Hook Norton Road housing development

Plans are being drawn up for a new housing development on Hook Norton Road, Sibford Ferris.

The developers, Land & Partners, are holding a Public Exhibition on Wednesday 20 September in the Village Hall, 4pm to 7pm.

At the Sibford Ferris Parish Council meeting on Thursday 14 September, those present contributed to the following list of questions and concerns that they will be seeking answers to at the Public Exhibition on the 20th.

This list may be extended in the days leading up to the exhibition; please return for another look.

  1. Sibford Ferris currently has about 145 households.The number of new homes proposed (20 - 30) would increase this by a substantial percentage (14% - 21%).
  2. What other developments have Land & Partners been involved in, how did they start out and what were people’s views of the finished product?
  3. Is the village’s utility infrastructure sufficiently robust to accommodate such a number of new houses? (Water, sewage, electricity, broadband.)
  4. There will be approximately two cars per house, adding to existing traffic problems in and around the village. For example:
    • There are several serious bottlenecks on Main Street between Lanes End (the turn to Burdrop) and the village boundary at Little London.
    • The Hook Norton Road / Woodway Road corner already sees a large number of near misses.
    • Access to the site from Woodway Road would be problematic from this single track road, extensively used by horse riders, cyclists, joggers, walkers and young families; there are three blind bends on the road and a steep dangerous descent to Temple Mill Farm.
    • Hook Norton Road is very busy; the turn into the development would be at the brow of a hill, and close to the main entrance to Sibford School.
  5. Need to think about the visual impact both for the immediate neighbours and also from further away. The visual impact on the southern approach road was brought up in the previous application for housing on the site and this development is intended to use more of the field so should that not again be a concern?
  6. Need to think about the preservation of hedgerows, wildlife etc.
  7. Construction traffic should be directed away from the village centre.
  8. What else might the village get out of any development? Suggestion of an alternative entrance for Sibford School on the eastern approach to the village.
  9. Would releasing one piece of land for development lead to other sites being developed?  The concern is that a spine road could be extended to Woodway Road.  (The point was made that putting the power lines that cross part of the site underground will be costly and any developer would want to dilute those costs by maximising the number of houses.)
  10. Is the development necessary? It would be helpful to have clarity about the relevant targets for housing development in Cherwell DC's Local Plans, and the progress already made towards meeting them. The following comments reflect this:
    • Local Plan Part 2 ("LP2") identified the field behind the proposed site for 20 houses.  If the current proposal goes ahead it could landlock the smaller site the owner of which might wish to forestall by developing it in conjunction with the larger site, resulting in a development of closer to 50 houses.
    • CDC’s LP1 does not support sizeable development in this area.

    • CDC was looking for 13,000 homes for this area and this number has pretty much already been identified.

    • The Sibfords as a whole are rated as a "Category A" village in LP1, which sets a target of 750 new homes in the period 2011-31 across all 23 Category A villages. In one of the recent updates, 477 applications had already been received and accepted, leaving 270 to be allocated.

  11. Cherwell DC are looking for high density on new developments and if the whole site were developed at that density there would be 180 houses.
  12. Developers should be made aware of the Sibfords Community Plan from 2012.
  13. How many houses in recent village developments have been taken up by local people? Can this information be requested?
  14. Do Land & Partners do the development themselves?  It needs to be made clear that they may intend to hand the development over to another party.
  15. Is there scope for the inclusion of self-build or self-finish homes?