Freedom of Information Request – Parish Council Was Told To Stop Work

In our recent posts we explained how Adderbury Parish Council has breached three official planning conditions associated with the Milton Road land: Condition 3 (drainage); Condition 8 (site levels); and Condition 18 (vegetation removal).  

We have also reported that the Parish Council has carried out work in an area of potential archaeological value, contrary to the instructions of the County Archaeologist. 

Documents received as part of the recent Freedom of Information request reveal that Cherwell District Council officers requested Adderbury Parish Council to stop all work on the Milton Road site – at least TWICE.

As shown by the internal correspondence below, enforcement officers were considering issuing a Temporary Stop Notice (TSN) as early as 12 May 2020.

An email from Amy Sedman, Enforcement Team Leader, to planning officers at Cherwell confirms that planning condition 8 is being breached and says that:

“we will be asking Adderbury PC to discharge this condition and cease all work until such time the condition is discharged and that if they continue this is at their own risk as any unacceptable levels can be rectified through enforcement action”.

With regard to the breach of condition 18 (stripping vegetation during the bird nesting season), Amy Sedman again tells her colleagues that “all work should stop”.

By 21 May 2020, planning officer Matthew Chadwick was chasing Mrs Diane Bratt, chairman of Adderbury Parish Council, for a response to an email he had sent a week before.

As shown below, he advises Mrs Bratt that:

“It would be best that any more works are stopped until after the June 4 committee date”.

On 22 May 2020, enforcement officer Jane Law wrote formally to Parish Clerk Theresa Goss (see below) to ask for work on the Milton Road site to stop.

“You are advised to stop any further work on the site until such time as the details requested have been received and an assessment made of their contents to ensure that you are lawfully implementing the planning permission”.

Did the Parish Council comply with the requests from Cherwell District Council to stop work?
Was this matter discussed at a Parish Council meeting?
Was the issue of the breach of planning conditions raised with other Parish Councillors?
Did Adderbury Parish Council explain to residents of West Adderbury that it was under investigation by Cherwell District Council for breaches of planning conditions?
The answer to all of the above is NO.

Work was not stopped.  The Parish Council ignored the requests to cease all work and continued with preparation of the football pitches, which according to their website is now complete.

We have checked the published minutes of the Parish Council meetings for the last few months and there is no mention whatsoever of the emails and letters from Cherwell District Council.

We contacted some Adderbury Parish Councillors to ask whether they had seen the letter (Click Here To See The Full Letter) dated 22 May 2020 from Jane Law to Theresa Goss, in which the Parish Council is again asked to cease all work.  The answer was no, they had not seen the letter and were not aware of any issues with the planning conditions.

And the only public statement put out by the Parish Council at this time said that:

“The work currently being undertaken on the field is preparation of the pitch area which can only be completed during dry weather providing when there are suitable ground conditions.  Details of the planning permission, reference 18/00220/F, can be found on the Parish Council web site and also Cherwell District Council’s web site”.

Mrs Diane Bratt has been chairman of Adderbury Parish Council for over 20 years.  She claims that the Parish Council listens to residents and is well-run.

And yet the same Parish Council has knowingly breached planning conditions, disregarding West Adderbury’s precious wildlife and archaeology, and putting local homes at risk from flooding.

The same Parish Council has ignored repeated requests from the local planning authority to cease work on the Milton Road site.

And the same Parish Council has apparently kept all of the above hidden from at least some parish councillors and from West Adderbury residents.


Residents of West Adderbury no longer have any confidence in Adderbury Parish Council. 

We do not believe that Adderbury Parish Council has the best interests of West Adderbury at heart. 

We do not believe that Adderbury Parish Council is capable of providing transparent and effective governance for West Adderbury.

Time for a Change.  Time to reinstate West Adderbury Parish Council.

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