Sam Casey-Rerhaye



Mrs Aislinn R Goodman



5 Burcot Park, Burcot, OX14 3DH



Outline application with all matters reserved for the proposed demolition of existing dwelling & erection of two detached dwellings with associated parking and amenity space. (As amplified by ecology information received 27 July 2023 and as amplified by Bat Emergence Survey dated 8 September 2023 and as amplified by plan P-054).




Kim Gould






This planning application has been referred to the planning committee because the recommendation to approve outline planning permission conflicts with the views of Burcot and Clifton Hampden Parish Council who object to the planning application.



The site which is some 0.14 hectares in area lies within the built-up limits of Burcot. It lies on the west side of Burcot Park which is a cul de sac off Abingdon Road.



No 5 Burcot Park is a two-storey property with a detached garage along the southern boundary of the site. The property has a square footprint and a flat roof and has 2 separate vehicular /pedestrian accesses. It is similar in design to 4 other properties in the cul de sac.  Other properties within the cul de sac have their own generally uniform design.



A plan identifying the site is attached as Appendix 1.



The application seeks outline planning permission to demolish a single detached dwelling and to erect 2 detached dwellings.



An indicative block plan has been submitted but the details of access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale will be considered with a subsequent reserved matters application.



The indicative layout suggests that the 2 dwellings would have with their own off street parking spaces and private amenity space.



Reduced copies of the plans accompanying the application area attached at Appendix 2. Full copies of the plans and consultation responses are available for inspection on the council’s website at






Consultation responses have been summarised as follows:


Burcot and Clifton Hampden Parish Council –  Objection

·         Existing house is of architectural distinction

·         Intensification/increase in density in settlement.

·         Site lies within the green belt and is experiencing strong pressures for infill from developers.

·         Burcot has no shops or other facilities and the proposal will increase traffic

·         Burcot Park cul-de-sac is a narrow road unsuitable for extra on-road parking.

·         Intensification of housing in Burcot has led to a decrease in mature trees

·         Beautiful mature willow has already been felled on the application site.

·         The proposed dwellings would appear out of keeping with established character of the area.



Archaeological Services– No objection


Countryside Officer – Initial comments – recommended that a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) is undertaken and submitted to understand any ecological constraints


Following the submission of a PEA – Recommendation that a bat activity survey is carried out including a Precautionary Working Method Statement.


Following the submission of the bat survey and the Method Statement – No objection subject to the submission of a European Protected Species Licence (EPSL) application being made to Natural England to permit the proposed demolition of the dwelling. Recommendation of other conditions to be included at the Reserved Matters stage.


OCC Highways Liaison Officer – The Local Planning Authority is advised to give due consideration to the site’s location where future residents would be highly dependent on the private motor car to access essential services, employment, and shops.


The site itself has a two vehicular access points, which will be separated and used for each dwelling. Given the proposal will result in a modest increase in vehicular movements, the site itself has an existing vehicular access onto the ‘A415 Abingdon Road’, where the carriageway is relatively straight in its alignment. The visibility splays at this access are considered acceptable.


The proposal provides ample parking and turning provision and it is unlikely that vehicles will be displaced onto the adopted Highway so as to cause and obstruction. No objection subject to conditions to retain parking and manoeuvring areas.


Waste Management Officer – No objection. The dwellings would have sufficient space to store wheelie bins and presentation for collection would be at the roadside on Burcot Park.


Drainage – No objection subject to standard conditions relating to surface water drainage and foul water drainage


Neighbour Objections (14)

·         The dwelling to be demolished is one of 5 square houses which are a well-known feature in the surrounding area.

·         Unnecessary destruction of one to maximise value of the plot is sheer vandalism.

·         The proposal would add 2 completely new builds which would alter the established character of the area and whole pattern of development in this small cul de sac.

·         Infill plots referred to within the supporting statement are not relevant to Burcot Park.

·         Our outlook would change and cause much disturbance.

·         Potential to damage mature maple trees.

·         Property to be demolished is not undesirable – similar ones have sold quickly and for the asking price.

·         The 5 houses are examples of 1960s modern architecture. They are designed to receive as much light as possible. They have no cavity walls and are spaced out purposefully from one another to maximise light and heat.

·         The development will alter the design and alter the amount of light received by number 3.

·         Blocking light to the south face or our house will adversely affect us.

·         Proposed garages are unlikely to be used for parking. Essential sufficient off street parking is provided to prevent blocking driveways and causing congestion in the cul de sac.

·         If permitted, this application will set precedent for further demolition and similar developments.

·         Potential for more than 2 dwellings to be erected.

·         It is incorrect to claim that the surrounding development is varied.

·         Lack of detail in relation to the proposed dwellings.

·         Proposal will affect residents of Riverside House, the Boathouse and Waterside Villas.

·         Potential for bats which use the space between the wooden boarding and the rendered walls as a refuge during the summer and a place for breeding.

·         Destroying number 5 would weaken the integrity of the remaining 4 modernist houses.

·         Concern for hedgehogs and other wildlife.

·         Noise, dust and disturbance from building the houses.

·         Plot not big enough for 2 dwellings.

·         The new houses would be taller than the existing surrounding houses and would be oppressive.






P72/M0115 - Approved (05/06/1972)

Five atrium dwellings comprising three 5-bedroom bungalows and two six-bedroom bungalows including garages.  Access.


P71/M0405 - Approved (09/05/1972)

Erection of 4 houses and one staff accommodation unit.


P65/M0809 - Approved (20/10/1965)

Site for five dwellinghouses.










Section 38 (6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 requires applications for planning permission be determined in accordance with the Development Plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. Section 70 (2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 provides that the local planning authority shall have regard to the provisions of the Development Plan, so far as material to the application, and to any other material considerations. The council’s adopted development plan comprises the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035 (SOLP).





South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035 (SOLP) Policies:

DES1  -  Delivering High Quality Development

DES10  -  Carbon Reduction

DES2  -  Enhancing Local Character

DES5  -  Outdoor Amenity Space

DES6  -  Residential Amenity

DES8  -  Promoting Sustainable Design

DES9  -  Renewable Energy

ENV1  -  Landscape and Countryside

ENV2  -  Biodiversity - Designated sites, Priority Habitats and Species

ENV3  -  Biodiversity

ENV9  -  Archaeology and Scheduled Monuments

EP4 – Flood Risk

INF4 – Water Resources

H1 – Delivering New Homes

H8  -  Housing in the Smaller Villages

STRAT1  -  The Overall Strategy

STRAT6  -  Green Belt

TRANS5  -  Consideration of Development Proposals




Neighbourhood Plan

Burcot and Clifton Hampden Parish Council is working on creating a neighbourhood plan to influence the way their area grows and develops into the future


The publicity period on the draft plan concluded on 11 April 2023. The draft plan documents and comments received during the publicity period have been submitted for independent examination.


As the plan remains at a pre-examination draft stage only limited weight can be given to it in this planning assessment. The relevant policies may also be subject to change.

BCH3 Design Principles in Burcot

BCH8 Provision of well-designed and energy efficient buildings




Supplementary Planning Guidance/Documents


South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse Joint Design Guide 2022



National Planning Policy Framework and Planning Practice Guidance



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 – Green Belt policy

·         Principle of development – Housing policy

·         Design and character

·         Residential amenity

·         Access and parking

·         Amenity space

·         Ecology

·         Sustainable development and carbon reduction



Principle of development – Green Belt policy


The site lies within the Oxford green belt. The Green Belt serves the following five purposes:

a)    To check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas;

b)    To prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another;

c)    To assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment;

d)    To preserve the setting and special character of historic towns; and

e)    To assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.



Within the Green Belt there is a presumption against inappropriate development which is, by definition, harmful to the openness of the Green Belt and should not be approved except in very special circumstances.



The first step in assessing the impact on the Green Belt is to consider whether the proposal constitutes inappropriate development or not. If the proposal is inappropriate, then the council must consider whether there are any ‘very special circumstances’ that would outweigh the identified harm by reason of being inappropriate.



Paragraphs 149 (new buildings) and 150 (other development) of the NPPF define the types of development which are not inappropriate in the Green Belt. Limited infilling within villages is included as an acceptable form of new buildings within the Green Belt at paragraph 149e of the NPPF.



Policy STRAT6 of the SOLP seeks to ensure the Green Belt continues to serve its key functions by protecting it from harmful development. Within its boundaries, development will be restricted to those limited types of development which are deemed appropriate by the NPPF. Consideration must therefore be given as to whether the proposal constitutes limited infilling. Infill development is defined within policy H16 as “the filing of a small gap in an otherwise continuous built-up frontage or on other sites within settlements where the site is closely surrounded by buildings.” With infill development within villages, it is accepted that there may be some impact on the openness of the Green Belt but that it will be limited due to the site being surrounded by other built form.



The application seeks to redevelop the existing plot by replacing the current single dwelling with two and in my opinion this falls within the definition of infill development.



As such, the principle of the development is acceptable in Green Belt policy terms.



Principle of development – housing policy

Policy H1 of the SOLP details the spatial strategy for new development across the district during the plan period. It establishes a settlement hierarchy that seeks to direct new development to the growth point of Didcot with smaller development supported in the main towns and various sizes of village across the district.



Burcot is defined in the settlement hierarchy within the SOLP as a ‘smaller village’. Policy H8 of the SOLP relates to housing in Smaller Villages. The policy states that the council will support development within smaller villages in accordance with Policy H16 of the SOLP.



Policy H16 of the SOLP seeks to limit development within smaller villages to infill and redevelopment of previously developed land or buildings. In my  opinion the proposal complies is previously developed and is infill development. As such, the principle of redeveloping the site for 2 dwellings is acceptable.



Design and character

Policy DES1 of SOLP seeks to ensure that all new development is of a high quality design subject to a series of criteria.



Policy DES2 of 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.



Many of the objections received in relation to this proposal include concern that the existing dwelling is one of 5 identical properties which contribute to the established character of the area and its loss would result in harm to the character of the area.



The existing dwelling is not a listed building and does not lie within a conservation area. There are no policies within the SOLP which prevent existing non-listed buildings from being demolished. As such there is no reason to resist the removal of the dwelling.



This planning application is in outline only with all matters reserved including design and appearance. The plans submitted with the application are indicative only. If outline planning permission is granted, a reserved matters application would subsequently be required which would include detailed elevations drawings of the proposed 2 dwellings including proposed materials, landscaping, access etc.



In assessing this outline planning application consideration must be given to the principle of the proposal and whether 2 detached dwellings could be accommodated on the site.



The indicative plans show that 2 detached dwellings can be accommodated on the site. The individual plot size would not be dissimilar from some other plots within the cul de sac. The design of the dwellings is not for consideration at this outline stage. It is my opinion that 2 properties could be designed to appear in keeping with the locality.



On balance, I consider there are no overriding landscape or local character and appearance arguments against granting outline planning permission. I consider that 2 dwellings can be accommodated within the site without unacceptable harm being caused to the visual amenity of the area.



Residential amenity

Policy DES6 of SOLP relates to residential amenity and requires that development proposals should demonstrate that they will not result in significant adverse impacts on the amenity of neighbouring uses, when considering both individual and cumulative impacts in relation to loss of privacy, day light and sunlight, dominance or visual intrusion, noise or vibration, smell dust, heat, odour or other emissions, pollution and external lighting.



The application is in outline only with no detailed elevation drawings for consideration at this stage. It is my opinion that a scheme could be developed which would not result in significant adverse harm to the amenity of occupiers of neighbouring properties.



Access and parking

With respect to highway safety matters the advice from Central Government set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is as follows:


Development should only be prevented or refused on transport grounds where the residual cumulative impacts of the development are severe.

The term severe is locally interpreted as situations, which have a high impact, likely to result in loss of life, or a higher possibility of occurrence with a lower impact.



Policy TRANS5 of the SOLP seeks to ensure that development does not harm highway safety and provides for sufficient parking and turning areas. It also requires the provision of facilities which support the take up of electrical and /or low emissions vehicles.



Access is reserved in this outline application and will be subject of a reserved matters application if planning permission is granted. The county highway authority has, however commented on this outline application in general terms.



Oxfordshire County Council has raised the following matter in relation to the proposal; the accessibility of the development is poor and future residents would be highly dependent on private motor car to access essential services, employment and shops. The Local Planning Authority is advised to give due consideration to this matter when evaluating the overall sustainability i.e. environmental, economic and social merits of the proposed development. The site has no pedestrian (or cycle) infrastructure provided to connect it to the rest of the village. In addition, I understand there are limited local facilities in the village and raise concern with the accessibility of this development site that the local planning authority will need to consider as part of the determination of this planning application.



Polices H1 and H16 of the SOLP allow residential development where it represents infilling or redevelopment within smaller villages such as Burcot. Therefore, whilst the local highway authority has raised concerns, these do not align with the relevant housing policies set out within the council’s development plan, and having regard to these the principle of the proposed development is acceptable.



Notwithstanding the comments in paragraph 6.25 above, OCC (highways) has concluded that the proposal will only result in a modest increase in vehicular movements. This site has an existing access onto the A415 Abingdon Road where the carriageway is relatively straight in its alignment. The visibility splays at this access are considered acceptable. The proposal provides ample parking and turning provision and it is unlikely that vehicles will be displaced onto the adopted highway to cause an obstruction. Full details of the access and parking provision will be considered at the reserved matters stage but the indicative layout shows that it is possible to provide adequate access and parking for two dwellings.



Amenity space

Policy DES5 of SOLP relates to outdoor amenity space and requires that a private outdoor garden or amenity areas should be provided for all new dwellings. The amount of land should be provided for amenity space will be determined by the size of the dwelling.



The Joint South and Vale Design Guide (JSVDG) sets out the minimum areas based on the number of bedrooms and for 3+ bedrooms, 100 square metres should be provided. An inability to provide the minimum amenity space and or parking provision can be an indicator that the proposal constitutes an overdevelopment of the site.



Although indicative only at this outline stage, the submitted information confirms that it is possible to provide 2 detached dwellings and have sufficient private amenity space to accord with policy DES5 of the SOLP and advice within the JSVDG. As indicatively shown, each property would have a rear garden in excess of 230sq metres which is well in excess of the 100sq metre requirement.





Policy ENV2 of the SOLP seeks to protect local wildlife sites from harm. It states that development will only be permitted if the need for and benefits of the development outweigh the adverse effects, it can be demonstrated that the development could not be located on an alternative site that would result in less harm, and measures will be provided which would avoid, mitigate, or compensate any harm.



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.



A Preliminary Roost Assessment and bat activity survey have been submitted at the request of the council’s ecology officer.





The bat survey confirmed that the main dwelling has a maternity roost of soprano pipistrelle bat. This roost is considered to have moderate conservation value, in line with the Bat Mitigation Guidelines (English Nature 2004). As per the submitted Bat Emergence Surveys report a European Protected Species License (EPSL) application to Natural England will be required to legally permit the proposed demolition of the dwelling. The EPSL will deal with any mitigation and compensation measures that will be required for the proposed development to comply with the standing advice and will be designed to reduce any impacts to an acceptably low level so as to maintain (or enhance ) the Favourable Conservation Status of the local bat population. The council’s ecologist has also recommended that a precautionary working method should be implemented during construction with regard to hedgehogs, riparian mammals and birds; and a low impact lighting strategy should be adopted for the site during and post development. This can be secured by planning conditions with any future reserved matters application. As such, subject to these measures taking place, there are no objections to the proposal on ecological grounds.




Policy EP4 relates to matters of flooding and states that the risk of flooding will be minimised through;

i)             directing new development to areas with the lowest probability of flooding;

ii)            ensuring that all new development addresses the effective management of all sources of flood risk;

iii)           ensuring that development does not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere; and

iv)           ensuring wider environmental benefits of development in relation to flood risk.


Policy INF4 relates to water resources and requires that all new development proposals must demonstrate that there is or will be adequate water supply, surface water, foul drainage and sewerage treatment capacity to serve the whole development.



The council’s drainage engineer has no objection to the proposal subject to conditions requiring details of foul and surface water drainage to be submitted and approved prior to the commencement of development.



Carbon reduction

Policy DES10 states that planning permission will only be granted for new build residential development that achieves a 40% reduction in carbon emissions compared with a code 2013 Building Regulations compliant base or a 9% reduction on the 2022 Building Regulations and that this reduction is to be secured through renewable energy and other low carbon technologies. The policy also requires that an energy statement will be submitted to demonstrate compliance with this policy.



As the application is in outline only with all matters reserved, it is not possible for an energy statement to be submitted at this stage as the exact style and size of the dwellings is not fixed. This information would be required at the reserved matters stage. Conditions are included to require the submission of an energy statement with the reserved matters application. A condition to require EV charging points for each dwelling is also recommended.



Community Infrastructure Levy


CIL will be liable for this development. This is based on floor space which at this outline stage we do not know. CIL will be payable on commencement and a liability notice would be issued with the subsequent reserved matters application that fixes the floor space.





Officers recommend that outline planning permission is granted. The outline proposals show a development with all matters reserved for later consideration within an existing settlement that falls within the definition of infill development and is acceptable in the context of housing policy, Green Belt policy and in terms of highway safety and parking. Within the scope of this application the proposal accords with the development plan.






That planning permission is granted subject to the following conditions:


1 : Commencement - Outline with Reserved Matters

2 : Parking & Manoeuvring Areas retained

3 : Foul drainage details required

4 : Surface water details required

5 : Drainage report required

6 : Energy Statement required

7: EV charging point





Author: Kim Gould


Contact No: 01235 422600