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Manor Ground: Grounds for Appeal

Entrance to Oxford United

Reasons given by appellants for appealing against the Council’s decision on first application in July 2000.

“The application was presented to committee some six weeks after being registered. We requested a deferral for discussions regarding details but this was denied. It was purportedly put to committee so that members could discuss the principle of a hospital development on this site, but the debate occupied minutes only, spent no time on the principle, and was refused. The officers had clearly stated in their report that the principle was acceptable in policy and local plan terms. This had been supported by the lack of reference to principle in the decision notice.

“This site is allocated for housing and B1 use in the Local Plan, and the ability of the road system to cope with a development of this nature was defended by the Council at the Local Plan Inquiry. There will be development of this site at a reasonable density and yet the County Council, and the members, treated it in particular as if this had never been envisaged or evaluated.

“The principle of the development is acceptable and the determining factor is the scale of development. This is borne out in the officer’s report and the detail is a matter of discussion and agreement. We made it very clear that we would be pleased to discuss these matters. But the application has too quickly been refused without any analysis of the traffic situation, or any assessment of the level of development that would be acceptable. Subsequent discussions centred on the proximity of the hospital to adjoining residents.

“Pre-application discussions involved City Council Highways Officers but County Council, who had previously indicated that they would have no input into the application, cobbled together a series of points that were reported verbally to Committee and of which we had no knowledge or sight prior to committee. It is apparent that the documents had not been read in detail. We are also being asked to provide huge amounts of traffic data, including assessment of the John Radcliffe relocation that, if necessary, should have been supplied at the time of that application, but was not. Our application is minor compared to the John Radcliffe relocation in terms of the traffic generation and impact on Headington but seemingly is being given greater status.

“We were given no notification by the Council in discussions or as part of the application that the Council’s policy had changed and that on-site social housing was required. We had previously had correspondence to the contrary that went so far as to fix the amount of off-site contribution required by the Council.

“We would be pleased to contribute to the Transport schemes for this area and fully expected to, considering that these would be matters for discussion as part of the ongoing application. The Council have made no attempt to quantify the off-site highway works required or traffic management measures that would be required. This must surely be their role based upon the work done and evidence given by them at the local plan enquiry.”

© Stephanie Jenkins

 

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