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Why Bampton? Why Now...

The sad truth, it is not just Bampton in the firing line.  Small communities up and down the country are being railroaded into developments no-one, apart from the developers, want.   Why?  Because of a loophole in the law that allows property developers to build regardless of local feeling - or, importantly, need.

 

The coalition has changed the rules so that councils who do not have a 5 year land supply (ie land earmarked for houses) HAVE to grant planning permission.  The result - rapacious developers have been scouring the country looking for councils who have failed to get their act together.  They then rapidly put in for planning permission knowing the law is on their side and that locals can do little about it.

 

The irony is that this is often in areas which do not actually NEED any more housing, certainly not on the scale the developers are suggesting.  But they, of course, get paid by the square foot.

 

In Bampton’s case, the local council (West Oxfordshire County Council) has, thanks to pressure beyond its control, found itself late with its 5 year land supply. . As a result they are the perfect target.  Not one but two developers have jumped on the bandwagon and submitted plans for nearly 300 houses.


Is this just NYMBISM by another name?


No.  We accept villages do need to expand but these two developments represent an almost 30% rise in the population in just a few years.  The local surgery, school and even sewage plant are all on record saying they will not be able to cope.  A recent survey of housing need concluded just a dozen or so houses were required and the local housing list consists of under 30 people looking for affordable houses.  So why 300?  Simple - profit for the developers based hundreds of miles away, and of course the local landowners who stand to make millions.

 

The two companies involved, Richborough Estates and Gladman Developments, have form.  Between them they have targeted dozens of small communities up and down the country for the same treatment.  Faced by fierce local opposition, their response is always the same - the law is on their side.  And to add insult to injury, they don’t even build the houses themselves - they sell the plots on once permission has been granted.  Behaviour that doesn’t quite chime in with one of the company’s mottos: helping communities evolve.  Hardly.  We can evolve perfectly well on our own, thank you.

 

Can Anything be Done?

 

So what are people doing about this attack on local democracy?  The first port of call for most communities is to contact their local MP.  In the case of Bampton, this happens to be one D. Cameron.  But since it is his Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, who is pushing hard for the concrete-it-over option, he is reluctant to get involved despite local lobbying.  And Pickles, it seems, nearly always sides with the developers.  In news that should worry Bampton residents, he has history with Gladmans.  Pickles recently ‘called in’ a decision about another Gladman development, in effect taking it away from the planning inspector and making the final decision himself. - in favour of Gladmans.

 

Save Bamptons Future

 

It was in the light of these pressures that we set up Save Bampton’s Future.  Facing a pincer movement of Pickles on one side and avaricious developers on the other, we realised we had to stand up for sensible, sustainable housing - or risk losing the unique nature of Bampton forever.

 

 

To Donate


Payments can be made direct to:

The Society for the Protection of Bampton (SPB)

Account number 71412019  -  Sort Code 40-16-46 

please put Action Group

 

Or by cheque Payable to SPB

Post or deliver to: Deanery Farmhouse, Broad Street

Bampton OX18 2LY

 

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• Planning comittee members

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What we will do


We are committed to fighting these large development on every possible grounds.  In practical terms this means


• encouraging villagers to write to the local planning officers


• putting pressure on our local councillors


• putting pressure on the national government


• commissioning independent reports to emphasise these developments are in a inappropriate and unsustainable.


• compiling a coherent argument as to why these developments should not be granted planning permission


 

Together, we believe we CAN successfully fight our corner.  This website explains how you  help us do that.  Please join us!