The bald statement that the “Examination in Public (EIP) of the Core Strategy will resume on 1 November” belies the importance of the event. The Inspector’s findings will shape the future for Brightwell-cum-Sotwell in a manner unparalleled since the impacts of the Norman Conquest in 1066 and the Enclosures of 1811. Should he favour the development of Site B, then life in our community will be altered adversely and irreparably. Should he reject the development, then our village will retain its individual rural identity and not be merged with Wallingford.
The Inspector is expected to follow the same procedure as in the July hearing, Each day he will put forward a paper setting out “Issues for discussion” asking a series of questions to be debated by those he has invited to participate. The Parish Council has asked to take part and will argue that the Strategy is unsound. Our case against building on Site B is based on hard factual evidence that it is not the optimum location for the expansion of Wallingford. In contrast, Site E has a number of advantages as the situation for the new houses. Thanks to the generous support of a number of villagers, a written submission putting forward our case will be prepared with assistance from planning consultants using commissioned material on transport and traffic. This will be lodged with the Inspector in early October.
The Parish Council was represented at several sessions of the July hearing, and participated in the session on Henley. Discussion centred on the 4% increase in the proposed number of houses. This figure was considered to be far too low compared to Wallingford where it would be 17%.
Because SODC was required to make changes to the Core Strategy, particularly the increase from 400 to 555 in the number of houses for Site B, there was a further 6 week consultation which closed on 19 August. The Parish Council responded with a paper arguing against the change, noting that the proposed increase was purely arbitrary and lacked a factual basis.
The session on Wallingford will take place on 9 November and the support of villagers at the hearing will be very welcome.
Should you want a “Drop Site B” notice to put in your garden, please contact the Clerk on 826968 or any member of the Parish Council.John Rodda
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