Potential Development Site for 170 dwellings east of Drayton Road, Abingdon

170 dwellings
Thanks to Hester for spotting this one in the Public Notices section of yesterday’s Abingdon herald. A company from near Bristol are looking to get planning permission for 170 dwellings off the Drayton Road near Virginia Way in South Abingdon. More detail of the exact location will be given at the public exhibition. If anyone knows more please leave a comment.

31 thoughts on “Potential Development Site for 170 dwellings east of Drayton Road, Abingdon

  1. Newcomer

    Looks like this might involve the loss of a playing field and a considerable tract of ‘soak-away’ land in the Ock catchment area thus exacerbating flood risk. This could be on the other side of the Ock from where Tesco are looking to secure planning permission. The plans are definitely worth close scrutiny due to their potentially great effect on flood risk. Abingdon’s got away without flooding this year … we’ve been lucky. Best not to assume that luck will hold and allow anything that could make our circumstances worse.

  2. Steveo

    What a great idea, because the Drayton road has virtually no traffic at all in the mornings!
    Bearing in mind Abingdon is grid locked most days the idea of squeezing another 170 dwellings in the south is madness. Most house holds are 2 car families these days, so with another 340 cars coming in I’ll have to leave for work at about 5 in the morning to get in at 9!

  3. Cassandra

    Speaking from personal experience only, I am of the opinion that planners and developers consider the the residents affected by a development the least important issue in their decisions. I live fairly near to that particular area but, being a relative newcomer, I am not too familiar with flooding in Abingdon yet. But I can immediately understand the possible traffic problems.

  4. Anne and Peter

    The field in question is the one between Virginia Way and Stonehill House – we overlook it and noticed surveying activity in the field 2 weeks ago. We contacted the councillors for this area and asked them if they knew of any planning applications in the wind. They all confirmed that nothing was known. The first formal notification to anyone – planning authorities and the general public – was the Public notice in ths week`s Abingdon Herald and the free paper. There have been applications regarding this field over the years but they have always been rejected – the effect on the Drayton Road traffic being a big factor. This time we are not so confident – the regulations have changed though I don`t have the details. The Public Exhibition on Thurs next week should at least give us more information. Incidentally, it seems the application only refers to the one field only (to the left as you leave Abingdon). Previous applications have been put in for the field to the left and to the right of Drayton Road

  5. Chris S

    Thanks to an enquiry by a local councillor made yesterday (30th), no approach had as yet been made to the Vale of White Horse Planning Services.

    By the look of the Henry Boot Group (the owner of Hallam Land Management) corporate website, it is a significant (not local) developer with “resources” that’s exploring this opportunity. A well-funded application including / citing initial “consultation” with local residents may not be too far away…


  6. hester

    This could be a crucial test of how the new National Planning Policy framework will work in this area. Up till now, as mentioned above, the District Council has steered clear of approving development on this land, mainly because of the pressure on transport and other infrastructure elements. Under the new regime there is more encouragement for developers to bring forward proposals and unless they actually CONFLICT with a formal local plan it is more difficult for councils to turn them down. It is therefore vital that councils – both at Town and District level have clear guidleines in place as to what kind of developments will be approved where: waiting for proposals to come in then reacting will not be enough.

    It is interesting that neither elected councillors nor planning officers were contacted about this in advance. If as Chris says the developer is a significant player he may well be ahead of our local authorities in the new rules of the game – I hope not.

    See you all on Thursday!

  7. A.Morland esq.

    its about time we who live in Abingdon except that we cannot keep pushing all the new housing needs on didcot.In 15 years time Didcot will be gridlocked with the 10,000 home being built there,nobody seemed to worry about the large north Abingdon Developments of the 80s & 90s..South Abingdon property can be as much as £100,000 cheaper than north Abingdon because of all that Development in the north of the town,with theRiver Thames,and the Marina you would exspect south Abingdon to be dearer ,Thanks to the estate agents saying the much sort after north Abingdon,i know where i would live south,peachcroft is ano go area at night unless you want trouble.Bring back the old Abingdon Borough council at least any money raised from the sale of the old Gaol would of stayed in the town,but this we be spead accross Abingdon,Botley,Farringdon,Wantage etc.If we would of had this land come up in the Borough council days atleast we could known that it would of been council houses for young Abingdon familes.
    A Morland.

  8. Paul Sheppy

    Apart from the impact on road use, what will the effect be on school intake, on waste and sewage disposal, on medical and social services?

    There may be clear and acceptable answers to these questions, but I doubt if the developer knows them. I also doubt whether the developer will invest any money in providing local shops or other community services.

    Of course, I may be completely wrong. I look forward to Henry Boot’s plan showing new and upgraded roads, drainage systems and the like. I hope to be there on Thursday and look forward to seeing plans that our Victorian ancestors (who did care about these issues0 would be proud of.

  9. rudi

    unless i’m mistaken anyone can apply for planning permission to build anywhere wether they own it or not – I could apply for permission to build in the grounds of buckingham palace if i wished.

  10. Nigel

    There is also a sign on the gate to the field on Drayton Road (close to Stonehill Lane) that has the same details on it as the newspaper notice.

  11. Iain

    Kelly – I thought the same but I’m told this isn’t green belt as was a potential site for a road in earlier generations.

    I don’t know any details but will of course be going along on thursday to try and find out.

  12. hester

    According to the Vale of White Horse Local Plan 2011 (still in force until the new one is published next year) the area off Drayton Road is regarded as in the “lowland vale” and is defined as an area “for landscape enhancement”. It is shown on the Local Plan map as being subject to the following two policies:

    Policy NE9
    “Development in the lowland vale will not be permitted if it would have an adverse effect on the landscape, particularly on the long open views within or across the area.”

    Policy NE11
    “Proposals for development within or affecting areas of damaged or compromised landscape, in particular those areas defined for landscape enhancement on the proposals map, must provide a landscaping scheme which enhances the appearance of the area. Development which would further erode or damage the character of the landscape will not be permitted.”

    It will be interesting to see if the proposal conforms to these requirements.

  13. Neil

    This is one of the sites that was looked at as part of the process of drawing up the Vale’s current plans for the allocation of housing development but was rejected, primarily on traffic grounds.

    There was a big public meeting organised at Preston Road which got a big attendance and a there was then a lot of lobbying by local residents.

    The problem at the moment is that the Vale hasn’t finished the process off introducing the new plan, which will make it easier for developers to bring forward proposals. Hester is right that the previous plan remains in force until the new one is decided, but because it is out of date and doesn’t have enough housaing allocated within it will carry much less force.

    @A Morland Esq. I think you exagerate the difference in house prices between south and north Abingdon. It is true that some houses north of the Ock sell for more than some houses south of the Ock, but when you compare like for like houses in similar areas the difference is not that great. Some of the most expensive properties in Abingdon are on the Marina.

  14. Janet

    It would be madness to contribute to the gridlock along the Drayton Road especially in the mornings. Extra housing would contribute to the vehicles using the Drayton Road causing chaos

  15. Mark

    When will they listen…not only have we witnessed the complete balls up that was/is the town center traffic plan, but now we have to add yet more cars to the problem with more housing South of the Ock.

    I have lived in Abingdon for the past 35 years (I’m 38), currently live about 800yrds from the proposed plan…and I have seen the town die a slow painful death over the past 10 years or so, from what appears to be poor judgment and planning.

    The efforts being made to rejuvinate the town center may go someway to resolving this, we shall see…but to add yet more cars to what is a strained traffic system at the moment is simply mind-dumbingly stupid.

    Its a sad time for us, we are now looking to move out of Abingdon for the above reasons…the constant threat of new developments nearby, the gridlock in the mornings…its a sad day when Abingdons negatives outweigh the positives.

    Have any of the Councils planners (or whoever it is that actually gives such planes the go ahead) tried to drive into town between 8.00-9.00 in the morning?

  16. Ishtar

    Agree with Mark – I live off Mill Road and it’s really difficult to get off the estate in the morning. It’s something that has been getting progressively worse since we moved in 4 years ago. I’m lucky in that I can walk the children to school – but on the odd occasion where I have to drive (and this is very rare) it can take me longer in the car than it actually does to walk it. Often I have to park up somewhere and walk the last half mile or so.

    I would be keen to see what the traffic and road proposals are and what changes will be required *before* any planning permissions are granted.

  17. coggin

    The main problem is the traffic; not that they will build houses, South Abingdon needs better access, shops and schools. That is also why it seems North Abingdon is preferred, you have many routes out of North Abingdon and only three from South Abingdon (and these are busy). Add to this the excellent schools that can be found in North Abingdon which help increase house prices.
    Solution is to open up the A34 interchange in the North to both directions, open the Drayton A34 slip road and/or another river crossing from South Abingdon, all very costly

  18. jackson

    The failed AbITS system had a second river crossing as part of it’s design (or so I understand). I’m sure the same people who allowed us to be sold at great cost the [scoot] trafffic system that isn’t designed to work in a town like ours, to be implmented….are also hoping no one will wonder where the river crossing is too.

    The Lodge Hill interchange won’t be done for various reasons, but not least until Abingdon has had it’s “expansion”.

    A reasonable suggestion for solving South Abingdon’s traffic issues has been mooted before (mainly paid for NOT by the tax payer). However dis-inventing the motor car is a far preferred option and will be looked at long before any other suggestions, I fear.

  19. Mark

    …why has the lodge hill interchange never been opened…I understand its due to some ‘ruling’…but can anyone enlighten me…this seems like an obvious solution to help reduce some of the traffic burden in the town, but it just sits there closed and overgrown?

    As for a 2nd river crossing…can we ever really belive that will happen? Imagine the cost involved, not just for the bridge iteself but the roads/infrastructure leading to/from, it would be HUGE and I can’t ever imagine a private company looking to make money offering to build such a thing.

  20. Mark

    Thanks for the link Paul…after posting my comment above I did a quick look around the net and found a few similar articles, make quite depressing reading really. Funny that one of the articles was dated something like 2005, and stated that the bridge wouldn’t be built until 2016…well thats fast approaching…any news ! lol

    I know this is going slightly off topic, but I also stumbled across all of the newspaper articles regarding the AbITS proposals, the planning, implenetation, the complete mess, the investigations, the review, the alterations…and the sheer impact it had on the town center…shocking really when you read the whole episode in a condensed form like that, quite how some people can justify their positions in decision making I have no idea!

  21. BenW

    We went along this afternoon (bumped into a LOT of people from our road, it was well attended), and the overwhelming consensus was traffic, traffic, traffic. I haven’t spoken to anyone who is 100% against housing on that field .. but I haven’t spoken to anyone who thinks it should be allowed to go ahead without additional traffic capacity.
    They told me at the exhibition that traffic management is part of the application, and their big idea is traffic lights at the Spring Road roundabouts. Personally, I would say that if they think that will be enough … then they’ve very obviously never tried to drive from Preston Road to Tescos at 8.30am.

  22. Kelly

    One of the Hallam guys there told me he’d driven in along the Drayton Rd this morning with no traffic. Asked what time – 10am!!! Suggested he try morning or afternoon ‘rush’ hour if that’s not a contradiction in terms!!
    I was also told traffic management was part of their brief but admitted he had no idea what that would be.

  23. Mark

    You can imagine it now:

    Hallam 1: Yeah, lets do this, these houses are just whats needed
    Hallam 2: I agree, and we will make a tidy profit to
    Hallam1: But we do need to at least consider the taffic implications
    Hallam 1: mmmmh…so wheres the problem?
    Halam 2: All rush hour traffic from Drayton Road, Spring Road, Marcham Road, Ock Street all meeting at a poxy double roundabout, and the narrow roads/bridge.
    Hallam 1: mmmmmh, we could widen the roads, widen the bridge etc…but that costs us money.

    …or we could whack some traffic lights up..thats what they did for the AbiTS and it worked a treat (not).

  24. coggin

    There is already a access ramp from Drayton onto the A34 Northbound, it is built and ready to open, traffic from Drayton and South Abingdon could use this route (if it was open) this would lessen the traffic coming down the drayton road. It would need some money thrown at it but cheaper than a bridge.

  25. Neil Fawcett

    @jackson – you are right that the ABITS scheme as originallt agreed did include longer term measures such as a second river crossing and making Lodge hill into a full interchange. The changes in the town centre were agreed on the basis that these longer term measures would also be pursued. Unfortunately the County Council dropped any commitment to even try and get these measures implemented when they produced their new Transport Plan a couple fo years ago.

    @Paul J – that article wasn’t really a fair summary of what the report said. The main road that would see an increase in traffic was the A34 between the north and south junctions – in other words EXACTLY what you would expect!

    The report seemed to underestimate the likely change in driver behavior at peak times.

  26. anne

    The traffic concerns are the result of really poor management of the two large commercial/industrial parks at Fairacres and Colwell Drive, and the lack of Southbound access to A34 from North Abingdon. I’ve lived in Abingdon 25 years, and agree the heart of the town has died as the outskirt development of commercial land has grown. The issue of 170 houses is largely nimbyism – wildlife? the land is mainly used by dogwalkers, and the prevalence of cats in the area drives any birds away. We should take the opportunity to get a good deal from those prepared to develop housing – much needed- to improve this part of town and it’s shabby image.Bring it on!

  27. Michael Walters

    Madness we do not want/need any more houses/cars using the Drayton Rd. It’s inpossible any time of the day to get out of Mill Rd, just to get into town can take anything up to an hour! My wife starts work at 8.30 in Oxford but to get out onto the Drayton Rd she has to leave home by 7.30 as the traffic builds up. So NO no more houses needed.


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