Refusal for 44-home Chesterton scheme

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PLANNERS have refused a new housing development in Chesteron for a second time over fears the scheme could harm surrounding countryside.

Hill Residential had submitted an application earlier this year to build 44 new homes on a site bordering Green Lane on the southern side of Chesterton. The application followed a similar proposal in 2010.

Plans also included a new community centre and enlarged playing fields.

But on Thursday, Cherwell District Council (CDC) planning officers said the development would be outside the built-up limit of Chesterton, and would harm the character and appearance of the area.

Chesterton Parish Council did not object, but had concerns over parking at the playing field and proposed community centre.

Residents’ opinions were divided by the proposal. A total of 16 letters of objection were sent in, and 12 letters of support.

Objectors said there was no need for new houses, and said the development would not integrate with the rest of the village.

Supporters said new homes would be in the long-term interest of the village, and would support Chesterton Primary School.

The scheme proposed in 2010 had been the subject of a public inquiry last summer after the applicants appealed against CDC’s decision.

At the time, the planning inspector recognised the potential benefits of the proposal, but said they did not justify the harm caused by allowing new homes to be built in open countryside.