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From the organisers of

Taking the fight to Cherwell

15 February 2001

Farmington are at it again. This time they have taken exception to the rejection by Cherwell District Council in North Oxfordshire of their Cotswold limestone for the development of a site in Brucknell.

In rejecting the application for the development the area planning officer, Mr R Duxbury, said the Farmington stone was too yellow/brown in colour and too large in size.

The planning officer said the stone should be greyer in colour and laid in 2in, 3in and 4in courses. There is currently a good stone available at a quarry in Brize Norton, which you may wish to consider.

It was not something Farmington director Martin Robins could not allow to go by unchallenged.

He sent a fax to the planning officer pointing out that Farmington stone could be produced to whatever size was required and had been acceptable when it was used just a quarter of a mile away within the past year. He also said: Are you happy about the proberty of directing a person to a specific quarry?

The council\'s chief executive, Mr G Handley, responded in writing saying that when a particular stone was not considered appropriate and was rejected, applicants would normally expect an alternative to be suggested.

The officer added: I understand that the Area Planning Officer does not feel that the Farmington stone used for the adjacent development is particularly successful in terms of matching local stone.

I have to say, the chief executive concludes, that it is unusual for the suppliers of materials to query the opinions of officers in this way and manufacturers and suppliers normally accept these decisions as part of the normal assessment of natural materials which tend to vary in their characteristics unlike, for example, concrete products.

In fact, the area planning officer was not familiar with the nearby development and told NSS that he had undertaken to go and have a look at it, which he planned to do the next day.

Asked about the quarry at Brize Norton he said he did not known it but that it had been mentioned to him by one of his case officers. Martin Robins said that to the best of his knowledge there was no working quarry at Brize Norton.


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