A CONTROVERSIAL plan for hundreds of homes being built next to a high risk flood area will go ahead despite a slew of objections over increased traffic, 'huge overload' on medical services, and air and noise pollution.

Vale of White Horse District Council planning committee debated the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of the major development for the land off Dunmore Road.

The estate of 425 residencies in the North Abingdon area by developer Commercial Estates Group will be a mix of one, two, three, four and five bedroom properties – 35 per cent of which will be affordable.

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Even though a number of committee members like councillors Jerry Avery and Paul Barrow had 'serious misgivings' about the plan, permission for the size, type and layout of the homes was granted.

Councillor Andy Foulsham, who spoke at the meeting, said he is 'very pleased' that David Wilson Homes want to provide a 'sustainable development with positive legacy' for the wider neighbourhood.

However, he pointed out that the housing mix does not meet the Vale's requirements.

He said: "There are few one-bedroom properties than there are required in the guidelines.

"I would hope that this application would meet or even exceed these numbers, in particular because there is such high demand for one-bedroom starter homes in this part of the district.

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"Most importantly, I see that there is an objection from Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group due to the lack of health provision.

"This is a key issue in the local area as several GP practices are already way over capacity and I am getting messages from practice managers and GP partners that they cannot take on additional 1,000 people or more."

Mr Foulsham questioned whether work on the development should start at all until provision of primary healthcare is 'sorted out'.

He urged the developers and the CCG to work together to resolve this problem as the nearest Long Furlong Medical Centre on the opposite side of Dunmore Road has already been expanded and 'stretched to its limits'.

Even more, the CCG also objected to the proposal as it is likely to generate more than 1,000 new patients.

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Another great concern was raised when councillor Janet Shelley, who voted to approve the plan, warned that she will be watching Thames Water 'like a hawk' because the company did not raise objections to the hundreds of homes.

Ms Shelley explained: "We have seen developments where Thames Water have said that they can cope and clearly they cannot.

"I think we need to start twisting whatever we can."

The committee also received 27 letters of objection from residents in Abingdon during the initial consultation and a further 16 letters of objection in relation to the amendment.

Their main concerns focused on worsening traffic, increased flood risk, lack of sewer capacity, burden on local schools, shops and GPs, noise pollution, and harmful impact on wildlife.

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