Anger as Wantage is chosen for 1,500-home development

Abingdon residents were relieved their town was not chosen for the estate

Abingdon residents were relieved their town was not chosen for the estate

First published in News by

PEOPLE in Wantage reacted angrily last night after the town was chosen as the preferred site for a massive housing estate of 1,500 homes.

Residents, councillors and the town’s MP Ed Vaizey criticised the move and claimed it would have a crippling effect on traffic.

The Vale of White Horse District Council’s executive committee was given the choice of building in Abingdon or Wantage – but said Abingdon’s roads could not handle the traffic.

The 1,500 homes represents a 35 per cent increase in housing in Wantage – it would have meant an 11 per cent increase in Abingdon.

Liz McDonald, of Westfield Way, Wantage, said: “The local feeling against this is very strong. The proposals will result in the whole area being covered in houses.

“The A417 is already full to capacity. If the homes were in Abingdon people could just get on the A34.

“We will lose a beautiful bit of greenery, it will increase the possibility of floods at Charlton Heights and these people will have nowhere to work.”

The decision also means Abingdon will not get a southern bypass or the reopening of the A34 slip roads at Drayton, which had been included in the district council’s local development framework.

The homes will be located in the north east of Wantage, on land near Charlton. Abingdon’s homes would have been in the south west of the town at Drayton.

Bill Melotti, ward member for Charlton, said: “This will kill the town. These ridiculous housing targets have been forced on us by the Government, but the district council did not have to put all the homes in one place.”

The Vale was set a target to build 11,560 homes by 2026, set out in the Government’s South East Plan.

The council wants the homes in one place, in order to maximise funding for developing local services.

Mr Vaizey said: “If ever the people of Wantage needed clear evidence of the Liberal Democrat-run district council’s bias towards Abingdon, this is it.

“It was always a foregone conclusion these homes would go to Wantage and once again we’ve been left to carry the can.

“With 2,500 homes already planned for Grove there is just not the infrastructure to cope.”

Ian Field, who lives Mill Road, Abingdon, near the land which had been earmarked for development, said: “We’re very pleased with the decision. We had collected 700 signatures against the plans in just under a week, so the feeling is very strong.

“We were very concerned about the impact the development would have had on traffic on the A34. We also had worries because the homes would have been near an area prone to flooding.”

Mary de Vere, the Vale’s executive member for planning, said: “These recommendations, while being an incredible challenge to the Vale, also provide us with a great opportunity to develop the district’s infrastructure and economy.”

The proposals will go before the full council today and will then go out to consultation.

Comments (8)

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7:59pm Tue 8 Dec 09

disco80 says...

Liz McDonald, of Westfield Way, Wantage, said:The A417 is already full to capacity. If the homes were in Abingdon people could just get on the A34. HAS THIS PERSON BEEN ON THE A34 LATELY!! WHY CANT PEOPLE JUST CHILL OUT. HOUSES NEED TO BE BUILT SOMEWHERE. I SUGGEST DIVIDING THE TOTAL NUMBER OF HOUSES THE GOVT. WANT BUILDING AROUND EVERY VILLAGE AND TOWN ACROSS OXFORDSHIRE.THIS WOULD HAVE LESS IMPACT
Liz McDonald, of Westfield Way, Wantage, said:The A417 is already full to capacity. If the homes were in Abingdon people could just get on the A34. HAS THIS PERSON BEEN ON THE A34 LATELY!! WHY CANT PEOPLE JUST CHILL OUT. HOUSES NEED TO BE BUILT SOMEWHERE. I SUGGEST DIVIDING THE TOTAL NUMBER OF HOUSES THE GOVT. WANT BUILDING AROUND EVERY VILLAGE AND TOWN ACROSS OXFORDSHIRE.THIS WOULD HAVE LESS IMPACT disco80
  • Score: 0

8:00pm Tue 8 Dec 09

guiness lover says...

If it was not for the mass immigration into this Country allowed by the labour Government over the last 12 years or so, we would not be needing to build houses on all these green field sites, flood-plains, and green-belt land
If it was not for the mass immigration into this Country allowed by the labour Government over the last 12 years or so, we would not be needing to build houses on all these green field sites, flood-plains, and green-belt land guiness lover
  • Score: 0

8:38pm Tue 8 Dec 09

LadyPenelope says...

I'm wondering if Liz McDonald has actually been on the A34??? I've done a lot of commuting, and the A417 is a dream compared to the A34!

Personally I think Wantage is a great place to build, as the extra population will help creating a thriving town centre, with perhaps a greater variety of shops.
I'm wondering if Liz McDonald has actually been on the A34??? I've done a lot of commuting, and the A417 is a dream compared to the A34! Personally I think Wantage is a great place to build, as the extra population will help creating a thriving town centre, with perhaps a greater variety of shops. LadyPenelope
  • Score: 0

9:45pm Tue 8 Dec 09

Roger Casement says...

"The Vale of White Horse District Council’s executive committee was given the choice of building in Abingdon or Wantage – but said Abingdon’s roads could not handle the traffic"
Would it not have been more honourable for the whole lot of them to resign, citing the blackmail of the failed, bankrupt, socialist administration, to allow the election of a council comprised of people who would have told Brownballsharperson and the other asylum inmates where to stick their concrete?
"The Vale of White Horse District Council’s executive committee was given the choice of building in Abingdon or Wantage – but said Abingdon’s roads could not handle the traffic" Would it not have been more honourable for the whole lot of them to resign, citing the blackmail of the failed, bankrupt, socialist administration, to allow the election of a council comprised of people who would have told Brownballsharperson and the other asylum inmates where to stick their concrete? Roger Casement
  • Score: 0

10:59pm Wed 9 Dec 09

Andrew:Oxford says...

Would it not be more sensible to create a new town NE of Grove? Call it "South Hanney" and force the developers to fund a new railway station on the site of the old "Wantage Road" station. The funding could permit a new roadbridge thus providing space for a 4 lines beneath so that fast trains could overtake the stopper. The railway station should be fully operational before the homes are built - not unlike Aylesbury Vale Parkway.
Would it not be more sensible to create a new town NE of Grove? Call it "South Hanney" and force the developers to fund a new railway station on the site of the old "Wantage Road" station. The funding could permit a new roadbridge thus providing space for a 4 lines beneath so that fast trains could overtake the stopper. The railway station should be fully operational before the homes are built - not unlike Aylesbury Vale Parkway. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

10:44am Thu 10 Dec 09

RickytheBeast says...

Nimbyism again - you selfish people! Do you not want your children to be able to live in the area or be abe to afford a home! You should be ashamed!

PS Guinness lover (If you love it learn to spell it) The trend is to smaller households and more single occupancy dwellings in the UK, due to divorces and people marrying later - very little of the extra demand for housing is caused by immigration, immigrants tend to rent, great news for landlords.
Nimbyism again - you selfish people! Do you not want your children to be able to live in the area or be abe to afford a home! You should be ashamed! PS Guinness lover (If you love it learn to spell it) The trend is to smaller households and more single occupancy dwellings in the UK, due to divorces and people marrying later - very little of the extra demand for housing is caused by immigration, immigrants tend to rent, great news for landlords. RickytheBeast
  • Score: 0

4:14pm Thu 10 Dec 09

JK says...

It's not nimbyism - have you seen how many new houses have been/are being/will be built in Wantage/Grove before this latest proposed addition? Is the 35% extra based on the number of houses that are actually occupied now or is it based on the total when the houses being built on St Mary's and those planned in Grove are taken into account? When all of these are occupied I doubt there will be spare capacity in any of the infrastructures. Wantage town centre with 3 narrow approach roads is less able to cope than Abingdon town centre which at least has a ring road of sorts.
I would like to know how the vote went and how many of those who voted for Wantage actually live there - seems to me the nimbyism is on the side of the biased VOWH committee.
It's not nimbyism - have you seen how many new houses have been/are being/will be built in Wantage/Grove before this latest proposed addition? Is the 35% extra based on the number of houses that are actually occupied now or is it based on the total when the houses being built on St Mary's and those planned in Grove are taken into account? When all of these are occupied I doubt there will be spare capacity in any of the infrastructures. Wantage town centre with 3 narrow approach roads is less able to cope than Abingdon town centre which at least has a ring road of sorts. I would like to know how the vote went and how many of those who voted for Wantage actually live there - seems to me the nimbyism is on the side of the biased VOWH committee. JK
  • Score: 0

9:03am Fri 11 Dec 09

Anton Deck says...

The reaction from the residents of Wantage and Grove is very "NIBY", Abingdon has gone through huge expansion in recent years, including many town centre developments. Didcot has also gone through and is continuing to go through a massive building programme. Whilst we may not agree with the government enforced building programme to satisfy demand, rather than taking the “not in my back yard approach” we should be dealing with the cause of the problem. England is the most densely populated country in Europe, this is the root cause of the housing problem. On a separate note the building of houses in Grove and this development in Wantage will bring much needed housing stock to the area and hopefully bring in people from outside the local area. These "outsiders" will, in time hopefully help dilute the fairly stagnant gene pool.
The reaction from the residents of Wantage and Grove is very "NIBY", Abingdon has gone through huge expansion in recent years, including many town centre developments. Didcot has also gone through and is continuing to go through a massive building programme. Whilst we may not agree with the government enforced building programme to satisfy demand, rather than taking the “not in my back yard approach” we should be dealing with the cause of the problem. England is the most densely populated country in Europe, this is the root cause of the housing problem. On a separate note the building of houses in Grove and this development in Wantage will bring much needed housing stock to the area and hopefully bring in people from outside the local area. These "outsiders" will, in time hopefully help dilute the fairly stagnant gene pool. Anton Deck
  • Score: 0

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