Residents back tweaks to plans

6:00pm Saturday 10th November 2012

By Tom Jennings

LATEST plans for a new Oxford housing estate received praise, as final consultation on the scheme came to an end. The 800- to 900-home Barton West scheme has been tweaked since consultations opened in July and planners hope to submit an application in the spring.

Dozens of residents attended the final consultation event at New Marston Primary School this week.

Maureen and Peter Sinnott, of Halliday Hill, Headington, had their fears alleviated.

Mrs Sinnott, 60, said: “I originally thought it was not very good. We were concerned about the amount of traffic that was going to come over from Barton.

“But we have just been assured that the link will be for a bus and emergency vehicles only and I feel better about it now.”

Mr Sinnott, 66, said: “Our concern was that they would be building on the other side of the A40, where there are kids’ play areas and people walk their dogs.

“But they have assured us they will not.”

The scheme, which was originally going to include 1,200 homes, will be made up of three neighbourhoods.

One will border the Barton estate and will be made of detached family homes and meandering roads to mirror the current estate.

Homes in this neighbourhood have been altered so they are not closer to the current estate, which planners hope will create a physical link between the two.

The second neighbourhood was set to feature apartment blocks but, after public consultation, these will now be family homes.

The apartments have been moved to the third neighbourhood, which will feature a retail hub including a small supermarket and high-density houses.

A school will also feature a community hub and sports facilities and the estate’s roads will be built with paving to merge the road and pavements together.

An Environment Agency report has moved the flood plain further from the new estate, allowing large ponds in the third neighbourhood.

Planning consultant Paul Comerford said: “We think the scheme will work well for people coming to live in it and for those living cheek-by-jowel with it, so it becomes a valued addition.”

Andrew Sharpe, of Grosvenor, which is working with Oxford City Council to develop the plan, said: “The masterplan is becoming more fixed, but we are still looking for people’s views.”

He said up to 900 homes were “about right” for the site, adding: “It creates a mix of densities that gives it character but it is not over-crowded.”

 For more information about the scheme and to give feedback to developers, visit bartonoxford.org.uk

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