Developers who want to build 500 homes say environmental impact assessment is not needed – Oxford Mail

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DEVELOPERS looking to build hundreds of homes on green space in Kidlington do not think it is necessary to submit a report detailing how their plans may harm the environment.
Hill Residential Ltd and Barwood Development Securities Ltd want to build up to 500 homes on land next to Bicester Road.
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The site would also have open space, sports facilities, an extension to Kidlington cemetery and allotments.
Cherwell District Council is of the opinion that along with their planning application, they will also need to submit an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), but the developers feel this is not needed and have now appealed the decision to the Secretary of State.
But Green councillor Ian Middleton says, by the developers appealing, it shows they do not care about protecting the environment.
He said: “I understand that site promoters on other areas covered by the council’s local plan review have accepted the need for an EIA and simply got on with it. Whereas the developers in this case have made it clear that they don’t care about the environment or the impact that this development is likely to have on that or the planet and the people in the local area.
“They don’t want to be bothered with taking the time to act in a sensitive and responsible way and would rather put profit before planet.”
Cherwell says an EIA is necessary because ‘the proposed development cumulatively with other surrounding development is likely to have significant effects on the environment’.
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Mr Middleton shares this opinion that each site needs to be considerate if they are to limit their overall ecological impact.
He added: “I understand the developers have taken the view that the size of their proposal shouldn’t mean that they need to carry out an EIA. But we can’t take this case in isolation.
“These proposals are part of an overall plan for the area which will hugely increase the population and decimate the local ecology.”
However the developers say that although there are sites allocated for housing, none of them are ‘existing’ or ‘approved’ developments and therefore question whether considering cumulative effects is reasonable.
Hill Residential Ltd and Barwood Development Securities Ltd said in a joint statement: “The site in question is not considered to require EIA. However, all necessary environmental standards as required by national and local policy will be considered and managed appropriately in any planning application.
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“As responsible developers, both Barwood Land and The Hill Group work with the Local Authority to ensure that, as a minimum, all relevant standards are met as a matter of course.”
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