West Oxfordshire District Council has given planning permission to enable accommodation to be provided at Swinbrook for the Heythrop Hunt. The intended site is on the South Lawns estate to the north of Swinbrook village. The application was for ”Provision of a facility for rural pursuits comprising stables, forage/machinery stores, hound kennels, and key staff accommodation.” The hunt is understood to have around 100 hounds and 12 horses at its stables near Chipping Norton.
The hunt wished to move from its present site as it is off the busy A44 and there have been a number of incidents in which horses and riders have had near misses with traffic. It is intended that the new facility would be used for accommodation only and it would not mean that there would be any increase in hunting in the vicinity of Swinbrook.
The application was controversial and was opposed by Swinbrook & Widford Parish Council on a number of grounds. The WODC minutes record that they received 63 letters in support of the application and 41 opposed to it. After debate the uplands planning sub-committee reached the following decision:
Permitted subject to the amendment of condition 3 to read as follows:-
3. The living accommodation hereby permitted shall only be occupied by staff and their dependants employed at the new hunt yard for The Heythrop Hunt.
Reason: Permission is granted only because of the need for the residential units in connection with the hunt yard.
and to the following additional conditions, the applicants being advised that it is recommended that traffic is directed to take the northerly route to/from the site to avoid passing through Swinbrook village:-
16. Details of the arrangements for water supply to serve the proposed development shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details prior to the first occupation/use of the development hereby approved.
Reason: To ensure adequate provision of water supply.
17. No fallen stock service shall be operated from the site. Reason: In the interests of highway and local amenity concerns.
We hope to be able to report on this in a future edition of The Bridge.