Save Temple Cowley Pools & Fitness Centre!

 
The Campaign to Save Temple Cowley Pools & Fitness Centre!

Planning Application Ref 16/01225/FUL

Find the Planning Application on Oxford City Council's website here

Who can Object?

Anyone, from anywhere in the world, can object to the planning application. And you can send in as many as you like, particularly if you think of something else. Everything will be judged on planning grounds, see below for ideas. And anyone in the household, whatever their age, can put in an objection.

How to Object

Simply send an email to planning@oxford.gov.uk referencing the Planning Application 16/01225/FUL

What to Say

Here are some objections you can make on planning grounds. Take as much or as little as you like, and add your own experience. the Council's own Core Strategy policy CS21 is particularly relevant. If it takes you longer to where you go now, if it costs you more, if it is more inconvenient to walk, cycle or use public transport, let the City Council know your story. Every submission will help, and make a difference, particularly if, as we expect, the Labour dominated council wave the application through and we are forced to go to Judicial Review to keep Temple Cowley Pools open. Please help. Please help make a difference. And do it as soon as possible.

Sample Letter

You are welcome to use/modify as much or as little as you like. Here's a summary of the areas, with a full template you can use below that.


  • It does not satisfy Local Plan Policies CS21, SP54, HP9
  • There is inadequate consideration of St. Christopher’s School and Temple Cowley Library
  • Such a ‘development’ would have a detrimental effect on Temple Cowley Conservation Area and Listed Building
  • It is much too big, too bulky, out of character with neighbouring residential properties
  • It is easy to see that there would be problems with traffic, access, safety of access for schoolchildren; inadequate parking
  • The Council and Catalyst have used grossly inaccurate Aerial photos which are 10 YEARS out-of-date!


Template Letter


MY NAME


MY ADDRESS


DATE


Planning Reference 16/01225/FUL – Temple Cowley Pools


I am writing to object to Plans to build on the land of Temple Cowley Pools for the following reasons:


The proposed plans do not satisfy Local Plan Policies CS21 (Green spaces, Leisure and Sport) of the Oxford Core Strategy 2026 states:   “Planning permission will only be granted for development resulting in the loss of existing sports and leisure facilities if alternative facilities can be provided and if no deficiency is created in the area. Alternative facilities should be provided in a location equally or more accessible by walking, cycling and public transport … ”


The closure of Temple Cowley Pools and Fitness Centre (TCP) has created an enormous deficiency in Temple Cowley, Cowley, and the broader surrounding area, so the “deficiency” test of the grant of planning permission requirement in Policy CS21 has already failed. In addition, alternative facilities are NOT “ … in a location equally or more accessible … ” for the residents of Temple Cowley, or for Cowley in general, which has an ever-increasing population in need of community-accessible fitness provision (rather than private provision).


The site has not been shown as surplus to requirement for sport or recreation, so this application does not accord with either national or local planning policies, i.e. the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) as well as Policy CS21. Although this site is currently closed by the owner, Oxford City Council, it retains the potential to provide types of sport and recreation for which there is a need in the City. Residents wish to retain this facility in the hope that it might be returned for public use and enjoyment. We disagree that the provision of a new pool in Blackbird Leys satisfies the requirements of CS21. The replacement recreation facilities are inadequate, unacceptable, and less accessible for this area; it is preferable to retain the potential of the Temple Cowley Pools site to provide for swimming and fitness for the well-being of the community which it serves.


The Sites and Housing DPD Background Paper 21, Open Spaces and Greenfield Sites, February 2012, identifies the Temple Cowley Pools site as having a capacity of 25 dwellings. This proposal, for 48 dwellings, is almost twice as dense as suggested. This is too dense a development for this site and grossly unacceptable.


Policy HP9, Design, Character, and Context, Sites and Housing Plan (February 2013) states:
“Planning permission will only be granted for residential development that responds to the overall character of the area, including its built and natural features, and meets [various] criteria … ”
Policy SP54 of the Sites and Housing Plan states:
“Development should not have an adverse impact on the setting of the Temple Cowley Conservation Area”
This site is immediately next to the Temple Cowley Conservation Area, and opposite a listed building. A development this dense is out of character and does not, in any way “  enhance the existing streetscape … ”, of mainly two-storey residential dwellings. A development this dense does not comply with Policies HP9 or SP54, and will neither preserve, nor enhance, but will be detrimental to, the Temple Cowley Conservation Area.


Impact On St. Christopher’s School:
The Site Specific Requirements of Policy SP54 of the Sites and Housing Plan includes:
“Access should be retained through the site to [St. Christopher’s] school”
The Aerial view photos submitted with this application are completely out of date. The East and South views shown are at least 10 years old and do not show all the recent building work on St. Christopher’s site, nor that they have emergency vehicle access from the road adjoining the pool. Point 2.3 of the Planning and consultation document fails to mention the existing pedestrian access and emergency vehicle access to St Christopher's along the NW boundary. Point 3.2 makes no mention of the need to maintain emergency vehicle access to the school. Point 3.5 says that the school has access from the Silver Band Hall car park –They do not!

Neither the Proposed Site Layout (published date 7 May) nor the Proposed Visuals (published 20 May) – which are completely inconsistent in orientation – make any provision for emergency access to St. Christopher’s from the site, and there is no provision for parents to drop off their children safely by vehicle to the rear school entrance, other than on Temple Road itself. In the proposals the school field is referred to as 'green space', as though it were a general amenity. This application considerably fails the site specific requirements of SP54.


Impact on Temple Cowley Library:
Three parking spaces, although all that is legally required by this application, are inadequate provision for the Library. Adjoining buildings are too big and bulky, will overshadow the Library and overlook its children’s area, and will reduce it’s pleasant, light, and airy atmosphere.


Inadequate Parking Provision:
51 car parking spaces are proposed – one per proposed dwelling, plus three for the Library. The 48 dwellings comprise 111 bedrooms, or potentially up to 222 residents. 48 parking spaces are totally inadequate, and below the standards required for both City and County provision for this area. At least 75 parking spaces should be provided in this area for a development this dense, for residents and visitors, and the Library needs much more than three spaces to function at proper capacity.


In summary, I object to this proposal because:


  • It does not satisfy Local Plan Policies CS21, SP54, HP9
  • There is inadequate consideration of St. Christopher’s School and Temple Cowley Library
  • Such a ‘development’ would have a detrimental effect on Temple Cowley Conservation Area and Listed Building
  • It is much too big, too bulky, out of character with neighbouring residential properties
  • It is easy to see that there would be problems with traffic, access, safety of access for schoolchildren; inadequate parking
  • The Council and Catalyst have used grossly inaccurate Aerial photos which are 10 YEARS out-of-date!


These plans have clearly not been thought through as there is inconsistency of proposed site layouts. These plans could and often are changed once planning permission has been granted! (the 'Care Home top of Crescent Rd became student accommodation once planning permission was granted!

It could be that having obtained planning permission that the purchaser/ developers who have no interest in the people of Temple Cowley, will in fact build something even worse!


I strongly advise that Oxford City Council Planning DO NOT agree to these or any plans to build housing on this site and maintain it as a site for swimming, diving, exercise and leisure in perpetuity for all the people of Oxford.



Yours sincerely