Category Archives: planning

Vale of White Horse District Council Adopt Local Plan which takes us forward to 2031

Local Plans
The Vale of White Horse District Council’s Local Plan: 2031 (Part 1) was adopted this evening at a Full Council Meeting at the Beacon in Wantage. The government planning inspector recently wrote a letter saying he found the plan sound, and the council adopted the plan formally this evening with 31 votes in favour and 5 abstentions.

Now the plan is adopted the district’s five year land supply is secure and major development should only happen in areas identified in the Local Plan.
Local Plans
This means that some land in Abingdon, Kennington and Radley is removed from the Green Belt and can be built on. The plan includes 800 dwellings north of Abingdon, and 200 north west of Abingdon.

At the same meeting Faringdon and Blewbury had their neighbourhood plans adopted. Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council are working on our neighbourhood plan.

A Planning Application in Two Parts at Tilsley Park

Planning Application
Planning permission was given in June for (P15/V1049/FUL) the conversion of the grass area in the middle of the running track at Tilsley Park to form  a synthetic pitch for rugby and football use. It has, up to now, been used as a competitive area for throwing javelin, discus and hammer. The conversion of the grass area has been delayed after protests from throwers who use the facility for winter training.
Planning Application
A second planning application (P15/V2198/FUL) is now being considered by the Vale of White Horse District Planning Department. It involves improvements to the practice throwing area at the side of Tilsley Park, including the addition of floodlighting for winter use.
Planning Application
The prospect of floodlights has brought protests from neighbouring properties, in the line of the new flood lighting – and an objection from the the town council.

Last chance to comment on the Draft Local Plan 2031

A non political group has come together in North Abingdon – called the ‘North Abingdon Local Planning Group’ (NALPG).
Draft Local Plan 2031
At Long Furlong Community Centre on Saturday morning, at the same time as the 24 hour carols, there was the second of 2 drop in sessions to give local residents a chance to talk to members of NALPG.

They are opposing the Vale of White Horse (VWHDC) Local Plan 2031 because:

  • 1000 homes would be built in North Abingdon
  • Green Belt land is in danger
  • traffic congestion and air quality could be made worse

The 2031 plan has been approved by VWHDC, and now goes to the independent planning inspectorate. The plan can still at this late stage be changed – if demonstrated to be not ‘sound’ or not meeting legal requirements, which is why NALPG want people to comment.
Draft Local Plan 2031
Information is also available on their website to help people to comment. The deadline for comments is 19th Dec 2014 at 4:30pm.

NALPG members told me that these plans do not just effect North Abingdon. The plans could have a considerable effect on traffic and air quality in central and south Abingdon.

If VWHDC are NOT successful in securing the A34 full diamond interchange at Lodge Hill – a big unknown at this stage, then the peripheral road will become more like an estate road with roundabouts and crossings – possibly 30 MPH. It is anticipated that a lot of the new jobs will be to the south of Abingdon in places like Harwell, and Milton Park. That will result in more traffic heading from the new houses round the peripheral road, stopping traffic getting to the A34 from central and south Abingdon – making congestion and air quality worse all round.

The big question is where would the houses go if not on the Green Belt – close to North Abingdon.

‘Future of the Vale’ Consultation meeting in Town

Future of the Vale Consultation meeting
There was a public meeting in the Guildhall in Abingdon this evening to hear about the ‘Future of the Vale’ draft local plan to 2031. The presentation involved initially an expanation of two leaflets you may have seen:
1. The Future of the Vale
2. Supporting growth in the Vale.
Future of the Vale Consultation meeting
After that a lot of people had questions.

The panel included Cllr Matthew Barber, leader of the VWHDC (Vale of White Horse District Council), and Cllr Mike Murray, head of planning, and two council planning officers.

One major concern was the loss of Green Belt from Abingdon and villages near Oxford. The panel said the green belt had not been reviewed for a long time and some of the green belt did not meet all 5 green belt criteria. They went on to say that Oxford is looking to reduce the green belt even further on the other side.

One passionate lady said ‘it’s disgraceful building on the green belt‘ and asked for a show of hands of people opposed to building on the green belt. There were a lot of hands.

Somebody from Kennington was worried about that the ribboning of Kennington being accentuated by the new plan.

The good people of Appleton and Cumnor had got the ‘The Future of The Vale’ leaflet through their doors, They also recently took part in a separate consultation about removal of land from the green belt. It ended in complete confusion.
Future of the Vale Consultation meeting
Traffic was a problem for people living off the Dunmore Road where 800 more houses are planned the other side. Already they can’t get out of Boulter Drive and Alexander Close in the morning. A recent safety change to the Wootton Road roundabout created a further new pinch point. One person said that the new developments would add roundabouts, and pedestrian crossings, and bring the road to a standstill.

Somebody else said, about Twelve Acre Drive, where 200 houses are planned, that the selling of land from Peachcroft Farm could result in no local Turkeys or Geese at Christmas.

The one big road improvement that could be allowed by all this development is a full diamond interchange onto the A34 at Lodge Hill. It could be funded by what is called the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) – so long as the council officers are successful in getting grants from central government as well, and get Highway Agency approval.

CIL is a levy on land which developers pay that goes towards infrastructure.
Future of the Vale Consultation meeting
Most people left the Guildhall more dazed and confused than they had entered. They had been told they could now take part in three different public consultations:

1. Draft Local Plan to the Secretary of State. Whether to keep green belt or not etc.
2. How CIL should be spent.  A34 and Primary School and what else would a local community need? To be considered by VWHDC officers.
3. Vale Design Guide, How future developments in your area will look. To be considered by VWHDC officers. Should all new Abingdon houses have traditional gables?