Peachcroft Field Planning Application

Peachcroft Field
The planning application for the field at the edge of Peachcroft is now underway. Letters have been sent by the Vale of White Horse to neighbours asking for comments.
Peachcroft Field
A lot of the land for the Peachcroft Estate was owned by Radley College and developed back in the 1970s. Just one corner plot has remained, and for some years was protected by covenant.
Peachcroft Field
Radley College would now like to develop that field for housing. The money raised would fund further development of the college but has raised some opposition from the local people.

The decision will be made in September.

14 thoughts on “Peachcroft Field Planning Application

  1. GJ

    As a resident of Radley Green for 25 Years plus ( not sure if that counts as Peachcroft but we did get the leaflet) I was a bit surprised about the lack of comment on the blog. However I believe this is due to the main point put forward by the campaigners i.e. “Loss of Greenbelt .
    A casual look at the map shows Twelve Acre Drive and the Radley Road define the boundary of the so called “Green Belt” as every resident can clearly see.
    The other points regarding access, amenities etc. are valid but the scaremongering headline “Greenbelt/Open Space land will be lost forever” detracts from the more valid arguments against the proposed development.
    I’m surprised this tiny triangle of land wasn’t developed when the former Cowley Concrete site closed down in the 1960’s.
    I think the plight of Abingdon town centre deserves more focus than this issue.

  2. Peachcroft Field Action Group

    There are very valid reasons for opposing the development on this field. Peachcroft Field Action Group’s reasons are as follows.

    1.The field was made an open space in 1972, as a result of lengthy negotiations between Radley College and the local and county councils. A legal undertaking was signed by Radley College to keep this land as an open space indefinitely, subject to certain conditions, which do not appear to have arisen.

    2. The field is part of the Peachcroft Estate and not just a field adjacent to it. When Radley College were seeking outline planning permission to develop the Peachcroft Estate it was a condition of their being granted planning permission that there must be enough open space to compensate for the high density of housing in Peachcroft and Abingdon in general. By putting the open space in this position a pleasing view was had to and from the College and a larger gap was provided between Radley and Abingdon. This is part of the Oxford Green Belt and should be preserved. The agreement allowed Radley College to use the field for agricultural purposes.

    3. In exchange for making this field an open space Radley College was compensated by being allowed to develop an extra piece of their land of similar size at the opposite end of Twelve Acre Drive.

    4. The entrance to the proposed site is very close to a sharp bend on Radley Road and we have concerns that it is potentially dangerous to have the entrance there.

    5. In 2012 a considerable number of children were refused admission to their catchment area school in North Abingdon, resulting in their having to travel to schools further afield. Rush Common Primary School’s catchment area last year did not extend as far as the field and the site would be right on the fringe of the catchment area for Thomas Reade School and possibly out of it in some years. When children are unable to go to their local school there is an increase in traffic in the area and it goes against the policy of encouraging children to walk to school. This adds to the making of an unsustainable site.

    6. The site is of archaeological interest, as aerial photographs and some excavation work in the past have shown.

    7. On page 29 in the Vale of White Horse Local Plan 2011 – Inspector’s Report the inspector reported that this site was unsustainable and there was no justification for the Green Belt boundary to be altered. He said that the gap between Radley and Abingdon was already fairly narrow. We do not want it to be made narrower.

  3. GJ

    Excellent. That’s what I call a well researched and positive protest against the proposal. The leaflet “Peachcroft Green Belt Field” did not explain the background to this issue. OK it was a small A5 document but I still think the emphasis on “Greenbelt” detracted from the main argument.

    I would be very interested in some more details on items 3 and 6, particularly he latter.

  4. Janet

    Something will have to be done about the facilities for Health Care in Abingdon. Abingdon has the highest patient numbers at G P’s for the whole of Oxfordshire. The addition of more housing just makes the situation worse. My friend was going abroad and wanted to see her G P before she went but there was no appointment in the week before she went. Plus more housing means less facilities for the people already in Abingdon. The Green Belt argument does not count as there is a drive to build everywhere and according to the Housing minister building on green belt is acceptable.

  5. Sasha

    rudi, you obviously have never had your child been refused a place for a school in catchment! Would you mind your child going to Dry Sandford Primary when you lived in the catchment for Thomas Reade? Especially if you already had an older child already at Thomas Reade? This is what happens when there are too many people being squeezed into a town that hasn’t had a decent infrastructure put in place.

    NIMBY or not, there is just no more room in this town!

    I don’t live near this site but I hope Radley College don’t get their way.

  6. Peachcroft Field Action Group

    In reply to comment by GJ I will include here a transcript of the minutes of the County Planning committee in March 1972.

    (Cf. I/848/71) The County Planning Officer reported verbally on the second phase of the Peachcroft proposals.
    To compensate for the open space provision, which has been negotiated between the District Councils and the Governors of Radley College, it is proposed to realign the north-western end of the perimeter road to include a similar area of land for residential development. No objection is raised to this proposal.
    Resolved: That the proposed realignment of the perimeter road is agreed.

    You can read more about the archaeology of the site in Radley College’s 800 page + planning application. There is a good report in there.

  7. Shell Suit

    There are too many small developments, from a single flat to a estate like this going on in Abingdon. The infrastructure can’t cope. Let’s draw a line at this one and say to Radley college, how about funding the extra school places? Better still insist on infrastructure contributions from every development. But we still need a proper plan! Even back date it to the Old Gaol somehow!

  8. Hester

    Shell suit – you are right about the need for a proper plan. The draft “Local Plan” was put out for initial consultation earlier this year – it covers the whole of the Vale so much of it is not directly relevant – but there is a fair amount of detail about Abingdon – including infrastructure, open spaces etc as well as housing. I think there is due to be more consultation later – it is available on the Vale website so worth a look.

    Under the new national planning framework there is also provision for more genuinely local planning – either by a formal “Neighbourhood Plan” or by supplementary documents which can be added to the Local Plan. All of these require significant input from the Town Council: groups such as Friends of Abingdon have been trying for a long time to get them to do something along these lines, but while some Councillors are keen, the majority are not. Maybe we should all press our Councillors on this?

  9. CB

    It seems pretty clear that a deal was done in the past to secure this small piece of land as a green space. I see no reason why that deal should be reneged on now, certainly not benefit to the people it was negotiated to serve. There seems no reason why it should be allowed. I would actually prefer greenfield was built on else where, I don’t agree with the idea of packing urban areas in as closely as possible eliminating green space, parks and playgrounds and stacking the lower and middle classes in rabbit hutches so the rich elite can enjoy walking their unspoilt estates. It’s not good for people, especially children to grow up in a concrete jungle.

  10. Peachcroft Field Action Group

    We were told by the Bursar of Radley College that there would be an archaeological survey of the field once the crop of barley had been harvested.
    One of the men digging in the field told a neighbour that they had discovered a Roman field system.
    All the trenches have now been filled in and the team have left. That is all we know at present.

  11. Peachcroft Field Action Group

    We are happy to report that the Vale of White Horse District Council refused Radley College’s application for outline planning permission on this field.

    We congratulate the Vale on keeping to their policy of not allowing development on green belt land and really hope that Radley College accept this decision and do not go to appeal.

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