On Friday, I visited Hanwell to meet residents and hear their concerns about proposed developments in the village.
A planning application for 170 additional homes on Warwick Road and proposals for a 200-acre solar farm to the north of the village have caused considerable local concern. Residents showed me how the proposed housing would come up to the boundary of the village, exceeding the area of land designated for development under the current Local Plan. They are concerned that both developments would result in the loss of very good quality agricultural land and permanently change the character of their village.
While Cherwell has long been one of the most successful housebuilding districts in the country, I have always felt that we must approach local development in a considerate and sustainable manner. The growth of our towns should be supported, but this must be driven by our agreed local policies and not done to the detriment of surrounding communities.
I will therefore be writing to my Ministerial colleagues on behalf of Hanwell residents about the forthcoming Land Use Framework for England. I will also continue to follow these proposed developments closely and will contribute fully to the Cherwell Local Plan Review as this progresses.