MP speaks out over “opportunist” plans

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Bicester’s MP said the area should be safe from opportunistic developments after getting clarification over planning guidelines from ministers on Friday.

Town MP Sir Tony Baldry spoke about a number of contentious planning applications in his constituency as part of a debate in the Commons.

Like other local authorities, Cherwell District Council must show it has a five-year supply of housing so it can refuse inappropriate plans. But some planning inspectors have not taken developments already granted permission into account when calculating a five-year supply.

Planning minister Nick Boles said, “the framework is very clear that sites with planning permission should be considered deliverable until that planning permission expires, unless they have become clearly and demonstrably unviable.”

Speaking after the debate, Sir Tony said he hoped the minister’s clear language would halt opportunistic applications.

He also said developers were on course to finish housing developments at Upper Heyford and Bodicote, which should be taken into account when considering the five-year supply.