Anne-Marie Simpson

Jane Murphy



Mr R Crabbe



Land north of No 1 Cranford Cottages Moulsford



New access road on land north of No 1 Cranford Cottages (additional highways information received 10 January 2023).



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 Moulsford Parish Council who have raised concerns with the proposed access stating that it would represent overdevelopment, particularly given the number of existing vehicle accesses on this part of the road. A map extract identifying the site is attached at Appendix 1.



The site has a 552 square metre area and forms part of an existing paddock which is located within the North Wessex Downs AONB. Moulsford Preparatory School is located to the south- east, the school’s pre-school is situated across the road to the west. Neighbouring dwellings are situated to the south. The school’s playing field is located to the north.





Planning permission is sought for a new access road (including fencing and a gate) onto the A329. The new access road will serve the following properties:

1 and 2 Cranford Cottages.
Cranford Lodge.
The Old Laundry.
The Stables (the estate office).



The above properties and the Moulsford Boys’ Preparatory School are currently accessed via a single priority junction to the south of the proposed site. The existing access is also used to access moorings along the River Thames.



The proposed access road will initially be 4.8m wide tapering to 4.1m. The proposal includes tactile paving and a dropped kerb to support pedestrian movements. The vehicle entrance via the A329 will be surfaced in tarmac up to the line of the gateway, which will be set 6m back from the road with an inward opening (or sliding) gate. The driveway to the east of the gate will consist of a decorative stone finish to match the existing parking area to the rear (east) of the houses. The drive will be edged with a wooden railway sleeper.



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. 


Moulsford Parish Council

Object. The access would represent overdevelopment, particularly given the number of existing vehicles accesses within this part of the road.

Letters of representation

1 letter of objection was received concerned with;

-       Loss in privacy

-       Noise pollution

-       Air pollution

-       Impact on the character and appearance of the area

Highways officer (Oxfordshire County Council)

No objection, subject to visibility and vehicle access compliance conditions.





3 previous applications of relevance.


P18/S2438/FUL – Planning permission granted (18/07/2019)

Proposed erection of building for pre-preparatory school with associated outside teaching space, access, drop off and collection area, and landscaping.


P20/S0173/FUL – Planning permission granted (16/06/2020)


Variation of condition 2 (approved plans) and various pre-commencement conditions subject of separate applications P19/S2675/DIS and P19/S4078/DIS on application P18/S2438/FUL


P20/S4643/FUL – Planning permission granted (19/02/2021)


Variation of conditions - 2 (Approved plans), 7 (New vehicular access), 8 (Vision splay details), 12 (Off-site highway works) & 9 (Turning Area & Car Parking) on application P20/S0173/FUL.


Proposed erection of building for pre-preparatory school with associated outside teaching space, access, drop off and collection area, and landscaping.






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

DES6  -  Residential Amenity

ENV1  -  Landscape and Countryside

ENV3  -  Biodiversity

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

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 and Vale of White Horse Joint Design Guide 2022

-           North Wessex Downs AONB Management Plan 2019 – 2024

-           Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000



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

·         Impact on the character of the rural area and AONB

·         Residential amenity

·         Access and parking



Principle of development


Policy TRANS2 of the SOLP seeks to promote sustainable transport and accessibility. One of the policy’s key aims is to promote and support improvements to the transport network which increase safety, improve air quality, encourage use of sustainable modes of transport and/or make our towns and villages more attractive.



Paragraph 110 of the NPPF requires development to provide safe and suitable access for all users. Paragraph 111 adds that development should only be prevented or refused on highways grounds if there would be an unacceptable impact on highway safety, or the residual cumulative impacts on the road network would be severe. The county council highways liaison officer has been consulted and has raised no objection to the development with regard to highway safety, and the cumulative impact of development on the local road network.



The new access will help reduce congestion for residents and parents at times during the beginning and end of the school day. Officers consider this will create a decrease in emissions which will help improve air quality. The design allows for pedestrian movement along the A329 and provides sufficient

space between the edge of the carriageway and the proposed gate to ensure cars can wait off the main carriageway without impacting traffic using the A329.



Furthermore, the county council highways liaison officer is satisfied the proposed visibility splays are acceptable for a 30mph road such as the A329. It is therefore considered that the principle of development is acceptable.



Impact on the character of the rural area and AONB


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.



Policy ENV1 of the SOLP seeks to protect South Oxfordshire’s landscape, countryside, and rural areas against harmful development by requiring development to protect and, where possible enhance, features that contribute to the nature and quality of South Oxfordshire’s landscapes. The development will not have a significant harmful effect on the landscape. There are similar vehicle accesses within the area. The existing site consists of paddock land which has sparse hedging adjacent to the east of the A329. Playing fields are situated to the north and residential land is situated to the south. Wider and longer views into the site will not be harmed by the proposed development.



Policy DES2 of the SOLP states that all 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. Conditions are recommended for further details of landscaping and boundary treatment to be provided prior to commencement of development to help assimilate the development into its surroundings.



In view of the above the development accords with policy 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.



Residential amenity


Policy DES6 of the SOLP aims to protect the amenity of neighbouring uses from loss of privacy or day/sunlight, emissions, visual intrusion, noise, contamination, or external lighting.



The proposed access will serve only 4 dwellings. This will result in a limited amount of traffic (of less than 1 departure in any given one-hour period). It is therefore considered that the proposed vehicular access would only be ‘lightly trafficked’.



An objection has been received from a neighbouring resident who has raised concerns about overlooking, noise, and air pollution. The nearest residential garden would be situated some 12.7 metres from the proposed access road. Officers consider the distance between the access and neighbouring properties is sufficient not to create a harmful impact on the amenities of neighbouring residents.



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.



Access and parking


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



The development will provide the necessary visibility splays required for an access with a junction on a 30-mph road. Furthermore, the proposed gate will be set back at least 6m from the carriageway edge, which will prevent vehicles (including delivery vans) overhanging and obstructing the highway.



Oxfordshire County Council’s highway liaison officer has no objection to the proposed development, subject to visibility and vehicle access compliance conditions. In view of the above the development accords with policy TRANS5 of the SOLP.



Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)


The development is not CIL liable.





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 improvement of access for residents during school drop off and pickup times.



In terms of the environmental role, the development would mitigate any harm on the character and appearance of the site and the surrounding area via landscaping, which will be conditioned.



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 the following conditions



1 : Commencement 3 years - Full Planning Permission

2 : Approved plans

3 : Landscaping (including boundary treatment)

4 : New vehicular access

5 : Materials as on plan

6 : Vision splay protection

7 : Gates/carriageway


Author:         Andy Heron

E-mail :

Contact No:  01235 422600