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Witney residents take dim view of Windrush Valley housing plan
A DEVELOPER wants to build 270 homes in Witney’s Windrush Valley, prompting fears the ‘best view in town’ could be spoiled.
Residents have united against the proposals, which they say would spoil the view and threaten more homes with flooding.
Gladman Homes want to utilise a farmer’s field which lays behind two bungalows, the Windrush Inn and up to Apley Barn off Burford Road to build the new estate.
It says 30 per cent of the homes would be made affordable for local people and the site would include a public open space and recreational facilities, including a new play area.
Burford Road resident Roger Lee, 69, a retired bank manager, said it wasn’t a case of ‘not in my back yard’ but that the homes plan was over-development.
He added: “It’s a beautiful area where you look down into the valley. People take dogs for walks down there and it’s unbelievable they are choosing a site like that. This would spoil the best view in Witney.”
West Oxfordshire District Council member for Witney Central ward, Andrew Coles, said the plans had come “completely out of the blue”.
He said: “It’s in the wrong location because it’s on a flood plain in the most beautiful area.
“People are mindful of the need for housing and we do have a very real need but you’ve got to put housing in the right places.
“If you build in the wrong places it can have a devastating impact on communities, particularly if you build so close to the River Windrush.”
Mr Coles said the site was vulnerable because the district council does not yet have a Local Plan in place to safeguard it from unwanted development.
Witney Town Council planning committee chairman Alan Beames did not believe the proposed homes would be at risk of flooding but said there would be a threat to properties in Bridge Street, Riverside Gardens and Aquarius.
He said: “It would definitely have a knock-on effect.”
WODC planning manager Phil Shaw said: “We’ve been made aware of the plans but haven’t been approached by the developer as part of the pre-application discussion.”
Gladman Homes declined to comment.
- For more details of the proposals, see your-views.co.uk/witney
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