Bampton beauty: protecting the village

Round & About

Robin Shuckburgh explains more about the Society for the Protection of Bampton (SPB) and how you can get involved.

The SPB was founded in 1993 “to improve the quality of life of the people of Bampton”.

In this role it bought for the village Sandfords Field, a much used and appreciated open space in the centre of Bampton. Latterly, however, the SPB has been concerned with opposing the many opportunistic and inappropriate planning applications arising from misguided Government policy.

In July 2007 the village was badly flooded with 10% of housing affected. When, unbelievably, a planning application was made to build 127 houses on floodplain, the SPB set out to raise in excess of £20,000 to fight the proposal through one of the country’s leading firms of hydrologists and a specialist planning barrister.

The SPB quite accepts the need for growth but urges this at a pace that does not threaten the community. In the last few years Bampton has faced applications which would increase the number of homes by 60%. This is unacceptable, way above what’s predicated for the whole of west Oxfordshire in 2011-2031 by the Local District Plan. It is to be hoped this recently adopted plan will inject planning principles into development and return it to the control of locals, for whom the SPB has always fought.

• The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) asked villagers to make a film about their village.