Category Archives: housing

Public Meeting concerning 160 additional houses in South Abingdon

160 additional houses
At 10 am yesterday, a public meeting in the Guildhall, Abingdon, allowed people to express their views on the proposed development of 160 houses in South Abingdon.

I estimate 150-160 people were in the room. No developer representative admitted to being present and the public who spoke were all against the proposal. The central problem for most people in the room was that there is already a lack of infrastructure (roads, schools, health care) in South Abingdon without adding 160 houses more.
160 additional houses
A number of people, living in Metcalf Close, were also worried about the increased risk of flooding. They live downhill (in the picture) from the proposed field (seen in the foreground). Local people also said that the developer’s studies of the ecology of the area were inaccurate. There are lots of bats and badgers.
160 additional houses
We learned from the platform that the developers, Hallam Land Management from Sheffield,  did not hold any pre-planning talks with either the district, town  or county council, or the local MP. For such a large development that is suprising.

A local person, and a person from another town affected by Hallam, said that if not successful initially “Hallam always appeal and are often successful as there are no local plans about how to meet national housing targets.”

The chief planning officer for the district council, did not want to pre-judge the planning application, but said there should be a draft local plan by Spring 2013. That would be before any appeal is likely. At an appeal, a draft plan will be better than no plan at all but won’t have as much weight as a full plan.

Responses to the planning application should be made via http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/java/support/Main.jsp?MODULE=ApplicationDetails&REF=P12/V2266/FUL .

Bowyer Road , Northcourt By-Election, and Papal Visit begins

Bowyer Road is off Boxhill Road which is off the Oxford Road, and is part of the Northcourt Ward where there is a town council By-Election today. Polling is at All Saints Church off Appleford Drive. The election is to replace Patricia Hobby. The candidates are…
Peter Jones – Conservative
Bobbie Nichols – Labour
Helen Pighills – Lib-Dem

I was canvassing some of Bowyer Road in the rain yesterday and got very wet, but it ended with a rainbow.
Bowyer Road
One lady remarked on opening her front door ‘What a beautiful rainbow.’
Bowyer Road
Bowyer Road is not named because it sometimes has a rainbow. Bowyer Road was named after the Bowyer family of Radley Hall – now Radley College. Sir George Bowyer is perhaps best known in Abingdon. He helped set up St Edmund’s Church. He supported the Sisters of Mercy when they first came to Abingdon to educate the children of the poor. Their work then led to the setting up of Our Ladies Convent and St Edmund’s School in what was a Catholic corner of Abingdon. Very near that area is Bowyer Road.

Also today the papal visit begins. There are no plans to visit Abingdon, but he may look out from Shepherd 1 and see the River winding its way through our town.

Two Modern Abingdon Developments

House in 1981
This advert shows three houses down West St Helen Street when they first went on sale in 1981. These houses were also on the books of a London based estate-agents (called Goddard and Smith)  and were described as being in the Heart of Abingdons Conservation Area – they still are.
House Now
Compare that with today, almost 30 years on. Not that much has changed in the scene apart from the number of  cars.  Even Conservation Areas have not banned traffic.
Our House
In the window of Andrews is a picture of Printer’s Court, a recently completed development, off Coopers Lane and Ock Street.
Our House
It backs on to the Royal Mail sorting Office Yard where there is the biggest yellow hatched area in Abingdon.
Our House

Royal Mail are also having work done on the flat roof of the sorting office to keep it watertight for the next ten, twenty years or even thirty years – or for however long we continue to send letters.