Landowner hits back in A40 slip roads funding row

Oxford Mail: Landowner James Mawle Landowner James Mawle

A ROW has broken out which casts doubts over plans for a long-awaited solution to Witney’s traffic problems.

The leader of Oxfordshire County Council and a Witney landowner have been unable to agree on whether funding does or does not exist for improvements to the Shores Green junction of the A40.

Landowner James Mawle has said there are “significant funds” for the Shores Green project left over from the abandoned Cogges Link Road project.

The Cogges Link Road scheme, which would have cost around £20m, was abandoned in 2012 after it was rejected by the Secretary of State for Transport.

Mr Mawle spoke out after Ian Hudspeth, the leader of the county council, accused him of delaying the Shores Green proposals by not submitting a planning application for homes on his land in east Witney, which could provide funding for the junction from housing developer contributions.

Mr Mawle said: “The county council as local highways authority should be taking the lead on this vital project.”

Mr Hudspeth said there were no funds left over from the Cogges scheme, and added that developer contributions for the new road were paid back because too much time passed without the project starting.

Comments (11)

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7:07pm Sat 22 Mar 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

It's an absolute disgrace.

The money is most certainly not a "developer contribution" it is a secret tax hidden in the price of a new home. The people who bought the homes are likely to be paying the money back by way of a home loan over 25-30 years.

The developer has received the money back as clear profit -there is no requirement to return the money to the residents.
It's an absolute disgrace. The money is most certainly not a "developer contribution" it is a secret tax hidden in the price of a new home. The people who bought the homes are likely to be paying the money back by way of a home loan over 25-30 years. The developer has received the money back as clear profit -there is no requirement to return the money to the residents. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

8:14pm Sat 22 Mar 14

the wizard says...

Hudspeth, you are a glowing example of the smug position taken by by OCC and why the County is the grid locked mess it has become. Just get on and build the flippin slip roads and be done. You have no allegiance to Mawle. Let him submit his plans and either approve or refuse them. OCC have been dragging their feet and painting themselves into a corner for the last 30 years. Do what you are paid to do, sort out this mess, and if you cannot/will not then resign and let somebody in who is competent as you sir are obviously not. As for Mawle, all he wants to do is print money from housing so let him get on with it, the houses are needed anyway.
A pair of people who obviously deserve each other with all the posturing that continues to go on, for Gods sake grow up the pair of you.
Hudspeth, you are a glowing example of the smug position taken by by OCC and why the County is the grid locked mess it has become. Just get on and build the flippin slip roads and be done. You have no allegiance to Mawle. Let him submit his plans and either approve or refuse them. OCC have been dragging their feet and painting themselves into a corner for the last 30 years. Do what you are paid to do, sort out this mess, and if you cannot/will not then resign and let somebody in who is competent as you sir are obviously not. As for Mawle, all he wants to do is print money from housing so let him get on with it, the houses are needed anyway. A pair of people who obviously deserve each other with all the posturing that continues to go on, for Gods sake grow up the pair of you. the wizard
  • Score: 7

10:05am Sun 23 Mar 14

richwitney says...

A cynic would suggest that Mr Mawle is now trying to wriggle out of coughing up the money that he promised for Shores Green.

No wonder he spent so much time and money complaining against the Cogges Link Road.
A cynic would suggest that Mr Mawle is now trying to wriggle out of coughing up the money that he promised for Shores Green. No wonder he spent so much time and money complaining against the Cogges Link Road. richwitney
  • Score: -2

2:50pm Sun 23 Mar 14

jamesmawle says...

Please can I respond to clarify the position. The need for improvements to Witney's transport infrastructure exists now. It is the responsibility of OCC as the Local Highways Authority to implement the appropriate improvements. 2 Public Inquiries have now established beyond doubt that the appropriate improvement is the Shores Green Slip Roads.

Of the money OCC allocated to CLR, after paying for the inquiry and paying back the north east witney developer contributions OCC still had £8.25million left over. The cost of SGSR is £5million so OCC could just get on with it if they wanted to. Were they to do this we would do everything we could to help, making available any of our land needed for the junction and the the design work we have done on the junction.

Instead OCC are saying they want a new housing development at East Witney to pay for and build the junction. However allocations of new houses is the responsibility of the District Council and East Witney has only just been added into the draft Local Plan. There are inevitably delays in getting a new housing site big enough to pay for a major new junction through the planning process from a standing start and it is unfair of Cllr Hudspeth to talk of willful delay on our part. We stand ready to work with both Councils to bring forward SGSR with East Witney if that is what they want.

I stress though that it will take the constructive co-operation of all parties. One significant issue is that whist the Mawle Trustees own the land to the north of the A40 we do not own or control the land on the south side of the A40 needed for the SGSR. One affected landowner on the south side of the A40, Mark Walker appeared at the CLR CPO Inquiry and stated he would never willingly sell his land for SGSR. This is not something we can change or overcome and it is only OCC as Local Highways Authority who have the powers to solve this problem. I can confirm that to date we have had no meaningful contact with OCC over any aspect of SGSR.

I am sure you can understand that in those circumstances we are reticent to spend the £200,000 needed to put together a planning application for East Witney when there is no certainty it will lead anywhere.

If we thought or felt OCC were serious about the SGSR it would be full steam ahead to get this problem sorted. I don't want to say any more because at some point we are going to have to come together to get this scheme built. It is of course a great step forward to see SGSR included in OCC's Local Transport Plan.
Please can I respond to clarify the position. The need for improvements to Witney's transport infrastructure exists now. It is the responsibility of OCC as the Local Highways Authority to implement the appropriate improvements. 2 Public Inquiries have now established beyond doubt that the appropriate improvement is the Shores Green Slip Roads. Of the money OCC allocated to CLR, after paying for the inquiry and paying back the north east witney developer contributions OCC still had £8.25million left over. The cost of SGSR is £5million so OCC could just get on with it if they wanted to. Were they to do this we would do everything we could to help, making available any of our land needed for the junction and the the design work we have done on the junction. Instead OCC are saying they want a new housing development at East Witney to pay for and build the junction. However allocations of new houses is the responsibility of the District Council and East Witney has only just been added into the draft Local Plan. There are inevitably delays in getting a new housing site big enough to pay for a major new junction through the planning process from a standing start and it is unfair of Cllr Hudspeth to talk of willful delay on our part. We stand ready to work with both Councils to bring forward SGSR with East Witney if that is what they want. I stress though that it will take the constructive co-operation of all parties. One significant issue is that whist the Mawle Trustees own the land to the north of the A40 we do not own or control the land on the south side of the A40 needed for the SGSR. One affected landowner on the south side of the A40, Mark Walker appeared at the CLR CPO Inquiry and stated he would never willingly sell his land for SGSR. This is not something we can change or overcome and it is only OCC as Local Highways Authority who have the powers to solve this problem. I can confirm that to date we have had no meaningful contact with OCC over any aspect of SGSR. I am sure you can understand that in those circumstances we are reticent to spend the £200,000 needed to put together a planning application for East Witney when there is no certainty it will lead anywhere. If we thought or felt OCC were serious about the SGSR it would be full steam ahead to get this problem sorted. I don't want to say any more because at some point we are going to have to come together to get this scheme built. It is of course a great step forward to see SGSR included in OCC's Local Transport Plan. jamesmawle
  • Score: 8

8:01pm Sun 23 Mar 14

nickwilcock says...

Thank you for clarifying the situation, James. It is abundantly clear that OCC are moving with feet of clay; Cllr Hudspeth's comments are disingenuous and frankly petulant.

OCC wants everyone else except themselves to foot the bill - and conveniently overlook how much they squandered over the ridiculous CLR inquiry. When they couldn't even present their traffic figures without cocking them up, much to the obvious irritation of their long-suffering counsel.
Thank you for clarifying the situation, James. It is abundantly clear that OCC are moving with feet of clay; Cllr Hudspeth's comments are disingenuous and frankly petulant. OCC wants everyone else except themselves to foot the bill - and conveniently overlook how much they squandered over the ridiculous CLR inquiry. When they couldn't even present their traffic figures without cocking them up, much to the obvious irritation of their long-suffering counsel. nickwilcock
  • Score: 2

12:38pm Mon 24 Mar 14

tk_leys says...

Link to Mark Walker's position: http://sustainablewi
tney.org.uk/2011/10/
06/cogges-link-road-
inquiry-day-5/
"Mr Chattoe was followed by Mark Walker, another pro-road supporter. He said that his parents, landowners of a plot south of the A40 at Shores Green, would not voluntarily sell their land for the Shores Green slip road scheme. Mr Lowe reminded him that in 2006 his parents were part of the East Witney Land Consortium who were promoting the Shores Green scheme. Mr Walker responded: “That was then. Times have changed.”"
Link to Mark Walker's position: http://sustainablewi tney.org.uk/2011/10/ 06/cogges-link-road- inquiry-day-5/ "Mr Chattoe was followed by Mark Walker, another pro-road supporter. He said that his parents, landowners of a plot south of the A40 at Shores Green, would not voluntarily sell their land for the Shores Green slip road scheme. Mr Lowe reminded him that in 2006 his parents were part of the East Witney Land Consortium who were promoting the Shores Green scheme. Mr Walker responded: “That was then. Times have changed.”" tk_leys
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Mon 24 Mar 14

tk_leys says...

Link to Mark Walker's position: http://sustainablewi
tney.org.uk/2011/10/
06/cogges-link-road-
inquiry-day-5/
"Mr Chattoe was followed by Mark Walker, another pro-road supporter. He said that his parents, landowners of a plot south of the A40 at Shores Green, would not voluntarily sell their land for the Shores Green slip road scheme. Mr Lowe reminded him that in 2006 his parents were part of the East Witney Land Consortium who were promoting the Shores Green scheme. Mr Walker responded: “That was then. Times have changed.”"
Link to Mark Walker's position: http://sustainablewi tney.org.uk/2011/10/ 06/cogges-link-road- inquiry-day-5/ "Mr Chattoe was followed by Mark Walker, another pro-road supporter. He said that his parents, landowners of a plot south of the A40 at Shores Green, would not voluntarily sell their land for the Shores Green slip road scheme. Mr Lowe reminded him that in 2006 his parents were part of the East Witney Land Consortium who were promoting the Shores Green scheme. Mr Walker responded: “That was then. Times have changed.”" tk_leys
  • Score: 0

4:24pm Mon 24 Mar 14

EMBOX2 says...

OCC are in a financial mire. Of course they don't want to pay for it, they're far too busy installing traffic lights in pointless locations, or (badly) redesigning road junctions - Frideswides Sq and the Plain to name but two.

OCC Highways are a joke, our roads are literally falling apart, and the money from central govt to fix them will just disappear into a black hole.

It is time Rodney and his pals took a long hard look at their positions, and consider if they are the right people to run this department. I think not.
OCC are in a financial mire. Of course they don't want to pay for it, they're far too busy installing traffic lights in pointless locations, or (badly) redesigning road junctions - Frideswides Sq and the Plain to name but two. OCC Highways are a joke, our roads are literally falling apart, and the money from central govt to fix them will just disappear into a black hole. It is time Rodney and his pals took a long hard look at their positions, and consider if they are the right people to run this department. I think not. EMBOX2
  • Score: 0

5:28pm Wed 26 Mar 14

the wizard says...

EMBOX2 wrote:
OCC are in a financial mire. Of course they don't want to pay for it, they're far too busy installing traffic lights in pointless locations, or (badly) redesigning road junctions - Frideswides Sq and the Plain to name but two.

OCC Highways are a joke, our roads are literally falling apart, and the money from central govt to fix them will just disappear into a black hole.

It is time Rodney and his pals took a long hard look at their positions, and consider if they are the right people to run this department. I think not.
Quite agree, OCC historically have an appalling record on roads and traffic ,management. I have written to Dave Camerons office twice on the subject and not even had a reply. It is really time that rate payers in Oxfordshire spoke louder as a collective about the appalling traffic congestion and lack of forward thinking before new developments commence. OCC continuously paint themselves into corners with no thought towards future usage of highways, in fact to say they have been narrow minded would be complementary. If ignorance was a virtue they could be accused of abusing it, such are their levels of incompetence.
[quote][p][bold]EMBOX2[/bold] wrote: OCC are in a financial mire. Of course they don't want to pay for it, they're far too busy installing traffic lights in pointless locations, or (badly) redesigning road junctions - Frideswides Sq and the Plain to name but two. OCC Highways are a joke, our roads are literally falling apart, and the money from central govt to fix them will just disappear into a black hole. It is time Rodney and his pals took a long hard look at their positions, and consider if they are the right people to run this department. I think not.[/p][/quote]Quite agree, OCC historically have an appalling record on roads and traffic ,management. I have written to Dave Camerons office twice on the subject and not even had a reply. It is really time that rate payers in Oxfordshire spoke louder as a collective about the appalling traffic congestion and lack of forward thinking before new developments commence. OCC continuously paint themselves into corners with no thought towards future usage of highways, in fact to say they have been narrow minded would be complementary. If ignorance was a virtue they could be accused of abusing it, such are their levels of incompetence. the wizard
  • Score: 0

3:12pm Mon 31 Mar 14

mike4753 says...

I cannot believe how long it takes to sort out Witneys traffic problems!
When Witney was disignated as one of the four growth areas in Oxfordshire about 20 years ago surely somebody should have twigged that new roads should have been an essential part of the strategy. You don't build thousands of new homes without having a master infrastructure plan because you then end up with gridlock! Oh dear ,I think that's where we are!
People forget that the Cogges Link Road had planning permission many years ago and,oh dear, somebody allowed it to expire!! making a new application necessary which then had to comply with all the new legislation and a new load of NIMBY's and we all know where that left us.
Witney not only lost the only sensible solution to its traffic chaos it also lost funding to the tune of millions of pounds secured from the housing estate developers and land owners.
Who is responsible for this gross negligence?
There seems to me that there have been,and still are,people involved in this process that have more than just the benefit of the people of Witney to consider !!! .
When is somebody going to take hold of the situation and actually get something done instead of just talking.
I don't even care anymore if they build the Shores green junction(which I can't see solving Witney's traffic problems) ,anything has got to be better than another 10 years of bickering and indecision .
I cannot believe how long it takes to sort out Witneys traffic problems! When Witney was disignated as one of the four growth areas in Oxfordshire about 20 years ago surely somebody should have twigged that new roads should have been an essential part of the strategy. You don't build thousands of new homes without having a master infrastructure plan because you then end up with gridlock! Oh dear ,I think that's where we are! People forget that the Cogges Link Road had planning permission many years ago and,oh dear, somebody allowed it to expire!! making a new application necessary which then had to comply with all the new legislation and a new load of NIMBY's and we all know where that left us. Witney not only lost the only sensible solution to its traffic chaos it also lost funding to the tune of millions of pounds secured from the housing estate developers and land owners. Who is responsible for this gross negligence? There seems to me that there have been,and still are,people involved in this process that have more than just the benefit of the people of Witney to consider !!! . When is somebody going to take hold of the situation and actually get something done instead of just talking. I don't even care anymore if they build the Shores green junction(which I can't see solving Witney's traffic problems) ,anything has got to be better than another 10 years of bickering and indecision . mike4753
  • Score: 0

5:32pm Tue 15 Apr 14

philhamm says...

This takes leadership and that is badly lacking do the job and take the flack build homes there not in the Windrush Valley
This takes leadership and that is badly lacking do the job and take the flack build homes there not in the Windrush Valley philhamm
  • Score: 0

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