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Palace's Former Stone Quarry to Accommodate New Homes

A former stone quarry, originally used to build Blenheim Palace, is set to be developed into 10 new homes.

Blenheim Estate's planning application for the proposed development, at The Pits in Bladon, was approved unanimously by West Oxfordshire District Council planning committee this week.

Based on a brownfield site, the development would consist of mainly single-storey properties and include seven two-bedroom, two three-bedroom and a single four-bedroom home.

In order to fit sympathetically into its surroundings, the homes will feature natural rubble stone walls, a mix of slate and red clay plain tiles, timber windows, oak frame porticoes, dry stone walls and estate fencing for garden boundaries.

The Pits has a fascinating past having been used as a quarry for the construction of the Palace back in the 18th century, however the site has become derelict and overgrown in recent years.

Matthew Neilson, Head of Property and Development for Blenheim Estate, said:

“The stone would have been quarried by hand and then transported by cart onto the Estate. At one point it was also a bottle waste tip for Bladon and a number of derelict outbuildings and structures, which were on the site, have also been cleared.

We were initially looking to build up to 24 new properties on the site but following consultation with arboriculturalists and West Oxford LPA we decided to reduce that number to 10 in order to preserve as many groups of trees as we can to retain the woodland and setting."

As part of the development we will be creating a new permissive footpath connecting the adjoining public footpath with both the community play area/orchard and the primary school.

Woodland management of the site will also incorporate barn owl nesting boxes, logpiles for reptiles, amphibians and hedgehogs as well as a sparrow terrace boxes and buried loggeries to encourage beetles and other invertebrates.

Matthew added:

“The fact that most of the properties are only one-storey will give us the potential opportunity to provide additional single-level access accomodation options within our existing rental portfolio."

The development will also include additional visitor parking on site to ensure no additional parking issues within the village.