TRAFFIC chaos, parking problems and killing the town centre were some of the fears raised at a public exhibition for a 1,500-home estate in Wantage.

London developer St Modwen held a public exhibition on Saturday to let residents have their say on the green space and community facilities that will form part of the 227-acre site at Crab Hill, which was given planning permission in 2015.

Libby Thick, 55, of Charlton Heights, raised issues with making sure there was enough parking around parks and retail units.

She pointed to one of the design ideas on display which showed three new football pitches but only space for a dozen cars, saying: “In what world is that going to be enough? Drivers are going to park on streets and make people angry.”

Ms Thick said she hoped the scheme would bring more money and services to Wantage but added: “My fear is that it will do the opposite and create another town centre, pulling business away.”

Hina Padhiar lives in Grove and was concerned her commute to the Diamond Light Source where she works as a divisional manager would turn into a ‘nightmare’ after the new homes were built.

She said: “I’ve already seen it get steadily worse during the 10 years I’ve lived here, it’s not a long drive but it’s doubled in length.”

However, despite her concerns over traffic she was largely supportive of the development.

The 55-year-old explained: “The minute people hear the words ‘housing development’ all they think about is rows of tightly packed houses but as long as they make it a proper village and get the infrastructure right from the start then I don’t see why it can’t work.”

Rob Draper, land director for St Modwen, said the public exhibition was about finding out what residents wanted and what was currently missing from Wantage.

He said: “We actually had people queuing up before we opened, so there is obviously a lot of appetite to have a say on this.

“We moved the event forward as we were keen to finalise the community and green spaces part of the project as soon as possible.”

He added, while he understood concerns over the number of houses there were advantages, saying: “With an estate of this size it means you can fund far more facilities, whereas with a smaller development there isn’t the money.”

On traffic and a planned relief road, he added: “We are as keen as anyone to see the relief road delivered but a lot of the negotiations about it were done by the site’s landowners.”

He added the company would do their best to minimise disruption.

Earlier this month, Vale of White Horse District Council applied for almost £8 million in government funding to help create the Wantage Eastern Link Road.

The new highway will stretch around the new 1,500-home estate, recently named Kingsgrove, connecting the A338 near Mably Way to the A417 on the eastern side of Wantage.

A second exhibition is planned in November.