Outline Planning Application For Large Warehousing Complex at Huscote Farm

As part of Cherwell District Council Local Plan Review 2040 Call For Sites, speculative proposals were submitted for the areas of both Nethercote and Huscote, these proposals would in effect see both areas concreted over and turned into Industrial Estates, creating a warehouse corridor as you drive up the A422 towards Middleton Cheney.  Neither of these areas are currently within the Local Plan and therefore not earmarked or assessed for development.  Our understanding from the published process is that following the close of the consultation in November 2021, that Cherwell District Council are currently reviewing the proposals submitted in the Call For Sites.  Residents and supporters of the area are currently waiting to learn whether either proposal will be supported for inclusion into the next stage of Local Plan Review 2040 and this is not expected to be published until later this year.

Proposals Made by Developers

This area is not currently earmarked for development in the Local Plan, it was specifically excluded by the Planning Inspectorate at public examination in 2015

The Local Plan process allows for widespread consultation, including public consultation over a period of time, allowing for proper scrutiny and consideration – submitting the application before this process has the opportunity to conclude means that there is much reduced consultation and scrutiny.

THERE HAS BEEN NO PUBLIC CONSULTATION OR ENGAGEMENT PRIOR TO SUBMISSION OF THIS APPLICATION

Despite this, an outline planning application has been submitted to Cherwell District Council for our neighbouring area of Huscote, which, if approved would see 35 acres of beautiful countryside concreted and a complex of large warehouses erected. The application has been submitted despite Cherwell District Council not having had the opportunity to follow due process in consideration as to whether the area should even be considered suitable for development. 

Some Objection Points To Consider

The land at Huscote was previously proposed to be included in Cherwell District Council Local Plan. In 2015, Nigel Payne, Government Planning Inspector, produced a report on the examination into the Cherwell Local Plan. Within his report, the planning inspector rejected proposals to earmark this land and it is not included in the current Cherwell Local Plan

Looking Across The Ridge and Furrow Fields of Huscote

Full details of the application, along with an opportunity to comment can be found on Cherwell District Council Planning Portal

As you come across the M40 at J11, there is a feel of leaving the urban setting of Banbury and entering into the Northamptonshire countryside. Whether you head up the A422 towards Middleton Cheney and into rural Northamptonshire, or along the A361 and through the historic villages that are dotted along the county border, the rural feel is undeniable. The applicant claims that using this area for large industrial warehouses will be discreet and blend well into the surrounding landscape! Everyone is entitled to comment on the application, and it only takes a moment to do so.

The Proposed Site Shown in Red

If you feel that the proposed development at Huscote Farm will have significant effect on the environment and our beautiful countryside landscape, please do take the time to engage with the process.  You can let the local authority know your thoughts by using the comments section on their planning portal. 

The A422 runs between M40 J11 and Middleton Cheney, today, you see rural Nethercote to the left & Huscote Farmland to the right. Developers propose to turn this section of A422 into a warehouse corridor & argue that this will have little impact on the area!

The A422 section between M40 J11 and Middleton Cheney today

Those who travel regularly across the M40 at J11 will know all too well that the road infrastructure in this area is fragile. Road networks planned decades ago and designed in days of lesser traffic have not changed in anyway to adapt to the increase traffic volumes we have seen over the past 50 years. Today, the slightest incident causes traffic in the area to quickly become gridlocked, this not only affects those trying to cross the M40 at J11 as repercussions can be seen across the whole of Banbury.

M40, J11
M1, shortly after opening in 1959. An illustration of how times have changed, but infrastructure has not adapted

Once our countryside is lost it is lost forever and long after developers have taken their cash and left, we locally will be left burdened with the environmental devastation.

We will update more detail once the full details of the application and the accompanying EIA have been fully reviewed, in the meantime we have prepared some tips on what your objection should focus on to make sure it counts

Tips For Objecting

From the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Reports:

The EIA Arboricultural report states there are 125 tress on site, including 15 veteran trees, CDC conservation map shows that there are 42 TPOs in place by CDC on this site.

Extract from Cherwell District Council conservation map with green dots being protected trees

The EAI Arboricultural report also shows that around 1200 linear metres of hedgerow will be removed if the development is permitted. It is suggested that the hedgerow is “moderate in quality” due to intense management in the past, however the report fails to acknowledge the suitable methods of rejuvenating such hedgerows. Hedgerows provide benefits for both humans and wildlife. They have the natural ability to capture pollution, reduce noise, mitigate flooding and provide food, shelter and safe travel to wildlife.

Ancient hedgerows support the greatest diversity of plants and are more valuable for ecology due to the maturity, not only of the hedgerow but the soil and fungi too. This means that replacing older hedgerow with new will not mitigate the biodiversity loss

The EIA Landscape report shows the “zone of theoretical visibility” ie, where the proposed warehouses will be seen from if allowed to proceed

Extract from Victoria Prentis MP May Newsletter

In her May newsletter, when talking about the proposals at Bicester, J10 for SFRI and large warehouse complexes, Victoria Prentis MP expresses concern at the volume of planning applications not in line with the Local Plan. The application at Huscote, is not only not in the Local Plan, it was specifically rejected by the Planning Inspectorate. Please do let your MP know your own concerns.

3 comments

  1. The need for open country side is paramount Banbury has become a storage area
    They have built these boxes that add no charter to the area further than they should have done already
    Let common sense prevail NO more ware houses please

  2. The fact of the matter is Cherwell District Council don’t care what public opinion is. Trey promised they’d never develop to the north of the M40 junction and they lied. They will continue to allow development of industrial estates regardless of the impact it has on rural communities. I’ve signed the petition but I don’t hold out any hope because the new development that is taking place has now opened the flood gates. Cherwell District Council will do as they please.

  3. Allowing these warehouses to be built would just be the start. The planners won’t be satisfied until Middleton Cheney becomes part of Banbury.

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