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Please Don't Blame Us!

by Haddenham Webteam – 22nd January 2015
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Serious local concerns over the development of land north of Tiggywinkles (particularly in respect of outline planning consent being considered by AVDC ahead of the publication of Haddenham's Neighbourhood Plan) have led some to criticise the Church of England and the role of the local parish church. This relates to the fact that part of the parcel of land included in the development plans on Aston Road is glebe land, owned by the Diocese of Oxford.

In response to this criticism, the local church wardens have offered the following:

St Mary's Church Statement
Proposed development at Stanbridge Road/Aston Road Haddenham

St Mary's Church Haddenham is the Parish Church for the village of Haddenham. It exists to serve the village community, and all are welcome within it. St Mary's Church and the Oxford Diocese are totally separate entities.

The land is owned in part by the Oxford Diocese, and in part by private owners, and it is the private owners who have engaged Lightwood Strategic to apply for planning permission.

So far as the local church is concerned, St Mary's does not own the land at Stanbridge Road/Aston Road which is the subject of the present planning application by Lightwood Strategic Ltd.

It will receive no benefit, financial or otherwise, from any grant of planning permission for development of the land, and it has no input into the planning process.

Oxford Diocese Statement
Land at Stanbridge Road and Aston Road

The Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance "Diocese" is the legal owner of part but not all of the land in this location. The Diocese's land is known as Glebe.

The Diocese is not St. Mary's Church Haddenham and neither is it the Church Commissioners / Pension Board. These organisations are all separate legally and financially. No income or receipts from our Glebe goes to the local church.

The Diocese was asked by both the Parish and District Council's in 2013 to work jointly with Lightwood Property and the other landowners in this location, with a view to identifying how the land in this location could be developed. The Board has not entered into a binding agreement to sell the Glebe to Lightwood or anyone else, but is prepared to work with Lightwood as requested to help provide housing and other community benefits.

The Diocese continues to be willing to hold discussions at Parish and District level to ensure that its land, if planning permission is granted, is developed in a way that is sensitive to the location and environment.

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