MARINA PLANS FACE OPPOSITION
Proposals to create a large new marina on the summit of the southern Oxford Canal near Claydon have provoked opposition from local authorities, residents, and operators of nearby marinas.
The plans would see a mooring basin with 250 non-residential berths created on what is now agricultural land at Glebe Farm, on the east side of the canal a short distance to the north of the top lock of the five-lock Claydon Flight. There would also be a club house and facilities building, plus parking for 200 cars.
The promoters said the marina would support the local economy, the design would provide opportunities for ecological enhancement and a lake, and that the buildings would be in traditional local materials. They argued that it would help to offset the nearby HS2 railway, which they say will bisect the farm making it less economic to operate, as well as having a negative impact on tourism and recreation – and that of 14 sites considered, this is the only one both suitable and viable.
Opponents, however, argued that it would be out of character, impact a conservation area and put excess traffic on narrow country lanes, that there would be no local shops or pubs for the boaters to use, that there were already enough marinas within a short distance with spare capacity, two of them very close, one of which (Cropredy) had permission to be enlarged but with no indications that this would ever take place, and that it would be at odds with planning framework policies. The Canal & River Trust commented that there would be adequate water, and that it was up to the marina developer to assess need or demand, but criticised some aspects of the buildings’ appearance.
A decision was expected in late August.