Developer Jansons Property has drawn up a scheme to route the key access road into a major development in Eynsham to avoid a flood plain.
Jansons, one of the first developers to bring forward plans to build homes on part of the West Eynsham Strategic Development Area (SDA), which has an allocation for 1,000 properties, has proposed an access strategy which will serve the entire scheme.
Working with communications consultants at Curtin&Co and planners and masterplanners at Barton Willmore, Jansons is preparing an application for approximately 160 homes on land at Derrymerrye Farm (Chilbrook Meadows).
If consented, Jansons’ proposals would be one of the first phases of the SDA, an important element of West Oxfordshire District Council’s (WODC) adopted Local Plan.
WODC adopted its Local Plan in September 2018. It currently shows the indicative positioning of the access road to be along the periphery of the SDA and through major sections of the Chil Brook flood plain.
This would require compensatory flood storage and would adversely impact ecology and the natural environment. In addition, it would add significant construction costs, affecting the scheme’s viability and affordable housing provision.
However, Jansons proposed access through its Chilbrook Meadows site, complies with Government policy requiring development and infrastructure to avoid flood plains wherever possible.
The alignment being promoted by Jansons echoes concerns which have been raised by various public bodies about the risks of building on flood plains. As recently as March the head of the Environment Agency, Sir James Bevan, warned that building new homes on flood plains in England should be resisted if at all possible.
Jansons’ proposed access road would avoid development in the flood plain and allow direct bus access to the new residential areas of the SDA from the planned West Eynsham Park & Ride where construction is due to start next year.
The strategy put forward by Jansons, which is supported by Stagecoach, operator of the Park & Ride, would reduce the need for car use, improve public transport connectivity and enable dedicated pedestrian and cycle crossing points.
Utilising traffic data obtained from the county council’s traffic models, transport consultants from i-Transport, on behalf of Jansons, have identified the consequences arising from the delivery of a fourth arm onto the A40 /Park & Ride roundabout. The data shows that this will not impact on the operation of either the Park & Ride or the A40.
Andy Jansons, Managing Director of Jansons Property, said: “Since West Oxfordshire District Council adopted its Local Plan almost two years ago, we have been working with the council to deliver the new homes in a way that is both logical and sustainable.
“Following a programme of extensive consultation with the community, we will shortly be preparing an application for the first phase of the SDA which we firmly believe offers the sequentially preferable access road and one that is integral to the development.”
Public consultation on the Jansons’ Chilbrook Meadows scheme will take place during June 2020.
However, residents can already visit the dedicated project website, www.westeynsham.co.uk
Image shows the site of Jansons’ Chilbrook Meadows scheme in red. Jansons’ proposed access road is shown in dark brown. The indicative route, as per the Local Plan, is in light brown.
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