East Sutton Courtenay Planning Update

Sutton Courtenay Action


The Cabinet Member for Planning has merely informed us that he has confirmed the ‘Cooling Off Period’.This is despite robust responses from the village to it being invoked at the Planning Committee and by villagers who were there. These have however, sent strong messages which the Council will need to bear in mind as the process goes forward, together with the strong case we presented for rejection,which the planning committee accepted.

The decision means that the application will have to go back to the committee at the first opportunity. Technically that is Weds 22 March. Please keep that evening free in your diaries. There has been no public announcement or explanation forthcoming from the Vale.The Parish Council and SC Action have however, been asked to attend a meeting on Monday with the Vale on the process.

Next week also sees the announcement of the Vale Local Plan Part Two.That is for smaller sites and to make up the shortfall on houses in Part 1 of the Plan and no doubt  Oxford City’s unmet need housing need.  The consultation will begin on Thurs 9 Mar and the documents will be available on: www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/planningpolicy

Part of our problem over Part 1 and other developments such as Didcot Green Town, is that not enough people respond in the public consultations, so please do take the opportunity on Part Two.

Sutton Courtenay Action

To offer to help or contribute to the campaign fund please email action@suttoncourtenay.co.uk – to keep up to date with the campaign register with the Facebook page Sutton Courtenay Action.


Last night was a wonderful display of Sutton Courtenay in action, with people from every corner of the village demonstrating in Wantage against the East SC application and attending the planning committee meeting. It just shows what we can achieve when we pull together.

Not long into the debate on East SC it became obvious that our arguments over access, drainage, and pollution had registered sufficiently to prevent the committee from approving the application as it stands. Well done to all and our speakers Anne Morgan Smith, David Hignell and Karl Gebhart and including the planning councillors who had obviously done their homework and were not prepared to bamboozled by the developers. Interestingly the councillors also honed in on the traffic issue, so we have made some progress.

Subsequently it seemed that a deferral was likely to be the preferred option, but our argument won through and eventually the application was rejected by 6-5. However any celebration was to be short lived….. No sooner had the decision become clear, to villagers and indeed councillors bewilderment, the Senior Planning officer called for a “Cooling off Period,” under the Council’s Consitution. Apparently this seems to mean that they have 48 hours in which the Leader of the Council, Matthew Barber, has to review the decision and rule if or not the application should go back tot he committee for reconsideration.That is an interesting slant on what we, thought had been a democratic decision. It seems however, it is a means of warning the Council about the potential costs of a rejection should an appeal go against them, having dug a hole for the themselves by designating such a risky site as a Strategic Site and encouraging the developer.

You would have thought the local community had not been warning them about the risks with the site and the inadequate access for the last 3-4 years. Nor, that it had spent a lot of funds in commissioning experts three times over 17 months to review the application and the subsequent additional documents. That is not to mention the hours and hours of work and unnecessary angst by numerous volunteers across the village and of our experts.

So it seems that for the next 48 hours we are in limbo awaiting Matthew’s decision. Should he opt for reconsideration, it seems that in we will shortly be back again arguing the same case, having spent more of our funds on experts to counter whatever additional information Redrow produces by way of a fourth iteration.

Should Matthew accept the decision to reject the application, however, within 6 months we may face appeals by both Redrow and London Regeneration, at further costs both to the Vale and our community.

Sutton Courtenay Action

To offer to help or contribute to the campaign fund please email action@suttoncourtenay.co.uk To keep up to date with the campaign register with the Facebook page Sutton Courtenay Action.


The East SC applications will be the first item on the agenda at the Planning Committee on next Weds 1 March at 6.30 in the Beacon in Wantage. OX12 9BY. The application for the extra houses South of Appleford Road has been deferred and is likely to be addressed on 22 March or 12 April.

The agenda and papers for next week are at: http://democratic.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=102&MId=2165&Ver=4

These include the officers report on East SC and their recommendation to approve the application at page 10 onwards. For convenience I attach a copy of the relevant section.

Last Chance.

After our 3 robust counters to the application and the subsequent amendments this is the last chance to defeat Redrow’s intent to build 200 houses next to uncapped and unlined landfill cells with toxic contents and methane gas bubbling in the ditch adjacent to it, in an area with very high ground water levels which floods regularly and has poor access.

Please join Sutton Courtenay Action outside the Beacon at 6.00pm on Weds to demonstrate the concern and anger in the village at this risky development and then in the meeting to hear the Planning Committee’s consideration of the application. It is important that we have a good turnout to demonstrate the level of concern and ensure that we take a step forward to getting ” A Fair Deal for Sutton Courtenay”.

Please do encourage your neighbours and friends to attend and where possible arrange a car share as parking can be difficult.

Do also write letters to the Abingdon Herald. See: http://www.heraldseries.co.uk/contactus/send_a_letter/

Sutton Courtenay Action
To offer to help or contribute to the campaign fund please email action@suttoncourtenay.co.uk To keep up to date with the campaign register with the Facebook page Sutton Courtenay Action.



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