How to object

One of the most effective ways to let the Planners at the Vale of White Horse
District Council know you object, is to write a simple personal letter via their website:

For a list of current planning applications look here

Alternatively in writing quoting the references here to:
Planning Department (Direct Dial 01235-540349) Vale of White Horse District
Council, Abbey House, Abbey Close, Abingdon, OX14 3JE

THE ISSUE: The Vale of White Horse does not have a five year housing supply required by the Government. New government planning regulations were introduced in April 2012 which mean that until the VoWH introduces a Local Plan, greenfield sites are no longer protected if the five year housing supply is not met.  Saved local planning policies may not offer protection so that previous reasons for refusal of planning applications may no longer apply. This has given an apparent green light to greedy developers and landowners and resulted in an influx of speculative planning applications on green field sites.


1. PLANNING: The rural nature of Sutton Courtenay is being eroded; land usage maps indicate that only 19% of the parish remains agricultural and there are further ongoing industrial pressures, such as Milton Park expansion, waste disposal sites, etc.

  • There is confusion in local councils about current planning policy and an erroneous perception that there is need for housing
  • The government says approvals already given must be counted in, unless they are unviable, which means that Sutton Courtenay has already made a contribution of 160+ dwellings with approved planning permission at the Amey’s and Catholic Church sites. This number is well in excess of what is required of this village.
  • The VoWH should be reminded of prior approvals and its commitment to them.
  • If the Vale continues to approve plans where the specific housing supply has already been addressed, it could end up with closer to 10,000 new builds in a short period and will be overwhelmed by infrastructure problems with no solutions.
  • The Pye Homes site was refused planning permission  in 2000 because it was “on a green field site in the countryside outside the village of Sutton Courtenay” .


  • Safety of drivers pulling in and out of additional junctions on Milton Road will be compromised by poor visibility and excessive speed along Milton Road.
  • Pedestrians including children from new homes will need to cross this fast dangerous road
  • These developments will add to the misery each of us suffers at “pinch points” like Culham Bridge and Milton Village which are already at full capacity.

SAFETY: The proposed Pye Homes access road at 100 Milton Road is on a significant bend which is dangerous and provides poor visibility. Access is opposite existing drives and very close to the drive exit for No 108. We can expect one car every 2 minutes to enter/exit the development at peak times.

SPEED: Speeding is a real issue on Milton Road: vehicles enter and leave the village doing 50-60mph! The access site is at the edge of the village where cars are travelling at well over 30mph but the access is designed for a 30mph environment.  Milton Road has a history of accidents and near misses, including a near fatal crash in 1998.

VOLUME: An additional 119 houses will likely mean a huge increase in traffic volume on the roads in Sutton Courtenay. Culham Bridge is already operating above capacity with long queues both ways. On a typical day the waiting time for crossing Culham Bridge in the morning can be 15-20 minutes. The Highways Agency recommended refusal of the Amey development as the local road infrastructure was operating above capacity.


  • Increased risk of foul water flooding due to ancient and over-capacity sewage drainage system
  • Increased risk of surface/groundwater flooding due to poor drainage soil
  • Reduced water pressure
  • Wildlife habitat adversely affected
  • Give details of any personal experiences of flooding (surface water, sewage etc.)Send photographic evidence

 SURFACE WATER FLOODING: Pye Homes propose using permeable bricks on the ground to promote natural drainage – these are inefficient long-term. Redrow Homes will hold surface water in ‘swales’ or ponds, with controlled pumping of water into Ginge Brook. There is a history of flooding of local properties and roads; Ginge Brook has been frequently placed on Flood Alert by the Environment Agency. Pumping water into the Ginge will result in a greater risk of flooding upstream in Steventon. Water displacement will lead to general increased risk of flooding in the local area; local streams are already full. There are no surface water sewer drainage systems in the village.

SEWAGE DRAINAGE: Sutton Courtenay has an ancient sewage system which is already working at full capacity. Many historical reports of foul water flooding of properties in Sutton Courtenay. There are potential issues with sewage pumping stations for new developments. Who are going to maintain these? What are the consequences of failure?


  • Sutton Courtenay is an important area for archaeology, with extensive evidence of settlement from the prehistoric through to the medieval period. 
  • ‘Oxford Archaeology’ report for Pye Homes: >100 archaeological or heritage features, all within a radius of one kilometre around the Pye Homes site!   The County Archaeologist has requested further investigation of the Pye Homes site, because it is ‘within an area of archaeological potential’.
  • We need to stress that no development should be considered north of Milton Road, or elsewhere in the village, unless there has first been a thorough archaeological exploration of the sites concerned.  

 ARCHAEOLOGICAL FEATURES of the area include a circular cropmark on the Pye Homes site, a Roman farmhouse or villa, a scheduled monument on the NW border of the parish rich in Anglo-Saxon remains, a second scheduled monument south of the school, and several Anglo-Saxon cemeteries nearby.


  • Biodiversity/wildlife adversely affected
  • Reduced broadband speeds
  • Noise and light pollution


Please voice your objections in writing to ALL applications. Each individual planning application needs a separate response. You can object to both planning applications NOW!  The points given here provide suggestions to include your objection. Letters should be written in your own words. Help in writing and sending your response is available if required – please ask! If possible, please copy your response to our  MP, Ed Vaizey (Email:

Objections to both applications can be made either via the VoWH planning consultation website here:

or in writing:

Pye Homes (quote reference P13/V0233/FUL):  

David Rothery, Planning Department, Vale of White Horse DC, Abbey House, Abbey Close, Abingdon OX14 3JE

Redrow Homes/Bidwells (quote reference P13/V0401/O):

Stuart Walker, Planning Department, Vale of White Horse DC, Abbey House, Abbey Close, Abingdon OX14 3JE