Cllr Liam Walker
Councillors united against Freeland development
Freeland residents and local councillors have objected to a planning application for a retirement village to be built.
The local councillors covering the Freeland parish say they are working closely to ensure that Freeland's objections to this planning application leads to West Oxfordshire District Council refusing it.
The plans for the 160-unit retirement village have been widely described as 'the wrong development in the wrong village' by local campaigners.
In a joint statement County Councillor Liam Walker, District Councillors Alaa Al-Yousuf and Merilyn Davies have said, "We endorse the objections submitted by more than 250 residents and the Parish Council and will demand that the planning decision makers at the District Council stand firm and defend the integrity of the Local Plan which has deliberately excluded this site on the basis of it's unsuitability for development."
"Residents expect the Local Plan to provide them with certainty and protection from large speculative developments."
Speaking to the Oxford Mail, former chairman of Freeland Parish Council Peter Newell said that after the developer gave him a rough outline of the plans he suggested they canvass the village.
"I understand that, on the basis of the returns, it was clear that they could expect little support. I was surprised, therefore, to see that, despite the lack of support from WODC or the village, they had actually submitted a planning application."
He said the proposal would add to traffic problems and "would bring no benefit to the village. This is a very rural and sensitive location which would be harmed by such a large scale development."
A statement from Inspired Villages said, "As a long term developer and operator, we are dedicated to bringing forward schemes which not only address the chronic shortage of housing for older people across the UK, but which are designed and built to respond to local community needs."
"Our proposals at Freeland have been designed to address the growing shortage of specialist accomodation for older residents in West Oxfordshire, whilst also delivering a range of new facilities including a village club house and shop, wellness centre and transport to surrounding retail and leisure outlets - all open to the local community."