RESIDENTS are being asked to come forward and help back a case for protecting a plot of land on an Oxford estate.
Oxford City Council wants to create a link across the A40 to its 900-home Barton Park development – formerly known as Barton West.
But a group of Northway residents is attempting to designate the land in Foxwell Drive, which is needed for the junction across the A40, as a Town Green to prevent the plans going ahead.
A hearing into the application will start on Monday, September 29, at St Columba’s United Reformed Church in Alfred Street.
And members of the public have until Monday, September 22, to submit evidence or make a submission to the inspector, who will hear the arguments for and against.
Saxon Way resident Georgina Gibbs, who submitted the Town Green application, said: “This green space is very important to us. We have not got anything against Barton but we shouldn’t have been included in this development – it has got nothing to do with us.
“It will ruin our perfectly good green space which is very important. It is the only safe area where children can play. If this goes ahead children will be straight onto the A40.
“It is a dangerous idea which will put our estate at risk.”
Marcus Mabberley, a spokesman for Oxfordshire County Council, said the council was a “commons registration authority” and therefore neutral regarding the outcome but its planning and regulation committee would make the final decision following receipt of the inspector's recommendation.
He added that Oxford City Council was objecting to the Town Green application.
As well as creating the junction across the A40, the city council plans to lower the speed limit along the dual carriageway to 50mph between the Marsh Lane flyover and the Green Road roundabout. Planning permission for the Barton Park development was given last year and construction is expected to start in 2015.
Land can be registered as a town or village green if it has been used for “lawful sports and pastimes as of right” for not less than 20 years.
If land is designated as a town green then it would prevent any development from taking place there and so prevent the junction from being built.
City council leader Bob Price said: “It is a spoiling operation by people who are opposed to the Barton development for whatever reason and there is obviously a strong case against the town green status.
“If it was approved we would have to alter the scheme slightly but it doesn’t affect Barton Park overall.”
To give evidence or make a submission, contact Oxfordshire County Council on 01865 810808 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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