Residents want to keep Hanwell village rural and avoid becoming a suburb of Banbury


‘Hands off Hanwell’ Say Residents Who Want to Keep Hanwell Village Rural
A gathering of residents who want to keep Hanwell village rural

Residents living in the rural Oxfordshire village of Hanwell near Banbury have voiced their concerns that another developer could be building another 170 houses in the last two agricultural fields that separate the village from the town.

Hanwell is no stranger to the large-scale housing developments that now surround the historic ironstone village to the south. But a new community action group is warning that this time is different.

Residents have formed a new community action group called ‘Keep Hanwell Village Rural’. The group is made up of residents in Hanwell and in neighbouring villages.

And the group is warning that there is now a real possibility that Hanwell could be swallowed by housing developments, becoming a suburb of Banbury and losing its rural village identity if developers and landowners get their way.

In August, Vistry Homes submitted a screening opinion application to Cherwell District Council to build 170 houses on the fields between Hanwell and Banbury.

The Council responded with a request that the developer completes an Environmental Impact Assessment, which is currently being carried out on the fields in question.

With the news now in the public domain, Hanwell Parish Council has been listening to the concerns of its residents. Concerns were raised about the increase in traffic flow through the village, and on roads to and from Banbury, since Hanwell Fields and Hanwell Chase estates were built.

Other concerns raised at parish council meetings included the impact more housing in the area would have on the existing high pollution levels in Hennef Way – one of the most polluted roads in the South East of England.

The overwhelming majority of concerns were around the loss of rural village identity and the destruction of the existing countryside surrounding Hanwell.

Chris Brant, Chair of ‘Keep Hanwell Village Rural’, says residents in Hanwell and neighbouring villages have simply had enough of the overbuilding north of Banbury into the countryside and are ever closer, swallowing up valuable Grade 2 agricultural land in the process.

Mr Brant said: “As described to me by one resident: ‘The urban creep keeps getting closer, and now it’s no longer a creep, but an urban land grab. Banbury can back off – hands off historic Hanwell’”.

The first action group meeting took place last week, when committee members began their plan of action to put a stop to any more building of homes – or commercial properties – on the remaining two fields that separate Hanwell from Banbury.

A fundraising coffee morning event will take place at Hanwell Village Hall on Saturday, 05 November, from 10.00am to noon. This will be one of many community fundraising events to fund the ambitious campaign to protect, conserve and enhance Hanwell’s rural village setting and identity.

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