A THREE-YEAR battle against a housing estate by residents, councillors and an MP seems to be over, after the planning authority gave up the fight.
Taylor Wimpey was given planning permission for 158 homes off Drayton Road in Abingdon at the end of March by Vale of White Horse District Council.
Abingdon town councillor Mike Badcock, who is also chairman of the Vale, has admitted despite being against the development there was no chance the decision would be overturned if appealed.
He said: “I can’t see the planning ombudsman disagreeing.”
The town council has started submitting suggestions for road names on the estate following a request from Taylor Wimpey.
- Managing director Greig Box Turnbull to leave Oxford United at end of season
- Companies still signing up for jobs fair at Oxford Town Hall
- Hundreds will gather as soldier killed in Iraq is repatriated
- Staff and students celebrate actress's big win at the Golden Globes
- Inquests opened into death of couple who died in cottage fire on Blenheim Palace estate
The site had been the subject of a planning application by Sheffield-based Hallam Land Management in 2012.
Vale refused permission on the grounds the estate would generate “unacceptable” amounts of traffic.
Hallam gave up the scheme after a Government planning inspector ordered it would have to create two new pedestrian crossings and these were refused permission by highways authority Oxfordshire County Council.
Taylor Wimpey bought the land, had the crossing decision overturned and the Vale granted that scheme planning permission.
If the Vale had refused, it could have ended up having to fight a second lengthy appeal battle in front of a planning inspector, who could have ended up agreeing with the first inspector.
Mr Badcock said he was “particularly annoyed” the county had not run a six-month trial of the pedestrian crossings in Ock Street – which were key to gaining planning permission – to see what effect they had on traffic.
Oxfordshire County Council’s head of transport David Nimmo Smith gave permission for the crossings last year.
Mr Badcock said: “I think they ought to be made to put them in and prove they work.”
Virginia Way resident Peter Dodd, whose house overlooks the site and who has fought it from the beginning, said: “Everybody’s against it, but I think the council has probably reached the end of the road.”
Taylor Wimpey spokesman Abby Davies said: “The suggestion of applying for the crossing points on a temporary basis has been noted, but this is not what the planning inspector deemed to be required previously, so we believe it would be inappropriate to follow through on this.”
She said the company was seeking technical permission for the crossings from the county council. County spokesman Dominic Llewellyn-Jones said: “Planning permission for the development was only granted on the proviso that the crossings were installed, the developer is responsible for their construction.”
- Send your Letter to the Editor: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here