BENSON PARISH COUNCIL

Village News

Residents invited to comment on Local Plan
Released on October 10, 2017

South Oxfordshire District Council has published its Local Plan and is inviting residents to read it and send their comments in before 22 November.

The comments will then be submitted along with the plan to the government, ready to be examined by a planning inspector early next year.

During the development of the plan, the council has received thousands of comments from residents and organisations, which have helped shaped the plan.

Anybody who wants to participate in the Local Plan examination, should comment at this stage, even if they have done so previously.

This is a more technical stage of the process and the planning inspector will give more weight to comments based on the technical “soundness” of the plan – the council has created a short video and a guidance note to explain what this means, to help residents provide effective comments.

The plan, video, guidance note and details on how to comment are available at www.southoxon.gov.uk/newlocalplan. 

Cllr John Cotton, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “It’s a challenge to find appropriate locations for thousands of houses in a rural district, but we firmly believe the plan we’ve created deals with the need for housing in our area in a positive way, and it will help us deliver the infrastructure the district needs right now and to support future generations.”

The council is inviting residents to come along and find out more about the publicity period and how to submit their comments at a series of drop-in events throughout October and November at the following locations:

• Wallingford, St Marys Church - Sat 14 October, 10am – 2pm
• Culham, Primary School - Thurs 19 October, 4pm – 8pm
• Henley, Town Hall - Council Chamber - Sat 21 October, 10am – 2pm
• Chalgrove (1), Village Hall – Mon 23 October, 4pm – 8pm 
• Didcot, Cornerstone - Tues 31 October, 3pm – 7pm
• Berinsfield, Church Hall - Tues 7 November, 3pm – 7pm
• Wheatley, The Merry Bells Village Hall - Thurs 9 November, 3pm – 7pm
• Thame, Town Hall - Mon 13 November, 3pm – 7pm
• Chalgrove (2), Village Hall - Fri 17 November, 3pm – 7pm

Communications

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils

01235 422400

www.southoxon.gov.uk | @southoxon 

www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk | @whitehorsedc 

 

New Homes in Benson - see the plans and have your say!

Local developer Thomas Homes are putting forward plans for a new development on land to the North of Benson. They are at the early stages of development and are keen to hear the views of local residents so please come along to their consultation, see the plans and talk to members of the project team.

Friday 15th September in Benson Parish Hall                    6pm - 9pm

 

Benson Plan Update 

This is a very short update!  

The team has now worked through all the comments and issues arising from the Draft Plan consultation, revising our approach and policies where necessary, and we are now in the final push towards submission of the Full Plan.  The whole process has taken considerably longer than we had hoped, almost entirely due to factors outside our control, but we now believe we are close to having a Plan that will be acceptable to SODC, who will take it on from here, and that it will be passed fit by the Inspector, whom SODC will appoint to examine it.  

We aim therefore to submit the Full Plan in October and hope that SODC will expedite the examination to start in late November however we are very much reliant on SODC from this point onwards.  Provided the Inspector approves the Plan, SODC will initiate the Neighbourhood Plan Referendum early in the New Year, when the village will decide whether to support the Plan or not.  By law, this referendum will be preceded by a 28-day 'purdah' period, during which all communications on the subject are prohibited.  

We will hold a village meeting once the Plan has been cleared for examination and well before the purdah period, in order to brief the community fully and answer any questions people have.  We will of course also keep you updated regularly, as we progress towards submission and beyond. 

Thanks again for your patience!

Benson  Plan Team

 

Spare time to share? 

The Benson Volunteer Helpline is a local group of volunteers who give lifts to villagers, who are registered with Mill Stream Surgery, to their various hospital or medical appointments, or just to collect a prescription or some shopping.

If you could possibly give a little of your time to join this team of drivers who provide a much needed local service, when the need arises, telephone 01491 825992 or pop into the office to find out more.

The helpline is based at Benson Parish Hall and the telephone is manned Monday to Friday 9am to 11am.

                                                            

BENSON VOLUNTEER HELPLINE are waiting to hear from you

 

Important news about the Saint Helen's Avenue appeal


In our last Neighbourhood Plan update, we promised to let you have details of the appeal hearing on Gladman's proposal to build 130 houses on land south of St Helen's Avenue (BEN7).  

This appeal will take the form of a Public Inquiry to be held at Fountain Conference Centre, Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford, OX10 8BA on 1st and 2nd of August 2017, starting at 10am each day. Anyone can attend and, at the Inspector's discretion, speak at the inquiry. 

SODC will be contesting the appeal, primarily on the grounds of noise and vibration from RAF Benson's helicopter operations, which they do not believe can be successfully mitigated - the site is directly underneath the main approach flightpath.  

Benson PC and the Neighbourhood Plan team will also be speaking at the inquiry.  We will be seeking to make our own case as forcibly as we can, supporting SODC's arguments on noise and vibration, but also explaining why the site is not allocated in our Neighbourhood Plan and showing that this development, if approved, will risk jeopardising the sites we are allocating in the Plan and the Edge Road that depends on them as well as taking up scarce school places,.  Having made great strides towards securing the Edge Road in recent weeks (update to follow shortly!) this would be a very unwelcome complication.

We would encourage as many people as possible to attend the inquiry.  This could be at any time during the two days but the start of the hearing on Day 1 is likely to be the most informative, as this is when the Inspector will lay out his approach and intended running order.  This is also the point at which you will need to register with the Inspector if you wish to speak.

Thanks for all your support!
 
The Benson Plan Team

St Helen's Avenue Planning Inquiry

In our last Neighbourhood Plan update, we promised to let you have details of the appeal hearing on Gladman's proposal to build 130 houses on land south of St Helen's Avenue (BEN7).  

This appeal will take the form of a Public Inquiry to be held at Fountain Conference Centre, Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford, OX10 8BA on 1st and 2nd of August 2017, starting at 10am each day. Anyone can attend and, at the Inspector's discretion, speak at the inquiry. 

SODC will be contesting the appeal, primarily on the grounds of noise and vibration from RAF Benson's helicopter operations, which they do not believe can be successfully mitigated - the site is directly underneath the main approach flightpath.  

Benson PC and the Neighbourhood Plan team will also be speaking at the inquiry.  We will be seeking to make our own case as forcibly as we can, supporting SODC's arguments on noise and vibration, but also explaining why the site is not allocated in our Neighbourhood Plan and showing that this development, if approved, will risk jeopardising the sites we are allocating in the Plan and the Edge Road that depends on them as well as taking up scarce school places,.  Having made great strides towards securing the Edge Road in recent weeks (update to follow shortly!) this would be a very unwelcome complication.

We would encourage as many people as possible to attend the inquiry.  This could be at any time during the two days but the start of the hearing on Day 1 is likely to be the most informative, as this is when the Inspector will lay out his approach and intended running order.  This is also the point at which you will need to register with the Inspector if you wish to speak.

 

Annual Parish Accounts

The 2016/17 Annual Parish Accounts are now available for inspection at the Parish Office between 9.30 and 12.30 each week day. They will be available for inspection until 11 August 2017

Benson Neighbourhood Plan Update

Some of you may be wondering why there has not been more news coming out of the Neighbourhood Plan Team over the last couple of months.  The reason is that this has been a period of review, planning and discussion  .... review of all the 250+ comments and suggestions received on our Pre-submission Plan; planning how we should respond to all those comments - particularly what needs to change in the Final Submission of our plan; and detailed discussions within the team and (critically) with all the other parties necessary to ensure that our final plan is robust and can be delivered in practice. These activities are complicated and take a lot of time!  

Central to our Neighbourhood Plan is the principle that further significant development in Benson and the surrounding area can only be sustainable if it is accompanied by the Edge Road (ER) - and securing the ER has inevitably required a series of detailed, interlocking conversations with developers, specialists and public bodies.  Theses discussions are not yet complete, but we are now hopeful that all the necessary elements can be agreed and brought together into a single detailed ER design, which is acceptable to all parties and which can be underpinned by the comprehensive transport report that we will shortly be commissioning with financial and technical support from SODC.

On a separate but connected matter, Gladman's appeal against SODC's non-determination of their planning application for 130 houses on land off St Helen's Avenue (BEN7) will be heard at a Public Inquiry on 1st and 2nd of August.  Benson PC and the Neighbourhood Plan team believe that this development is unsustainable on a number of counts (noise and safety issues from RAF Benson, lack of school places, traffic issues etc) and do not intend to allocate the site in our final Neighbourhood Plan.  We will be seeking to make our own case as forcibly as we can at the Public Enquiry, as well as supporting SODC.  We would encourage as many people as possible to attend the inquiry at some point and we will advise suitable timings when the running order is published.  We will also advise the venue as soon as it is confirmed.

Thanks for your continued patience while we work through all these issues.  

Benson Plan Team 

Keep Benson tidy!

Just a reminder that there will be a Litter Pick around Benson, this Saturday morning, 24th June. If you would like to get involved simply meet at the Parish Hall at 10am, in the committe room (upstairs). We should be finished by midday!

   

New Office Email Addresses

Please note the Parish Office email addresses have changed to;

clerk@bensonpc.org.uk

rfo@bensonpc.org.uk

halls@benson.org.uk

  


 

 

Lost Property

We have a large collection of lost property from around the village held here at the Parish Hall. The collecion has been here for many months and includes numerous coats, jackets and jumpers. If you think something might be yours, please let us know as all items will be cleared at the end of this week

 


 

Benson Parish Clerk organises a Litter Pick through Benson village every two months.  Please contact the Clerk direct at Benson Parish Hall for further details.