





The application has been considered under the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017.  The proposed development is not EIA development.





Section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 requires that

the determination of any planning application must be made in accordance with

the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. The

statutory Development Plan comprises:


- The Local Plan 2035

- Adopted neighbourhood plans



The South Oxfordshire Local Plan (SOLP) 2035 policies which are relevant to the proposed development consist of:


DES1  -  Delivering High Quality Development

DES2  -  Enhancing Local Character

DES5  -  Outdoor Amenity Space

DES6  -  Residential Amenity

DES7  -  Efficient Use of Resources

DES8  -  Promoting Sustainable Design

DES10  -  Carbon Reduction

ENV1  -  Landscape and Countryside

ENV2  -  Biodiversity - Designated sites, Priority Habitats and Species

ENV3  -  Biodiversity

ENV6  -  Historic Environment

ENV7  -  Listed Buildings

ENV8  -  Conservation Areas

ENV11  -  Pollution - Impact from existing and/ or Previous Land uses on new Development and the Natural Environment (Potential receptors of Pollution)

ENV12  -  Pollution - Impact of Development on Human Health, the Natural Environment and/or Local Amenity (Potential Sources of Pollution)

EP1  -  Air Quality

EP2  -  Hazardous Substances

EP3  -  Waste collection and Recycling

H1  -  Delivering New Homes

H9  -  Affordable Housing

H11  -  Housing Mix

H16  -  Backland and Infill Development and Redevelopment

INF1  -  Infrastructure Provision

INF4  -  Water Resources

STRAT1  -  The Overall Strategy

TRANS2  -  Promoting Sustainable Transport and Accessibility

TRANS5  -  Consideration of Development Proposals



Neighbourhood Plan


There is no neighbourhood plan for this area.



Other material considerations include government guidance, in particular:

-           The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

-           The National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG)

-           National Design Guide Planning practice guidance for beautiful, enduring and

            successful places (NDDG)

-           South Oxfordshire Design Guide 2016 (SODG 2016)

-           South Oxfordshire Infrastructure Delivery Plan (April 2020)

-           South Oxfordshire Section 106 Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning

            Document (1st April 2016)

-           North Wessex Downs AONB Management Plan 2019 – 2024

-           Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000

-           Aston Tirrold & Aston Upthorpe Conservation Area Character Appraisal



Other Relevant Legislation


Human Rights Act 1998

The provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 have been taken into account in the processing of the application and the preparation of this report.


Equality Act 2010

In determining this planning application, the Council has regard to its equalities obligations including its obligations under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.





The relevant planning considerations are the following:


·         Principle of development

·         Housing mix

·         Affordable housing

·         Design

·         Impact on the character and appearance of the area and the AONB

·         Access and Parking

·         Wildlife implications

·         Residential amenity

·         Infrastructure

·         Noise

·         Air pollution

·         Contamination

·         Energy statement



Principle of development


SODC’s settlement hierarchy designates Aston Tirrold as a smaller village. Policy STRAT1 of the SOLP allows for limited amounts of housing in smaller villages. Policy H1 of the SOLP further adds that residential development may be permitted where development involves infilling and brownfield sites in smaller villages. Adding that the residential development of previously developed land will be permitted within and adjacent to the existing built-up areas of towns, larger villages and smaller villages. The council will also support appropriate opportunities to remediate despoiled, degraded, derelict, contaminated or unstable land.



Policy H16 of the SOLP follows on from policy H1, which concerns the redevelopment of previously developed land within smaller and other villages. The policy states that the redevelopment of land is acceptable provided the privacy of existing and future residents is protected, a means of access can be secured, and development would not exceed the built limits of the settlement.



In considering an appeal for an earlier planning application at the site (P18/S4124/O) a planning inspector confirmed the land was previously developed land. The inspector concluded that residential development would replace one form of operational development (concrete hardstanding and steel frame buildings) with another. Residential development could therefore be reasonably described as redevelopment. Officers consider the development to be within the built area of Aston Tirrold. Neighbouring privacy and access will be discussed below. Providing the development doesn’t create any harm to access or neighbouring amenity the principle of development is considered acceptable.



Housing mix


Policy H11 of the SOLP requires a mix of dwelling types and sizes to meet the needs of current and future households, having regard to the council’s latest evidence.



The proposed development proposes one 2 bed dwelling, two 3 bed dwellings and two 5 bed dwellings which is broadly in line with the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) requirements for South Oxfordshire, which has recognised a shortfall in 2 and 3 bedroom properties. A sufficient mix of dwellings will therefore be available which will comply with the nationally described space standards and policy H11 of the SOLP.



Affordable housing


Policy H9 of the SOLP requires development of 5 or more dwellings within the AONB to provide 40% affordable housing. In circumstances where it can be demonstrated that the level of affordable housing being sought would be unviable, alternative tenure mixes and levels of affordable housing provision may be required. The policy requires the affordable housing to be provided on site and mixed with the market housing.



Where land is subdivided to create separate development schemes that cumulatively meet the thresholds of policy H9, the council will consider the site as a whole and will seek affordable housing on each part. The council will also consider the site as a whole where a developer seeks to amalgamate adjacent sites with the same landowner into a single development thereby meeting the threshold.



Officers are aware that the applicant is constructing 10 dwellings on land to the east. However, in this instance it would be unreasonable for the council to request affordable housing for both development sites. This is because the council did not seek affordable housing at the adjacent site due to vacant building credit. To support the re-use of brownfield land, paragraph 64 of the NPPF states that where vacant buildings are being reused or redeveloped (as happened on the adjoining site), any affordable housing contribution due should be reduced by a proportionate amount. This should be equivalent to the existing gross floorspace of the existing buildings.



As the current application is on a site that is within the AONB, the council should therefore be seeking 2 affordable units. The council’s affordable housing development team have been consulted and confirmed that an off-site financial contribution will be required for development of less than 10 homes in the AONB. Therefore, for a site of 5 units this would equate to 2 affordable homes. The commuted sum amount will therefore be £244,530.



The applicant has agreed to pay the requested affordable housing contribution via a S106 legal agreement which will be completed prior to any planning permission being issued.





Policy DES1 of the SOLP seeks to ensure that all new development is of a high-quality design. One of the key requirements of the policy is to ensure development respects the local context working with and complementing the scale, height, density, grain, massing, type, and details of the surrounding area.



The housing will match the grain of development to the east, being laid out to appear like a traditional rural farmyard. For this reason, the buildings will have high pitched and hipped roof ridges to follow the height of the neighbouring barn style dwellings to the east.



The proposed buildings are traditional and simple in style and are in keeping with the materials and features of the existing buildings around the area. The elevations have taken a simple, traditional, and local vernacular approach to their appearance with the main elevations consisting of a mix of red brick and black painted, timber cladding. They reflect the varied style of residential properties in the village and relate well to the development to the east. The residential garden areas also comply with policy DES5 of the SOLP in providing amenity space which is above the minimum size requirements advised in the council’s design guide SPD.



In view of the above the development is considered to accord with policy DES1 of the SOLP.



Impact on the character and appearance of the area and the AONB


Policy DES2 of the SOLP requires development to enhance local character, it states that new development must be designed to reflect the positive features that make up the character of the local area and should both physically and visually enhance and complement the surroundings.



The development will follow the layout of the development to the east with a traditional farmyard layout. The tallest dwelling will be 8.75 metres, although tall the height of the dwellings will be less than the existing barn structures which have a maximum height of 8.95 metres. Furthermore, the overall mass and scale of the buildings are a lot less than the existing structures on the site.



The site is situated within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Designation of an AONB confers formal recognition that the natural beauty of the area is of national importance. The primary purpose of the designation is to conserve and enhance natural beauty.



The scale, mass, height, and bulk of the proposed development will be significantly less than the existing structures on the site. When viewed alongside the development to the east the development is considered to improve the views from within the AONB and open countryside to the north-west.



The conservation area runs to the south-east of the site. The development will be sited over 28 metres from the conservation area and is not considered to harm the setting of the conservation area by virtue of its appearance, size and scale. Furthermore, the neighbouring development to the east and south will screen the site and the proposed buildings from the conservation area.



To protect the appearance of the area an external lighting condition is recommended requiring a lighting scheme and plan to be submitted to and approved by the local planning authority prior to the first occupation of the development. Any such lighting must be directed to a low level. Landscaping and boundary treatment conditions are also recommended to help to assimilate the development into its surroundings.



In view of the above the development accords with policy DES1, DES2, and ENV1 of the SOLP and paragraph 174 of the NPPF. Regard has also been given to Section 85 of the CROW Act (2000) in this assessment.



Access and Parking


Policy TRANS5 of the SOLP requires development to provide safe and convenient access for all users to the highway.



Oxfordshire County Council’s highway liaison officer has no objection to the proposed development, subject to parking and traffic management plan conditions. The site will utilise an existing access to the east with visibility splays which are considered acceptable in this location. The parking and manoeuvring areas are considered adequate and acceptable and are unlikely to result in displaced vehicles onto the highway.



As the development is within close proximity to neighbouring residential units a construction traffic management plan condition has been recommended. The proposal will result in a relatively modest increase in vehicular numbers, compared to the existing use which is unlikely to adversely impact the highway. In view of the above the development accords with policy TRANS5 of the SOLP.



Wildlife implications


Policy ENV2 of the SOLP seeks to avoid adverse impacts on ecological receptors (protected species, priority habitats, designated sites, etc.). Where adverse impacts are predicted, development must meet the tests outlined under the policy. The applicants have submitted a preliminary ecological appraisal (PEA) which has been reviewed by the council’s countryside officer. The countryside officer has confirmed that the PEA demonstrates that the habitats on site are not a constraint to development and that impacts on protected species are unlikely.



Policy ENV3 of the SOLP supports development that will conserve, restore, and enhance biodiversity. It requires all development to provide a net gain in biodiversity where possible. As a minimum, there should be no net loss of biodiversity.



The council’s countryside officer has confirmed he is satisfied that the development will achieve a net gain for biodiversity via the creation of gardens and drainage features which are an improvement to the existing features situated on the site. To secure biodiversity enhancements on site a condition requiring submission of a biodiversity enhancement plan (BEP) prior to commencement of development is recommended.



In view of the above the development is not considered to harm local wildlife or create a net loss in biodiversity and is therefore in compliance with policies ENV2 and ENV3 of the SOLP, and paragraph 174 and 175 of the NPPF.



Residential amenity


The proposed dwellings will be sufficiently distanced away from neighbouring dwellings. The layout of the development has also ensured there will be no loss in privacy or harmful loss in sunlight to neighbouring occupants. The nearest directly facing dwellings are situated to the south with the closest of these dwellings being located 48 metres away.



The development will not result in significant adverse impacts on the amenity of neighbouring uses and is therefore considered to comply with policy DES6 of the SOLP.





Policy INF1 of the SOLP is concerned with infrastructure provision and states that planning permission will only be granted for developments where the infrastructure and services needed to meet the needs of the new development are already in place or will be provided to an agreed timescale.



It has already been established that the principle of the development in this location is acceptable. Aston Tirrold is a small village, policy STRAT1 of the SOLP supports development in small villages to help secure the provision and retention of village services.



The proposed development is classified as minor development. In this instance, infrastructure and services, required as a consequence of the development, and provision for their maintenance, will be secured via the community infrastructure levy (CIL). Other than affordable housing, there is no infrastructure provision required for this development other than that which is required via CIL.





It is accepted there may be some increase in noise levels during construction, although this will only be temporary. An hours of work condition will be recommended to ensure that the development is not unneighbourly.



Air pollution


The council’s environmental protection officers have been consulted and confirmed they have no objection with regards to potential air pollution. Environmental protection officers have recommended a dust protection condition, however planning officers do not consider this would be reasonable or necessary in this instance.



A condition restricting occupation of the dwellings until electric vehicle charging points have been installed will be attached to the planning approval to ensure sustainable forms of transport are provided in accordance with Policy TRANS5 of the SOLP. This will also help improve air quality.





The site was previously used for agriculture and the council’s contaminated land officer has no objection, subject to contaminated land conditions to ensure the safety of the development and environment.



Energy statement


Policy DES10 of the SOLP seeks to reduce carbon emissions and requires all new build residential dwellings to incorporate renewable energy and other low carbon technologies and / or energy efficiency measures. To comply with the policy an energy statement has been submitted in support of the planning application. The energy statement demonstrates the dwellings can achieve a 40% uplift above 2013 Building Regulations baseline requirements.



A condition is recommended requiring a verification report to be submitted prior to occupation to demonstrate all carbon reduction energy efficiency measures have been implemented in accordance with the energy statement.





Paragraph 55 of the NPPF is clear that local planning authorities should consider whether otherwise unacceptable development could be made acceptable through the use of conditions. The NPPF goes on to state at paragraph 56 that conditions should only be imposed where they are necessary; relevant to planning and to the development to be permitted, enforceable, precise and reasonable in all other respects.




A condition is necessary relating to the plans approved, in order to ensure the

satisfactory appearance of the completed development. Time frame conditions will also be attached to secure the proper planning of the area in accordance with development plan policies. Material samples will also need to be submitted to ensure the development accords with the development to the east and the surrounding conservation area.



A condition requiring a plan to show land transferred to the management company (or any other interested parties) will be recommended to clarify and ensure which party is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the site. In the interest of highway safety permitted development rights will also be removed to prevent the garages being adapted for living purposes.



The drainage officer has recommended foul and surface water drainage conditions to ensure the proper provision of drainage and to ensure flooding is not exacerbated in the locality. The forestry officer has also recommended a tree protection condition to safeguard existing trees. All other conditions have been discussed in the relevant sections of the committee report.



Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)


The development is CIL liable to the amount of £199,381.09.





The application has been assessed against relevant policies in the development plan, the NPPF, PPG, the adopted SPD’s and all other material planning considerations.



The application will provide an economic and social role via the creation of additional jobs during construction and the deliverability of two additional affordable dwellings within the district. The development is also CIL liable and will contribute towards local infrastructure.



In terms of the environmental role, the development would enhance the character and appearance of the site and the surrounding area and create a net gain in biodiversity.



Overall, in the planning balance, the benefits of the development outweigh any potential harm. As such, the application is recommended for approval.






To grant Planning Permission subject to completion of a S106 legal agreement for affordable housing, and the following conditions



1.   Commencement 3 years - Full Planning Permission

2.   Approved plans

3.   Sample materials

4.   Surface Water Drainage

5.   Foul Water Drainage

6.   Biodiversity Enhancement Plan

7.   Construction traffic management plan

8.   Landscaping

9.   Tree protection

10.  Boundary details

11.  Contamination - phased risk assessment

12.  Energy Statement Verification

13.  Electric Vehicle Charging Points

14.  Parking & Manoeuvring Areas Retained

15.  Contamination- phased risk assessment

16.  Contamination (unsuspected contaminated land)

17.  External lighting

18.  Maintenance and upkeep of the site

19.  Hours of operation - construction/demolition

20.  No garage conversion


Author:         Andy Heron

E-mail :

Contact No:  01235 422600