Gavray Meadows is a complex of ancient fields and field boundaries within the Bicester ring road which was allocated for development in the Cherwell Local Plan in the mid 1990’s. Bioscan’s Dominic Woodfield independently identified the presence of high value ancient grassland on the site in the late 1990’s, and the site was subsequently designated as a Local Wildlife Site.
Development proposals that sought to remove a significant proportion of the site for housing were put forward in 2004 and opposed by local residents who formed a campaign group called Save Gavray Meadows. Dominic has subsequently acted for Save Gavray Meadows, and independently, through two public inquiries (where he performed a lay advocacy role) and through both the High Court and Court of Appeal, successfully getting quashed a planning permission for 500 houses in 2012.
After achieving further success in getting an appeal against refusal of planning permission dismissed in 2018, the site owners and developers abandoned their aspirations of building on the sensitive areas of the site. Dominic is now assisting the transformation of Save Gavray Meadows into a Community Interest Company or Charity which will take ownership of and manage the fields for the Bicester community with the benefit of developer funding.