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 .

16 thoughts on “Public Meeting concerning 160 additional houses in South Abingdon

  1. Paul Sheppy

    I was unable to be present because of other commitments, but will certainly be lobbying against this development for reasons I have given elsewhere on this blog.

    Thanks to all those who went and expressed an opinion – even those with whom I might disagree!

  2. Janet

    It was a very interesting meeting. It seems that Hallam Land Management are not too concerned as despite infrastructure not being there and residents’ objections they have managed to push through development plans on appeal in other parts of the country. Part of the Government’s bent on overriding local planning obviously.

  3. Peterand Anne

    Thankyou Trevor for drawing attention to the Facebook page that has been set up – another useful way of communication between residents of South Abingdon in the face of the Hallam planning application. We share others` feelings that we will need all the expertise, determination and solidarity we can muster to make sure this proposed development does not go ahead.

  4. Neil Fawcett

    Thanks to all the residents that helped deliver the flyers publicising the issue and the meeting.

    We now need as many people as possible to object to the proposals either on the Vale website or by writing to them.

  5. Man in town

    Nice to see so many Conservatives at the public meeting!
    Where were the LibDems? Only Sam Bowring bothered to show up.

  6. Daniel

    We were assured at the beginning that this was a non political event….and I really hope that that is the case. The moment it becomes political is the moment I for one will loose faith in the process: the wants and needs of Abingdon will take second place (or third, or more) to people furthering a political agenda. I am all for doing what is best for Abingdon. I care not for political agendas at all…let alone when using ‘us’ as it’s pawns.

    Should we be worried that the panels was ‘blue’? Should it matter?

  7. Janet

    I don’t thing that you have to worry about the political agenda at local level. It is the appeal process and the Government’s drive to build houses wherever regardless of the effect on the local community. We are told that because or migration we need 5 towns the size of Birmingham to take the influx. Hallams are pretty confident at the appeal stage as they have successfully won appeals elsewhere.

  8. Neil Fawcett

    @Man in town Having helped get flyers produced to promote the issue and the meeting I wasn’t able to attend myself because I had a work conference over the weekend. Otherwise I would have done so. As others have said, there is a cross party consensus on this development within Abingdon.

  9. Janet

    Today Planning Minister Nick Bowles announced that he is going to give permission for more housing to be built on open land. No wonder speculative developers like Hallams are rubbing their hands in glee. They have been given the green light to build wherever they please and will be supported. Nick Bowles said that people who oppose housing developments are selfish and that they will just have to accept it.

  10. Peter and Anne

    Yes that interview with the Planning Minister did not bode well.- it must have been music to Hallam`s ears! However that doesn`t mean we roll over and accept it as a fait accompli!. Goliath probably thought it was a pushover with David – and found to his surprise it wasn`t after all!

  11. Liz

    I think that Sam Bowring is the only South Abingdon Lib Dem councillor
    However there were other Lib Dem members present – just not councillors, so you may not have recognised them!
    Also – Cllr Melville is not a Conservative!!

  12. Abingdon Abbott

    See the housing minister’s family live on a 300 acre farm in Devon, looking at the size of this development creating 160 houses, who can do the Maths, how many houses can be built on 300 acres – yep problem solved


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