Oxfordshire: Villagers Object To Short Breaks For Deprived London Families

People in an Oxfordshire Village are objecting to plans to allow deprived families from London to holiday there.

Planning permission has been requested to turn a large house on Bagley Wood Road in Kennington into accommodation for families from Hackney - as well as staff.

The request was submitted on the 30th of April and asked councillors to consider allowing the Silver Trees estate - currently a single residential unit - to provide living accommodation for up to three separate families at a time. 

Hackney Council has put an offer in on the property with a view to provide free holidays for struggling families to build relationships. It added that a key factor in it's interest in the house was it's easy commuting distance from London while being set within the countryside.

But several residents in and around the Bagley Road area have contacted councillors or local MP Nicola Blackwood to express their concerns over the proposals.

Complaints submitted to Vale Of White Horse District Council's planning department include worries over traffic, noise and the characters of potential visitors.

One resident wrote, "My wife and I feel very strongly that this will be inappropriate use of the property. If they are troubled London families bringing them into a country environment would be completely unsuitable for them and their neighbours."

Another added: "The community have chosen to live in a quiet village, and to have families arrive who may well disrupt their lives and devalue their properties will change this and naturally cause resentment."

While one person simply wrote, "We are not happy with the proposal to send disturbed families to the area."

Hackney Council said in a statement:

"We are an inner London local authority which borders the City of London with a track record of providing high quality provision for families that is renowned internationally for innovation.

"A new initiative, with financial backing from the Department for Education, aims to provide families with a break away in a ‘home away from home’ to provide them with time and space to strengthen family relationships, have fun together, and develop interests, skills and routines that will benefit them when they return home.

"It will provide an ideal family living experience in a beautiful, peaceful and rural setting."

The Vale Of White Horse District says a decision will be made on the 2nd of July.

You can see the full application on the council's website here.