Oxford MailResidents upset at plans for 160 homes (From Oxford Mail)

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Residents upset at plans for 160 homes

Oxford Mail: Cllr Aidan Melville, right, with residents of Virginia Way, Abingdon, who are opposed to plans for 160 new homes. Picture: OX55373 Damian Halliwell Buy this photo Cllr Aidan Melville, right, with residents of Virginia Way, Abingdon, who are opposed to plans for 160 new homes. Picture: OX55373 Damian Halliwell

NEIGHBOURS say their concerns have not been addressed after “daft” plans for 160 new homes in Abingdon were submitted.

Sheffield-based Hallam Land Management has now lodged an application to build the one to five bedroom houses on a field off Drayton Road which residents say has flooded in the past.

Neighbours say there are already frequent traffic problems in Drayton Road, leading to rush hour queues stretching from the White Horse pub roundabout in all directions.

In September Hallam held a public exhibition of its initial plan for 170 houses – ten more than in the planning application, which was submitted at the end of last month.

Town councillor Aidan Melville wrote to the firm to raise his concerns after the consultation.

He said: “I would like to see the application refused.

“None of my concerns were addressed, and not a lot has changed.

“The same issues are going to come into play, building on land that floods, and creating more traffic.

“I want south Abingdon to have better infrastructure anyway, it already needs work.”

Mr Melville called the reduction in the number of houses a “token measure”.

The application will be discussed by the town council, which will give its feedback to the decision making Vale planning committee.

The committee will also ask the county council for its advice on the traffic issues raised by the application.

Retired teacher Anne Dodd and her husband Peter live in Virginia Way in Abingdon, which directly overlooks the field in question.

She said: “It is just daft.

“There have been applications put in before and they have always been firmly refused because of the traffic problems in Drayton Road.

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“I know that people have gone into estate agents looking for a house here and been told ‘don’t go to south Abingdon, the traffic is awful’.

“It is nonsense.”

Vale councillor for Abingdon Marilyn Badcock said: “The road is one of my biggest worries, because of the congestion, not just on Drayton but also on Marcham Road.

“I feel it will exacerbate the situation in the south of the town.”

The developers said that the estate would increase traffic by at least 100 cars at peak times in Drayton Road. The application states: “A development of this scale is anticipated to generate in the order of 113 vehicle trips in the AM peak and 100 vehicle trips in the PM peak.”

Referring to the consultation, Hallam Land spokesman Andy Birch said: “General feedback related to traffic impact and the principle of development.

“The clear majority of written feedback regarding design elements expressed agreement with the emerging design principles which have been carried forward into the submitted scheme. As a result of the feedback and amended design, the scheme has been reduced from 170 dwellings.”

Mr Birch added that the development would help meet the demand for affordable housing in Abingdon.

The development will contain up to 40 per cent affordable housing.

Comments (4)

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3:35pm Wed 7 Nov 12

Feelingsmatter says...

Maybe it should be turned into a park & ride, then if it flooded it wouldn't matter and the traffic congestion wouldn't be an issue any more.
Maybe it should be turned into a park & ride, then if it flooded it wouldn't matter and the traffic congestion wouldn't be an issue any more. Feelingsmatter
  • Score: 1

4:22pm Wed 7 Nov 12

Lord Palmerstone says...

"Mr Birch added that the development would help meet the demand for affordable housing in Abingdon"
That's good of them, but wouldn't it make more commercial sense if they were unaffordable and just stood empty? What is this "affordable" tosh supposed to mean? Is it some secret Masonic password or something?
"Mr Birch added that the development would help meet the demand for affordable housing in Abingdon" That's good of them, but wouldn't it make more commercial sense if they were unaffordable and just stood empty? What is this "affordable" tosh supposed to mean? Is it some secret Masonic password or something? Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 2

10:10am Thu 8 Nov 12

Gunslinger says...

'Affordable' means a proportion have to be of a type that 'ordinary' people can buy - not necessarily 'social housing' of which there is probably more than enough in South Abingdon.
As opposed to a gated private enclave like the Marina or parts of the old Brewery site.
There is a certain logic to the development of this site, given the lack of alternatives - however this must be of good quality and sufficient measures must taken to improve traffic and public transport for all local residents.
'Affordable' means a proportion have to be of a type that 'ordinary' people can buy - not necessarily 'social housing' of which there is probably more than enough in South Abingdon. As opposed to a gated private enclave like the Marina or parts of the old Brewery site. There is a certain logic to the development of this site, given the lack of alternatives - however this must be of good quality and sufficient measures must taken to improve traffic and public transport for all local residents. Gunslinger
  • Score: 0

11:33am Thu 8 Nov 12

mickeybear says...

What is most disturbing about this proposal is indeed the potential impact on an already overly congested road, and the fact that the figures being bandied around by the developers bear absolutely no relation to the standard modelling formulae used by the OCC on formal advice from the DfT. These suggest that the minimum impact of 160 new dwellings would be an increase in vehicle movements (which includes those by the new occupants, visitors, service and utility vehicles - such as delivery vans, post office vehicles, recycling collection lorries and the like) would be in excess of 720, rising to at least 1,200 if the new occupants were more likely to work out of Abingdon itself. Such additional traffic volumes would be frankly unsustainable and would cause further breaches in the so-called "exceedences" of air quality limits in Abingdon town centre which is already subject to a legally binding set of restrictions under the declared Air Quality Management Area, which covers Ock Street and the historic centre.

This is the legacy of years of atrocious neglect by both the District and - more seriously - the County, which is the highway authority, and has descended even to forging documents and lying to Ministers, its own Scrutiny Committee and to the public about what it knew about the predicted impacts of the disastrous AbITS scheme.

This development has to be stopped, and much more radical options reconsidered, such as the closure of St Helen's Wharf (as recommended byHalcrow in its initial report), and the final opening of the Drayton slip road to relieve some of the congestion caused by vehicles using the Drayton Road to access the A34 northbound. These would be low cost and have an immediate and highly beneficial effect on traffic congestion and the resultant air pollution in the town centre, which is at levels that pose direct risks to human health, and will already be causing increased mortality from cardiac disease, respiratory problems, including asthma, and other pollution related conditions.

Councillors need finally to assume their responsibilities and the MP must stop fiddling while Abingdon deteriorates further. There is such unrealised potential in this wonderful town that could be harnessed with a bolder, more joined up traffic management strategy that it would be irresponsible in the extreme not to grasp the nettle now and do something radical before it is simply too late.
What is most disturbing about this proposal is indeed the potential impact on an already overly congested road, and the fact that the figures being bandied around by the developers bear absolutely no relation to the standard modelling formulae used by the OCC on formal advice from the DfT. These suggest that the minimum impact of 160 new dwellings would be an increase in vehicle movements (which includes those by the new occupants, visitors, service and utility vehicles - such as delivery vans, post office vehicles, recycling collection lorries and the like) would be in excess of 720, rising to at least 1,200 if the new occupants were more likely to work out of Abingdon itself. Such additional traffic volumes would be frankly unsustainable and would cause further breaches in the so-called "exceedences" of air quality limits in Abingdon town centre which is already subject to a legally binding set of restrictions under the declared Air Quality Management Area, which covers Ock Street and the historic centre. This is the legacy of years of atrocious neglect by both the District and - more seriously - the County, which is the highway authority, and has descended even to forging documents and lying to Ministers, its own Scrutiny Committee and to the public about what it knew about the predicted impacts of the disastrous AbITS scheme. This development has to be stopped, and much more radical options reconsidered, such as the closure of St Helen's Wharf (as recommended byHalcrow in its initial report), and the final opening of the Drayton slip road to relieve some of the congestion caused by vehicles using the Drayton Road to access the A34 northbound. These would be low cost and have an immediate and highly beneficial effect on traffic congestion and the resultant air pollution in the town centre, which is at levels that pose direct risks to human health, and will already be causing increased mortality from cardiac disease, respiratory problems, including asthma, and other pollution related conditions. Councillors need finally to assume their responsibilities and the MP must stop fiddling while Abingdon deteriorates further. There is such unrealised potential in this wonderful town that could be harnessed with a bolder, more joined up traffic management strategy that it would be irresponsible in the extreme not to grasp the nettle now and do something radical before it is simply too late. mickeybear
  • Score: 0

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