New homes plan for contentious ‘delightful LTN’ site

Applicant Cilldara is throwing its hat into the ring as a potential developer for the land at Bayswater Farm in Sandhills and would like to construct 76 new homes along with a care home and associated green space.

This comes as plans to build 121 homes which amassed hundreds of objections were refused for the area by Oxford City Council in May after these were submitted to both South Oxfordshire District Council and Oxford City Council.

Bayswater Farm field.Bayswater Farm field. (Image: Risinghurst and Sandhills Parish Council)

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South Oxfordshire District Council refused the application in April but councillors in the city also gave consideration to the proposal at a planning meeting on May 21 as “two small bits of land” lie within the Oxford border.

At the time, Labour councillor Alex Hollingsworth said of the proposed development site: “Sandhills is a delightfully-designed LTN.

“Obviously this would make it much less of an LTN.

Alex Hollingsworth.Alex Hollingsworth. (Image: Oxford City Council.)

“I am just curious how many people who live in Sandhills don’t realise it’s one of the hated LTNs.”

LTNs (Low Traffic Neighbourhoods) were introduced in Oxford in May 2022 with the aim of making streets safer but have since proved controversial and been blamed for increasing congestion.

Independent Oxford Alliance councillor Ian Yeatman said at the time he thought it was “misdirection to label areas designed with no through traffic as being the same as closing historic through roads”.

This comes as objections were raised to the application on the basis it was lacking in surrounding active travel options due to the only route out being a main road.

Illustrative masterplan.Illustrative masterplan. (Image: Oxford City Council.)

Now, the developer insists the parcel it wishes to build on is “its own distinct housing site” that is “not subject to the same complex environmental constraints and infrastructure needs as the main parcel”.

An applicant planning paper adds 50 per cent of the homes would be ‘affordable’ and “there is a substantial need for new housing within South Oxfordshire District and Oxford City”.

The site comprises two fields, divided by a hedgerow, which are loosely bound by existing residential development in Sandhills to the south and west, and deciduous woodland to the north and east.

Beyond the woodland lies open countryside which is designated Green Belt.

Land at the Sandhills site near Barton is part of a “strategic allocation” in the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035, with the total 110 hectare area expected to deliver around 1,100 new homes up to 2034.

Site plan.Site plan. (Image: Oxford City Council.)

Objector Michael March, who lives near the site, had said in response to the now-refused application: “I can see no justification for concreting over Bayswater Farm Field now when it has resisted repeated developers’ attempts to do so over the past 65 years or so.

“And the reasons that have been given for refusing permission for development are as valid today as they ever were, if not more so.”

Bayswater Road.Bayswater Road. (Image: Google Maps.)

The applicant insists the development will create access to existing Green Belt land through delivery of new footpaths across the site, linking to the existing network.

 

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About the author

Noor is the Local Democracy Reporter for Oxfordshire who covers political stories from across the county

She began working as a journalist in Oxford in September 2023 having graduated from the University of Oxford.

Noor was trained at the News Associates journalism school and can be found on X through the handle @NoorJQurashi



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