The Green Gap Appeal continues at 1pm on Monday 23rd January.
We can expect closing statements from each party's barristers then technical discussions about fiscal agreements and ‘conditions’.
Grainger will repeat their deeply flawed case. They assert that there is no Gap at present and that, therefore, it’s loss is of no consequence. We’re told by them that the development is not in East Hagbourne village but instead ‘sits … comfortably within the existing built form of Didcot’. Then to add insult to injury they conjure a new 25m gap of swales and ditches and present this as a community asset rather than the drainage system it really is.
Mind the Green Gap and SODC will present a very different view (a view we believe is as tangible as that of the AONB from New Road). In the planning balance we accept that the new proposed housing is a benefit. But we contend that such benefit is significantly outweighed by the harm of coalescence, the harmful loss of valued landscape and the harmful loss of grade 2 agricultural land.
Attendance from residents last week was impressive. The room was full throughout. Monday is another chance to show we care. Let’s again remind the Inspector that this is not just any other field, but one that’s hugely valued. Let’s remind her that we care deeply about our environment. Let’s remind her that the local community want to save this precious gap for generations to come.
The hearing may run into the morning of Tuesday 20th January. More likely this time will be used for the Inspector’s accompanied site visit where she will see for herself how important it is to Save the Green Gap.