Agenda item

P23/S0431/RM - Land off Cuxham Road Watlington

Reserved matters in relation to 70 dwellings, including details of access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale. Including details required pursuant to conditions 1 (reserved matters); 6 (housing mix); 7 (details to be submitted with reserved matters); 8 (Biodiversity Enhancement Plan); 11 (Pedestrian and Cycle Access); 14 (Lighting) ;15 (CEMP); 16 (Arboricultural matters); 17 (surface water drainage); 18 (foul drainage) and 26 (housing standards) on application P19/S1928/O.


During this agenda item, the meeting length had reached almost two and a half hours. In accordance with the council’s Constitution, the committee voted to extend the meeting in order to finish this item – as applications P23/S0431/RM and P23/S0433/RM were being taken together as the same item by the committee, the meeting was extended to cover these applications.


The committee considered planning application P23/S0431/RM for the reserved matters in relation to 70 dwellings, including details of access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale. Including details required pursuant to conditions 1 (reserved matters); 6 (housing mix); 7 (details to be submitted with reserved matters); 8 (Biodiversity Enhancement Plan); 11 (Pedestrian and Cycle Access); 14 (Lighting); 15 (CEMP); 16 (Arboricultural matters); 17 (surface water drainage); 18 (foul drainage) and 26 (housing standards) on application P19/S1928/O, as emended by plans and information received 22 May 2023 and 5 July 2023, on land off Cuxham Road, Watlington.  


Consultations, representations, policy and guidance, and the site’s planning history were detailed in the officer’s report, which formed part of the agenda pack for the meeting. 


The planning officer introduced the report and highlighted that the application had been called into committee by the former ward member, Councillor Anna Badcock. In addition, there were several updates since the agenda was published including two amendments; firstly, to paragraph 6.6 of the officer report which the sentence “subject to a condition to secure the correct tenure mix” should be removed as this was provided in a new tenure plan, and secondly to paragraph 6.16 as it should read “access onto Cuxham Road”, not Britwell Road. In addition, a further response was received from Pyrton Parish Council which welcomed the revisions to the applications and confirmed that it addressed their concerns, and the planning officer was also aware that Shirburn Parish Council and the applicant had also sent representations to members.


The planning officer then informed members that both applications P23/S0431/RM and P23/S0433/RM were in land allocated for the re-aligned B4009 in the Watlington neighbourhood development plan and the developers of the applications would build the Edge Road within the housing developments and that Oxfordshire County Council as the highway authority would build the connections between those roads. She also clarified to members that the roundabout to the west of Site B (application P23/S0431/RM) was not part of the application as it was the responsibility of Oxfordshire County Council which was scheduled to submit the plans for it in October 2023. It was noted that the applications proposed priority junctions from Site B onto Cuxham Road and from Site C (application P23/S0433/RM) onto Pyrton Lane.


The principle of 70 homes on the Site B and 60 homes on Site C was established with the outline applications and the planning officer noted that the main differences between the outline and current applications was that the development of Site B was set further back into the site primarily to allow for the roundabout to be located away from the chalk stream and flood zone. For site C, the planning officer noted the comment from the landscaping officer about the desire to have seen more planting, but she believed that these were not sufficient grounds alone to refuse the application.


The planning officer then informed members that the applicant had not agreed to several pre-commencement conditions proposed in the officer’s report so she suggested that the trigger for conditions three to eight would be prior to above ground development.


The planning officer also noted that they were satisfied with the range of houses provided in both Site B and Site C and that they met Local Plan policy requirements.


Overall, as both applications would deliver a good range of house sizes and was considered acceptable in all other respects, the planning officer recommended that the applications be approved.



Gill Bindoff spoke on behalf of Watlington Parish Council, in support of the application. 


Robert Parker, representing Shirburn Parish Council, and Debby Proctor, representing Cuxham with Easington Parish Meeting, spoke objecting to the application. 


Chris White, the agent representing the applicant, spoke in support of the application. 


Councillor Freddie van Mierlo, a local ward councillor, spoke in support of the application. 



The committee asked about landscaping and if there could be conditions put on an approval to bolster the planting, but the planning officer responded that they had reached a stage in which they considered the scheme acceptable and so this would not be reasonable. In addition, in response to a question about how the landscape and greenspace on site would be managed, the planning officer confirmed that a management company would be set up and funded by the local residents on Sites B and C and in which the residents would have a controlling interest, and this satisfied members.


On a question about the Edge Road through the developments, and if the current applications were dependent on Oxfordshire County Council completing its road infrastructure, the planning officer confirmed that a planning inspector had considered a cumulative impact assessment when they were examining the application on Site A and found that Sites A, B, and C would not be reliant on the County Council completing its Edge Road work.


Members also asked about the existing road through Watlington and what effect the proposed road would have. In response, the planning officer told members that it was her belief that the road would have significant benefits to Watlington as it would ease traffic through the town centre and make it more pleasant for pedestrians.


The committee then inquired into the lack of provision of solar panels or heat pumps on the site but were satisfied with the officer’s response that the applicants met the council’s energy standards required in the Local Plan through a fabric first approach.


On parking, member questioned if the provision of 370 spaces for 130 dwellings was policy compliant and this was confirmed by the planning officer who noted that the Highways Authority had no objections to scheme. Furthermore, members inquired as to why the dwellings included garages but were content that highways also had no objection to this and that they could be used by residents for storage. 


The committee expressed some concerns about the chalk stream on the site and inquired as to what assessment there was for its protection. However, the planning officer confirmed that she had several discussions with the council’s ecologist and drainage engineer who was satisfied that the surface water would be filtered before being discharged into the ground and that the sites were designed to ensure that there was no direct discharge into the chalk stream. In addition to this, a proposed condition on the outline application was for a construction environmental management plan which included measures to reduce runoff and the ecologist was satisfied with the information provided in that document and so had no objections to the applications. Lastly, members noted that there were some areas of the site where permeable pavements were proposed, and because of this and the planning officer’s previous comments, they were satisfied with the overall drainage proposals for both applications and that that chalk stream would be protected.


Members then discussed the housing mix but were also satisfied that the applications provided Local Plan policy compliant provisions.


The committee asked about the potential to condition a removal or permitted development rights on the approval of the applications but as the planning officer believed the sites to be low density, they recommended the committee did not apply this condition. In addition, on a potential condition to prevent conversion of garages to internal accommodation, the development manager suggested that this not be applied as she did not believe this was what would depend on making the scheme acceptable.


Overall, as the committee was satisfied with the planning officers’ response to their questions and confirmation about chalk stream protection, energy efficiency, and the Edge Road, as well as that the applications were supported by the local parish council and their neighbourhood plan, they agreed that the application should be approved subject to conditions.


A motion, moved and seconded, to approve the application was carried on being put to the vote. 



RESOLVED: to approve planning application P23/S0431/RM, subject to the following conditions:


1. Approved plans


Conditions to be agreed prior to commencement:

2. Existing and proposed ground levels


Conditions to be agreed prior to above ground development:

3. Refuse strategy

4. Landscape Management Plan

5. Details of street furniture

6. Cycle parking

7. Details of the shared pedestrian cycle route adjacent to the play area

8. Details of underground crate systems for trees where soil volume is not adequate.

9. Samples of materials


Conditions to be agreed prior to occupation:

10. Verification report for energy measures


Compliance conditions:

11. Flint work to be hand laid

12. Visibility splays to be provided and retained.

Supporting documents: