A NEW £35m bridge is planned for Didcot to link the former power station to a new housing estate.

Council bosses say the bridge is vital to ease congestion between the power station, earmarked for business, and the new Milton Park.

It would cross the A4130, a new link road and rail line to take congestion from the roundabout at the entrance to Didcot A power station.

The power stationd closed last March after bosses said it could not meet EU emission standards.

The bridge is in Vale of White Horse District Council’s Local Plan on where major development should go to 2031.

Council leader Matthew Barber said: “There is growth in biotech and space science and the [power station] site can be used for hi-tech jobs and high-level manufacturing.

“There is lots of design work to be done on this but the idea behind the bridge is that it will take the pressure off the roundabouts on the approach to Didcot.

“The site has access to the rail network and is close to the A34.”

The cash will cash will come from a mix of funding streams, including housing developers and the Government.

Didcot Town Council leader Margaret Davies urged caution over the plan.

She said: “Opening up the Didcot A site for commercial development is desirable for the Vale because it is losing an enormous amount in business rates as a result of the closure.

“But I think the Vale council needs to look for alternatives to the bridge that represent better value for money.

“I’m sure the bridge would look beautiful architecturally but if it does go ahead it will take money away from road improvements in Didcot. The Jubilee Way roundabout is in desperate need for work to be done but is a low priority because of these major infrastructure schemes.”

The Local Plan also includes proposals for 20,560 new homes across the district.

It says science jobs should feature in the “Science Vale” area at Harwell Oxford, Milton Park and the power station. Views are sought by Friday, April 4, by visiting whitehorsedc.gov.uk.

Consultation meetings will be held at Harwell Community Primary School on Saturday from 10am to 3pm, on Monday from 7pm to 9pm at St Blaise Primary School, Milton Heights, and at Abbey shopping precinct, Abingdon, on Saturday, March 22, from 10am to 3pm. For information call 01235 540499.