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City council 'not listening to Barton West concerns'
RESIDENTS have voiced concerns over traffic and drainage in a question and answer session on Oxford’s biggest planned housing development in a generation.
On Thursday night, residents and councillors had the chance to quiz planning officers over the planned 885-house development on land west of Barton, north of the A40 and south of Bayswater Brook.
The application, which was submitted by Oxford City Council and developer Grosvenor on June 3, also has plans for a new primary school, a park, retail space, a potential hotel, community sports pavilion, two children’s play areas, communal gardens, allotments and an adult sports pitch.
Residents and councillors raised concerns about the extra traffic the development would create, the proposed sewerage and drainage system and the road linking Barton West and the Northway estate.
But many said they were not satisfied by the responses from city council planning officers Murray Hancock, chief principal planner, Nick Worlledge, conservation officer and Michael Crofton-Briggs, the head of city development.
Elaine Bennett, of Marston Road, said: “I am not satisfied by this evening. The council officers are not listening to what people are saying.”
Ms Bennett said her main concern was that the proposed drainage suggestion using marshland and ponds was not adequate.
She said: “The idea of using two holding sewage tanks for this huge development flags up many concerns. Where will this waste go?”
Marston councillor Mick Haines said he was “deeply concerned” about the extra traffic the development could generate.
He said: “I can’t believe council officers can say there are no traffic problems in Marsh Lane or Old Marston village as the traffic is already a rat run and cannot cope with any more cars.”
Two petitions have already been given to the city council by Mr Haines, who is an independent.
A petition of 582 signatures was received regarding the additional traffic in the Marston area, while a second of 935 signatures relates to concerns about flooding and sewage issues in Marston and Old Marston.
Northway Residents’ Group chairwoman Jane Cox said the bus access point linking Barton West with Northway could “devastate” the estate.
In the proposal, the link road can only be used by buses and emergency vehicles.
At the session, council officers said the system would be enforced properly by introducing rising bollards and bringing in automatic number plate recognition cameras to stop motorists abusing it.
But many of the 18 residents at the session remained unconvinced by the proposal.
Georgina Gibbs, who lives in Saxon Way, Northway, said: “There must be an alternative. There are huge concerns about opening up that entrance on to the A40, especially for young children.
“It will also bring huge amounts of pollution and noise into a quiet area.”
The east area planning committee will meet at Oxford Town Hall on Tuesday, September 24, to decide whether to approve the scheme or not.
Developer Grosvenor was unavailable for comment.
Traffic through Old Marston village is already at a standstill. From Cherwell Drive down to the bypass there is a rat run through the village.
Patricia Hall, Old Marston
The current proposed drainage suggestion using swales (a type of marshland) and ponds is not adequate. Where will this waste go?
Elaine Bennett, Marston Road
This will devastate Northway. Why do we want another crossing on the A40 when it’s already a disaster? It’s shameful.
Jane Cox, chairman of the Northway residents’ group
There is nowhere near enough affordable housing and there is only 40 per cent proposed in the development.
Michael Gotch, councillor for Wolvercote
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