Mark Lowe QC and Wayne Beglan, instructed by Burges Salmon, appeared for the Mawle Trustees as the sole statutory objectors to the Cogges Link Road CPO inquiry at Witney last November over a period of four weeks.
The CLR was a long standing project of Oxfordshire County Council and was supported by the local authorities in the area and the local MP, one David Cameron. It was a 1.8km new road to create a new crossing of the River Windrush to the south of the town to relieve congestion in the town centre and across the historic bridge. The inquiry considered expert evidence on the topics of highway and traffic engineering, ecology, landscape, flooding, air quality and noise as well as planning.
The Minister, Justine Greening, accepted the recommendation of her inspector and refused to confirm the CPO on the principal basis that the proposals would cause substantial harm to the setting of the town and required a substantial loss of valued countryside when the objectors had demonstrated that their alternative proposals for west facing slips on the A40 to the east of the town were more sustainable and could be provided at substantially less cost.
The County Council have decided not to challenge this decision and together with the local planning authority are examining the provision of the new slips on the A40 together with new housing on the objectors' land.