Participation of the Public
- Meeting of Joint Climate & Environment and Economic & Social Overview & Scrutiny Committee, Monday, 14th March, 2022 2.30 pm (Item 3.)
To receive any submissions from members of the public, in accordance with the Council’s Rules of Procedure.
David Knight, Vice Chairman of Eynsham Parish Council addressed the meeting, stating that the Parish Council were very disappointed with the consultation process carried out. He noted that there had been a community event held in December but felt this document was flawed as various community groups had not been consulted including ‘EPIC’ and Green TEA. Mr Knight referred to the lack of detail with regard to ecology and the climate emergency and the potential need to retrofit properties. Concerns were raised about the lack of confidence in relation to Biodiversity Net Gain, no reference to active community groups in Eynsham, the lack of provision for custom and self build properties and the need for additional burial space. Mr Knight also referred to the County Council’s concern, shared by residents, of construction traffic using Thornbury Green.
Councillor Cooper queried the reference to the community group ‘EPIC’ and was advised that this was the Eynsham Planning Improvement Committee.
Daniel Lampard and Niamh Hession addressed the meeting on behalf of the developers, advising that the report was comprehensive in detail. They advised that any future planning applications would come before the Local Authority and in producing the Masterplan, a dedicated liaison group had been set up. The group consisted of Oxfordshire County Council, West Oxfordshire District Council, EPIC and Green TEA. Developers had produced a newsletter, created a dedicated website in November 2021 and had held face to face meetings. Mr Lampard advised that this document was a stepping stone and was not the end of the process.
Ms Hession advised that the Masterplan was designed to set out what could be delivered. It would also establish where development could be delivered, advise on transport, ecology and highways and would deliver 1,000 new homes. The process had identified challenges and had shaped strategies to respond to these. In addition, place making had been built into the Masterplan along with the enhancement of green spaces and ecology.
Following a question from Councillor Dent, officers advised the sewage concerns and details would be dealt with at the planning permission stage.
Councillor Levy addressed Members as one of the Ward Members for Eynsham. He advised that Eynsham had been at the centre of a flurry of major projects and this development needed to be as good as it possibly could be. He felt the document contained a lot of thoughtful information but residents had struggled to get the developers to talk in any great detail. He highlighted various areas of concern including a lack of detail on Active Travel and green space, the separation of the school and shops and the potential need to retrofit properties. Councillor Levy thanked the Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Councillor Harvey for his letter to the developers regarding the climate emergency. He went on to express concerns about construction traffic using Thornbury Green, lifting of the 7 and half tonne limit, the potential loss of the bridleway and the lack of detail in relation to flood mitigation. Councillor Levy highlighted that there was no binding contract between the four separate landowners which would result in four separate planning applications, S106 funding arrangements and the phasing of works. He therefore requested that the Committee recommend that Cabinet did not adopt the Masterplan until the gaps in the document had been rectified.