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Hallam Land Management Ltd   ()

Further to the Parish Council meeting on the 7th February, the developers explained that the scheme was in its very early stages, and as a result we asked them to send us a statement, of which we received at 20.41 last night. The statement reflects the discussions at the meeting and is as follows:

Hallam Land Management are one of the oldest, and most experienced land promoters in the UK, and have been promoting land for almost 30 years. We have worked on a range of housing and development schemes throughout Oxfordshire and across the country. At Middle Barton we are, on behalf of the landowners, promoting the land to the north of Holliers Crescent through the Local Plan process. This began with identifying the site to the Local Planning Authority through the Council’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment and continued with submitting representations to the Local Plan process. This involved some technical inputs, and we are now in the process of gathering further technical information with a view to exploring potential site capacity; considering what community benefits might arise; and examining infrastructure impacts of any future scheme. It is very much work in progress rather than a set position of what we want to achieve. 

We got in touch with the Parish Council in late 2017. National Planning Policy and Guidance suggests early engagement with Local Communities whilst developing development proposals, hence why we got in touch.  We want to understand more about the settlement’s facilities, character, opportunities, problems etc so that we can design a scheme, or scheme options which might best suit the Village. Ultimately, if development is one day deemed appropriate on this site, we believe it is beneficial to all that it offers something which will benefit the existing Village. 

We were informed recently that people were concerned about an imminent planning application; but we do not have a set scheme, nor the required technical information, to make a submission. As time goes on we will engage on a wider basis within the community, potentially with a public examination to listen to opinions. We would be keen to hear about opportunities to contribute towards improved facilities within the village, and also what we might provide on-site which might benefit existing residents eg new accessible park areas.  We are very aware that organising such an exhibition at too early a stage would be counter-productive, as people will be seeking answers which we do not yet have. 

We have no set timescales for the promotion of this land, but do see it as an opportunity to potentially provide affordable and lower cost housing as part of the dwelling mix, which would provide a better opportunity for younger people to stay/live in the village; and also for more elderly residents who wish to downsize so they wouldn’t have to leave their community to find a suitably sized and adapted property.  We are aware that there has not been an reasonably sized development in recent years at Middle Barton, but it has grown in the past, a good example being Holliers Crescent, and so providing new housing stock, together with new public areas and contributions to existing facilities, can be a positive thing for the Village.