PLANS for a new 555-home estate in Wallingford are set to be showcased this Saturday ahead of a summer 2020 launch.

The new housing development named Highcroft will be built on the former Slade End Farm site off Wantage Road.

However, the rapid development of Wallingford could mean there will be less housing developments in the area because of the Neighbourhood Plan restrictions.

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On Saturday the public will be able to view the plans for the new houses, apartments and bungalows which are set to be built over seven hectares of green space.

Berkeley Group’s St Edward division plans to build one- to five-bedroom houses and apartments with the intention of building to fit the needs of all generations.

However, only a small proportion of the housing development will be classed as affordable housing

Wallingford town mayor Lee Upcraft said there will be eight to 10 affordable houses being built in the initial stages.

He said: “Across the site of 555 homes some of that will be affordable.”

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In 2016 Wallingford county councillor Lynda Atkins was positive about the plans for the new neighbourhood, but wanted schools and transport links as well.

She said: “Wallingford has grown quite gradually in recent years but now it faces rapid growth and we need to make sure all the right infrastructure - schools and transport links - are in place.”

Following this concern St Edward is also providing Oxfordshire County Council with land to build a primary school and the company is also providing additional sports pitches for Wallingford Sports Trust to expand.

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St Edwards also plans to encourage biodiversity in the area by planting more than 1,000 new trees.

The housing developer said it aims to create suitable habitats for wildlife through sparrow terraces, swift and bat boxes, hedgehog houses and log piles for insects.

The final permission for the estate was granted by South Oxfordshire District Council last year.

Oxford Mail:

Mr Upcraft said: “Construction work is now underway and it is likely to last seven years.”

Since the plan for 555 homes was approved to be built at Slade End Farm, South Oxfordshire District Council's Local Plan confirmed Wallingford is required to accommodate 1,070 new homes between now and 2034.

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Mr Upcraft said: “An application for 505 new homes was recently given outline planning permission, and in combination with the Wates development in Winterbrook of 85 homes plus various infill sites, Wallingford has now exceeded this requirement.”

He said: “The Wallingford Neighbourhood Plan, which should shortly go for examination and then be put to referendum, makes the case that the infrastructure in Wallingford is incapable for supporting further large scale development if we are to protect the amenities, heritage and local environment which residents currently enjoy.”

He added: "It does not allocate any further sites for housing and we expect the plan to prevent further speculative applications from developers.”