Kidlington Views

The Land Behind The Moors

APRIL 2024



Kidlington Views

THE LAND BEHIND THE MOORS

To contact the group and receive the Newsletter email landbehindthemoors @gmail.com or friend/follow the profile ‘LandBehindTheMoors’.

Introduction


Cherwell District Council’s Local Plan Review 2040 suggested for the first time that those fields known as 'The Land Behind the Moors' should be developed (Site LPR8a). Previously it had been said in the 2021 Options Consultation that, in view of the 4,400 new houses already allocated to the Kidlington area, no further option for future Green Belt development was envisaged; so those who care about preserving these fields were taken aback. After Kidlington Parish Council at its public meeting held on 2 November 2023 reiterated their opposition to such development, Lisa Smith and Daphne Hampson (who had both spoken at that meeting) joined with others to form a group to campaign on the issue.


'The Moors' is the name of the road in north-east Kidlington that runs from a junction with the Banbury Road to the crossing with Church Street and High Street at the centre of Old Kidlington. 'Behind' The Moors there is a group of five fields, shown outlined in red on the above map. It is proposed to build 300 houses on the four which are together shaded yellow ochre and two cricket pitches on the field shaded green. The fields, as will be seen, are immediately adjacent to St Mary’s Church, with a nature reserve behind it, while only a group of four more fields separates them from the Cherwell River valley.

The Group’s Newsletter (which Daphne edits) has a circulation (in March 2024) of over fifty people, while the Facebook site (which Lisa runs) boasts 200 followers. We have been featured on on the local news, published letters in the Kidlington News, shown both the Conservative and Lib Dem parliamentary candidates and our local Kidlington West District Councillors around the site, and garnered a lot of support. Recently members of the group sent a letter on the issue to all Cherwell District Councillors.

In Our View


Such a proposed development should not go ahead for copious, coherent, reasons.

  • It is not at all clear that more houses are not surplus to requirements. In allowing the 4,400 houses in the Kidlington area, Cherwell is already building more houses than are required by central government and 50% of these are supposed to be affordable housing.
  • This is only place in North-Eastern Kidlington (and close to the centre) where there is open countryside. The area is heavily used by dog-walkers and others for exercise and relaxation; indeed, people come from many miles around.
  • These five fields (four in sequence and a triangular field) and the four fields closer to the river are an integrated ecological unit. For example, in winter when the river floods the fields close to it, the deer and presumably other wildlife take refuge in these fields.
  • The area is ecologically rich: deer, badgers, foxes, weasels, and grass snakes are to be found in the area, while a 2013 survey of the wider location by an RSPB officer identified 27 species of breeding birds, including some on the RSPB red list.
  • In winter and early spring there is extensive ground-water flooding owing to the high water-table. It would seem intrinsically not sensible to build here. If covered with concrete, there would be run-off onto existing development along The Moors.
  • The plan that the would-be developers produced when previously lobbying for development shows an access road to the site opposite Benmead Road, which would both cause a bottleneck for traffic and run where now there is a drainage pond and footpath.
  • The disruption caused would be very considerable. One of our members has calculated that the construction would generate 600 vehicles a day. Once built, there could be 450 extra cars during the morning rush hour and the school run to North Kidlington School on Benmead Road.
  • There are two cricket pitches at Stratfield Brake. A pavilion is proposed. Such a development would entail a car park, beer barrel deliveries, a tarmac road, light-pollution, noise, etc. and be highly detrimental to wildlife in the area.





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