AN APPLICATION made to build a further 120 homes in Fairford has been refused.
The application, submitted by Kensington and Edinburgh Estates, comprised of 120 houses on the land adjacent to Fairford Town Football Club.
The original recommendation was to permit the plans as long as affordable housing was provided as well as financial contributions towards schools, libraries and a travel plan (X).
The planning committee at Cotswold District Council today refused the recommendation by a vote of 10 to five. Concerns focused mainly around the issue of a dangerous access point to the site, described as “horrific” by one councillor and problems surrounding flooding and sewage leaks which mayor of Cirencester Cllr Joe Harris said was “life-threatening”.
“We’re dealing with a health issue here,” continued Cllr Harris. “Sewage in homes poses a threat to life.
“It’s a good application as it’s one with 50 per cent affordable housing but it’s an application which puts pressure on an already stressed sewage system and an uncomfortable junction to turn out of too.”
Fairford Town Council (FTC) objected to the development and had the backing of surrounding parish councils, Quenington, Southrop and Meysey Hampton.
Fairford town councillor Jonathan Cumpstey told the committee the council’s concerns were because local homes had flooded at Christmas which he blamed on drainage and sewage failures.
Many of the councillors expressed their worry about sewage flooding and the capacity of the sewers to Thames Water representative Mark Dickinson.
Cllr John Birch said: “We must have some assurance before we can approve this planning application that Thames Water will be doing something about the issue of flooding in Fairford.”
Mr Dickinson replied to say Thames Water was aware of the flooding problems in the town.
“We sympathise deeply with those affected,” said Mr Dickinson. “We are working to understand the flooding mechanisms here. We do not have any objection to the development in this area.”
Simon Hoare from Kensington and Edinburgh said he was surprised and disappointed that the application was refused.
“The committee was given clear advice in the report and clear advice from Thames Water and GCC,” he said. “There were even some members of the planning committee shaking their heads thinking ‘what on earth is going on?’”
“We’re now thinking how best to move forward. We’ll either resubmit the application, submit a different application, or appeal. Going off and doing something else is not an option.”
He blamed the decision in part on recent flooding.
“It was also about confidence in Thames Water,” he added. “It is Thames Water’s duty to deal with sewage and drainage in the area.”