Outcry at school plan to sell field for homes

Herald Series: Alison Rooke, Rebecca Evans, Pat Lonergan, Russell Clear and Janet Walker by the site for a proposed 60-home development. Picture: OX57588 Damian Halliwell Buy this photo » Alison Rooke, Rebecca Evans, Pat Lonergan, Russell Clear and Janet Walker by the site for a proposed 60-home development. Picture: OX57588 Damian Halliwell

A PUBLIC school could make millions selling a farmer’s field to a housing developer, despite protests from town councillors and neighbours.

Radley College, just outside Abingdon, is hoping to get clearance for 60 houses to be built on a field between Radley Road and Twelve Acre Drive in Peachcroft, Abingdon.

The college currently leases the land to Peach Croft farm to grow crops.

Alison Rooke, town councillor for the Peachcroft area, said: “Currently, the Radley Road could not take any more traffic, and an exit on Twelve Acre Drive would be near a busy roundabout.

“The only other way out would be through the estates which are not designed for that amount of traffic.

“The houses would fill that field and there are all sorts of issues that need addressing, such as town facilities and problems with access.”

Rebecca Evans, 45, lives in a house in Pagisters Road, which would overlook the new houses.

She was part of a group of residents who raised their concerns with the district council when plans for houses on the field were mooted last year.

They thought the plans had gone away, but then saw a notice for an upcoming exhibition about the development.

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She said: “My initial reaction was horror – the Vale district council told us this was greenbelt land.

“I am not against new houses, but going from a really quiet estate to having something right up next to you seems a bit thoughtless to the neighbours who are already here.

“Where would cars come out safely on Radley Road?”

Warrick Baldwin, who has managed Hodsons Estate Agent in Abingdon for 20 years, said the homes could be worth as much as £15 million.

He said: “They will have to build 40 per cent affordable housing, which is 24 homes which could sell for between £130,000 and £210,000 each.

“Three-bedroom homes in Peachcroft sell for around £250,000, and four- and five-bedroom houses can go for £400,000.”

Radley College bursar Andrew Ashton said: “Radley College historically owned much of the land in Peachcroft that is now built up, so this is just a natural progression.”

He said the money raised by the sale could help fund the school’s scholarships and bursaries.

The school is holding exhibitions of its plans this Saturday and next Wednesday at the Peachcroft Centre in Lindsay Drive. The exhibition will be open from 3.30pm to 6.30pm on Saturday and from 3pm until 7.30pm on Wednesday, and there will be an opportunity to ask questions.

Comments (23)

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3:24pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Tinkerbelle22 says...

I'm all for housing, especially of the affordable variety, but more houses in Abingdon? Especially on greenbelt land!! Schools are stretched to bursing point, traffic is a joke - when will the additional infrastructure come to support all the extra bodies that will occupy these houses?
I'm all for housing, especially of the affordable variety, but more houses in Abingdon? Especially on greenbelt land!! Schools are stretched to bursing point, traffic is a joke - when will the additional infrastructure come to support all the extra bodies that will occupy these houses? Tinkerbelle22

7:21pm Wed 27 Feb 13

oafie says...

Anyone ever going to support new housing?

Seems like a good location to me, it depends where you are travelling to.
Anyone ever going to support new housing? Seems like a good location to me, it depends where you are travelling to. oafie

7:23pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Abingdon Neil says...

Another major development on the way because the Conservatives running the Vale haven't got the new Local Plan sorted out.

This means we now face 'planning by appeal'.
Another major development on the way because the Conservatives running the Vale haven't got the new Local Plan sorted out. This means we now face 'planning by appeal'. Abingdon Neil

10:06am Thu 28 Feb 13

colbart says...

A very small stretch of land, used to be 'open' to walkers one time.

Popular with dog walkers. Was 'sealed' off with wire and signs with No Entry a while ago...
A very small stretch of land, used to be 'open' to walkers one time. Popular with dog walkers. Was 'sealed' off with wire and signs with No Entry a while ago... colbart

11:08am Thu 28 Feb 13

DKR1987 says...

@oxford exile - if things are so rosy over here why do you now reside in Phuket?

the real 'live' issue here is one of infrastructure - where is the access road to be sited? where are the extra school places to be found?

also - Andrew Ashtons comment regarding the funding of bursaries & scholarships reeks of elitism....those are of zero benefit to the local community. Also Radley college has thousands of acres of land surrounding the actual college itself - why no develop this instead of land so close to existing housing? perhaps they are the real NIMBYs in this scenario...
@oxford exile - if things are so rosy over here why do you now reside in Phuket? the real 'live' issue here is one of infrastructure - where is the access road to be sited? where are the extra school places to be found? also - Andrew Ashtons comment regarding the funding of bursaries & scholarships reeks of elitism....those are of zero benefit to the local community. Also Radley college has thousands of acres of land surrounding the actual college itself - why no develop this instead of land so close to existing housing? perhaps they are the real NIMBYs in this scenario... DKR1987

1:01pm Thu 28 Feb 13

CLLR KEN TIWARI says...

I wonder if all these so call protesters got their own lovely homes; How arrogant you could be, dear protesters ?
I wonder if all these so call protesters got their own lovely homes; How arrogant you could be, dear protesters ? CLLR KEN TIWARI

1:22pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Adrian1 says...

£130k - £210k affordable housing?!!!
And I guess that'll mean Radley becomes a suburb of Abingdon given it'll be attached via non stop housing instead of a small field seperation.
£130k - £210k affordable housing?!!! And I guess that'll mean Radley becomes a suburb of Abingdon given it'll be attached via non stop housing instead of a small field seperation. Adrian1

1:55pm Thu 28 Feb 13

DKR1987 says...

@CLLR KEN - stick to your area sunshine....abingdon
s a long way from risinghurst....furth
ermore i note that one of your bugbears appears to be traffic - would you care to explain, as you are clearly so informed regarding this situation in abingdon, exactly how the increased traffic would be absorbed and also what effect this would have on infrastructure in the area?

but well done...i applaud your noble defence of private school Radley Colleges attempt to generate more revenue for themselves and so make costs more manageable for the poor downtrodden demographic who scrimp and save to send their children to study there....
@CLLR KEN - stick to your area sunshine....abingdon s a long way from risinghurst....furth ermore i note that one of your bugbears appears to be traffic - would you care to explain, as you are clearly so informed regarding this situation in abingdon, exactly how the increased traffic would be absorbed and also what effect this would have on infrastructure in the area? but well done...i applaud your noble defence of private school Radley Colleges attempt to generate more revenue for themselves and so make costs more manageable for the poor downtrodden demographic who scrimp and save to send their children to study there.... DKR1987

3:07pm Thu 28 Feb 13

DKR1987 says...

having just done a little research (you should try it councillor ken) i can now confim that radley college actually sits in over 800 acres of land...perhaps it would be better for them to look at land they own with access from the top of lodge hill?

having said that Radley College only charges it's pupils £10,000 per term....or approx. £40,000 per academic year per pupil...so clearly they need all the financial help they can get to continue their philanthropic works educating the dispossessed youth of this country.
having just done a little research (you should try it councillor ken) i can now confim that radley college actually sits in over 800 acres of land...perhaps it would be better for them to look at land they own with access from the top of lodge hill? having said that Radley College only charges it's pupils £10,000 per term....or approx. £40,000 per academic year per pupil...so clearly they need all the financial help they can get to continue their philanthropic works educating the dispossessed youth of this country. DKR1987

3:14pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Feelingsmatter says...

I don't understand the objection about Twelve Acre Drive, as it's a quiet road, apart from Abingdon mini-rush-hour, when traffic is still free-flowing if a little heavier. I suspect the protest is more about people losing their view over a small field which, while understandable, is not a valid reason to refuse planning permission.

The field was closed to dog walkers after local yobs took to riding track-bikes over it. £130,000 is fairly reasonable as the price of a starter-home, but I guess the question is whether it would materialise, or whether "unexpected costs" will get in the way, as has happened before.
I don't understand the objection about Twelve Acre Drive, as it's a quiet road, apart from Abingdon mini-rush-hour, when traffic is still free-flowing if a little heavier. I suspect the protest is more about people losing their view over a small field which, while understandable, is not a valid reason to refuse planning permission. The field was closed to dog walkers after local yobs took to riding track-bikes over it. £130,000 is fairly reasonable as the price of a starter-home, but I guess the question is whether it would materialise, or whether "unexpected costs" will get in the way, as has happened before. Feelingsmatter

3:27pm Thu 28 Feb 13

DKR1987 says...

the current plans takes the traffic out via pagisters road cutting through a small quiet cul-de-sac not from twelve acre drive. google 'barrow hill close' and zoom in on street view for a better understanding and the implications over the proposed route.

whilst i perhaps don't object to the development in principle the plans need a lot of tweaking. and radley colleges arrogant statement regarding 'natural progression' makes vomit-worthy reading...they are sat on 800 acres....they don't want to develop any closer to their college as they don't want residential development nr them....so it seems that the poor little rich kids the elite push out to the closeted isolated boarding school need protecting from development but clearly these concerns are not, in Radleys eyes, valid when concerning people who actually live in the area.
the current plans takes the traffic out via pagisters road cutting through a small quiet cul-de-sac not from twelve acre drive. google 'barrow hill close' and zoom in on street view for a better understanding and the implications over the proposed route. whilst i perhaps don't object to the development in principle the plans need a lot of tweaking. and radley colleges arrogant statement regarding 'natural progression' makes vomit-worthy reading...they are sat on 800 acres....they don't want to develop any closer to their college as they don't want residential development nr them....so it seems that the poor little rich kids the elite push out to the closeted isolated boarding school need protecting from development but clearly these concerns are not, in Radleys eyes, valid when concerning people who actually live in the area. DKR1987

9:25am Fri 1 Mar 13

DKR1987 says...

my house is nowhere near the field in question....i simply grew up there and understand the dynamics of the current traffic plans...which clearly seem to have escaped you...

as for CLLR KEN - his post is barely legible so not entirely sure what 'point' he is making...that the people featured in the article have homes? ergo no-one who owns a home can ever take issue with plans for new developments?

lol.

the failure of the political class in this country to engage with the people is amply demonstrated by CLLR KEN's post....he makes as much sense as that other pseudo-politician Ken Livingstone...
my house is nowhere near the field in question....i simply grew up there and understand the dynamics of the current traffic plans...which clearly seem to have escaped you... as for CLLR KEN - his post is barely legible so not entirely sure what 'point' he is making...that the people featured in the article have homes? ergo no-one who owns a home can ever take issue with plans for new developments? lol. the failure of the political class in this country to engage with the people is amply demonstrated by CLLR KEN's post....he makes as much sense as that other pseudo-politician Ken Livingstone... DKR1987

10:39am Fri 1 Mar 13

isitjustme? says...

Houses are going to be built that is a fact, Are they in the right place probably not as some one will always be effected by development.
So we have to accept it will happen as the council will recieve another 60 council tax receipts and will give the go ahead.
Yes schools are a problem but that isnot going to change while we as parents insist on choosing a better school as opposed to the nearest and the traffic well peachcroft is one of the easiest roads to use and will 60 homes make that much difference to local traffic i dont think so.
The big question is will these new people spend their money in the town and benifit the local economy i doubt that while we do NOTHING to sort the town centre traffic and shopping.
Houses are going to be built that is a fact, Are they in the right place probably not as some one will always be effected by development. So we have to accept it will happen as the council will recieve another 60 council tax receipts and will give the go ahead. Yes schools are a problem but that isnot going to change while we as parents insist on choosing a better school as opposed to the nearest and the traffic well peachcroft is one of the easiest roads to use and will 60 homes make that much difference to local traffic i dont think so. The big question is will these new people spend their money in the town and benifit the local economy i doubt that while we do NOTHING to sort the town centre traffic and shopping. isitjustme?

10:52am Fri 1 Mar 13

DKR1987 says...

the traffic in the town centre has been appalling since the change from the one way system 5 years ago...abingdon seems gridlocked from all approaches during rush hours now...other than Stert St...which appears to be the only place in the whole of abingdon which benefitted from the change.

'interestingly' the president of abingdon chamber of commerce (who promoted and rubber-stamped this new traffic scheme) - Mrs Jill Carver - owns the 'Added Ingredients' shop on Stert St....which benefitted from the narrowing of Stert St during the imposition of the new traffic scheme 5 or so years ago by the construction of a loading bay exactly outside her shop.
the traffic in the town centre has been appalling since the change from the one way system 5 years ago...abingdon seems gridlocked from all approaches during rush hours now...other than Stert St...which appears to be the only place in the whole of abingdon which benefitted from the change. 'interestingly' the president of abingdon chamber of commerce (who promoted and rubber-stamped this new traffic scheme) - Mrs Jill Carver - owns the 'Added Ingredients' shop on Stert St....which benefitted from the narrowing of Stert St during the imposition of the new traffic scheme 5 or so years ago by the construction of a loading bay exactly outside her shop. DKR1987

12:00pm Fri 1 Mar 13

isitjustme? says...

Not sure Mrs Carver had any real influence on the scheme as i dont believe the council listened to th concerns of the chamber i was personally involved in a consultation at the beginging of the process and my biggest concern was ignored as was my suggestions when i was invited to a meeting involving town vale county and police.
At this meeting it was widely accepted by county that the change to the roads had been a failure and i still to date have never recieved any minutes from the meeting indeed NOT ONE single change has been implimented to ease the problem.
Not sure Mrs Carver had any real influence on the scheme as i dont believe the council listened to th concerns of the chamber i was personally involved in a consultation at the beginging of the process and my biggest concern was ignored as was my suggestions when i was invited to a meeting involving town vale county and police. At this meeting it was widely accepted by county that the change to the roads had been a failure and i still to date have never recieved any minutes from the meeting indeed NOT ONE single change has been implimented to ease the problem. isitjustme?

12:07pm Fri 1 Mar 13

DKR1987 says...

just a strange and rather fortuituous coincidence for Mrs Carver then!!

i wouldn't hold any truck with the consultation exercise carried out....they have no real meaning and their only purpose is to create a paper trail that can be produced to show that the local community was consulted at planning stage...there is no obligation to actually listen to any of the concerns.

as regards the traffic scheme itself i may be mistaken but i seem to remember that the software controlling the cameras was tweaked to improve things....which in fairness seems to have worked as although still bad the traffic congestion is not as horrific as it was in the first few weeks following the changeover...
just a strange and rather fortuituous coincidence for Mrs Carver then!! i wouldn't hold any truck with the consultation exercise carried out....they have no real meaning and their only purpose is to create a paper trail that can be produced to show that the local community was consulted at planning stage...there is no obligation to actually listen to any of the concerns. as regards the traffic scheme itself i may be mistaken but i seem to remember that the software controlling the cameras was tweaked to improve things....which in fairness seems to have worked as although still bad the traffic congestion is not as horrific as it was in the first few weeks following the changeover... DKR1987

6:07pm Sun 3 Mar 13

Lord Palmerstone says...

Just one little question. If the birth rate of the people indigenous to this country is less than replacement (i.e. 2 per couple) and if long awaited welfare reforms are going to reduce that figure even more (oh plesae let it happen) then our problem would appear to be that of an aging workforce but certainly not one of further need to concrete South East England, would it not? I would genuinely appreciate the answer to that.
Just one little question. If the birth rate of the people indigenous to this country is less than replacement (i.e. 2 per couple) and if long awaited welfare reforms are going to reduce that figure even more (oh plesae let it happen) then our problem would appear to be that of an aging workforce but certainly not one of further need to concrete South East England, would it not? I would genuinely appreciate the answer to that. Lord Palmerstone

6:10pm Sun 3 Mar 13

Lord Palmerstone says...

And DKR1987, is there any hope of a bit less bigotry about the people who pay your childrens' school costs as well as their own?
And DKR1987, is there any hope of a bit less bigotry about the people who pay your childrens' school costs as well as their own? Lord Palmerstone

6:41pm Sun 3 Mar 13

bart-on simpson says...

Affordable housing needs to be banned as a label.
Affordable housing needs to be banned as a label. bart-on simpson

8:21am Mon 4 Mar 13

Lord Palmerstone says...

bart-on simpson wrote:
Affordable housing needs to be banned as a label.
Sadly it suits some group of single issue fanatics who will continue to use it despite its being blindingly obvious that all property finds a buyer when the price is right. Equally the fact that I worked all my life to buy a house and my neighbour didn't doesn't mean he lives in social housing and I in anti social. He lives in public housing and that which belongs to everyone belongs to no one as parts of Barton and BBL tragically show.
[quote][p][bold]bart-on simpson[/bold] wrote: Affordable housing needs to be banned as a label.[/p][/quote]Sadly it suits some group of single issue fanatics who will continue to use it despite its being blindingly obvious that all property finds a buyer when the price is right. Equally the fact that I worked all my life to buy a house and my neighbour didn't doesn't mean he lives in social housing and I in anti social. He lives in public housing and that which belongs to everyone belongs to no one as parts of Barton and BBL tragically show. Lord Palmerstone

3:14pm Mon 4 Mar 13

NinjaBiscuits says...

Lord Palmerstone wrote:
Just one little question. If the birth rate of the people indigenous to this country is less than replacement (i.e. 2 per couple) and if long awaited welfare reforms are going to reduce that figure even more (oh plesae let it happen) then our problem would appear to be that of an aging workforce but certainly not one of further need to concrete South East England, would it not? I would genuinely appreciate the answer to that.
Yes, I see your point, but even if that were true (it's not, as per the latest census, the UK population is still growing - England and Wales had the biggest population growth surge since records began) the trouble is there isn't enough housing *currently*, which is why the average first time buying can't afford it until they are 30 nowadays (I'm edging very close to that age and there is no way I will be able to afford anywhere around Oxford until well past then, unless I get a monster pay rise!). We need new houses just to cope with the lack of building for the last 30 years, let alone population growth.
[quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: Just one little question. If the birth rate of the people indigenous to this country is less than replacement (i.e. 2 per couple) and if long awaited welfare reforms are going to reduce that figure even more (oh plesae let it happen) then our problem would appear to be that of an aging workforce but certainly not one of further need to concrete South East England, would it not? I would genuinely appreciate the answer to that.[/p][/quote]Yes, I see your point, but even if that were true (it's not, as per the latest census, the UK population is still growing - England and Wales had the biggest population growth surge since records began) the trouble is there isn't enough housing *currently*, which is why the average first time buying can't afford it until they are 30 nowadays (I'm edging very close to that age and there is no way I will be able to afford anywhere around Oxford until well past then, unless I get a monster pay rise!). We need new houses just to cope with the lack of building for the last 30 years, let alone population growth. NinjaBiscuits

5:15pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Lord Palmerstone says...

NinjaBiscuits wrote:
Lord Palmerstone wrote:
Just one little question. If the birth rate of the people indigenous to this country is less than replacement (i.e. 2 per couple) and if long awaited welfare reforms are going to reduce that figure even more (oh plesae let it happen) then our problem would appear to be that of an aging workforce but certainly not one of further need to concrete South East England, would it not? I would genuinely appreciate the answer to that.
Yes, I see your point, but even if that were true (it's not, as per the latest census, the UK population is still growing - England and Wales had the biggest population growth surge since records began) the trouble is there isn't enough housing *currently*, which is why the average first time buying can't afford it until they are 30 nowadays (I'm edging very close to that age and there is no way I will be able to afford anywhere around Oxford until well past then, unless I get a monster pay rise!). We need new houses just to cope with the lack of building for the last 30 years, let alone population growth.
Yes, I was careful to say "indigenous population" you'll note.Supposing the State had a Damascene moment and stopped perverting the market by paying Housing Benefit. After a (3 year?) bumpy ride, would that not even out supply and demand in the various regions?
I take it that no one believes concreting is desirable, in my thesis, but if anyone likes it I guess Hong Kong's the place for them, not England
[quote][p][bold]NinjaBiscuits[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: Just one little question. If the birth rate of the people indigenous to this country is less than replacement (i.e. 2 per couple) and if long awaited welfare reforms are going to reduce that figure even more (oh plesae let it happen) then our problem would appear to be that of an aging workforce but certainly not one of further need to concrete South East England, would it not? I would genuinely appreciate the answer to that.[/p][/quote]Yes, I see your point, but even if that were true (it's not, as per the latest census, the UK population is still growing - England and Wales had the biggest population growth surge since records began) the trouble is there isn't enough housing *currently*, which is why the average first time buying can't afford it until they are 30 nowadays (I'm edging very close to that age and there is no way I will be able to afford anywhere around Oxford until well past then, unless I get a monster pay rise!). We need new houses just to cope with the lack of building for the last 30 years, let alone population growth.[/p][/quote]Yes, I was careful to say "indigenous population" you'll note.Supposing the State had a Damascene moment and stopped perverting the market by paying Housing Benefit. After a (3 year?) bumpy ride, would that not even out supply and demand in the various regions? I take it that no one believes concreting is desirable, in my thesis, but if anyone likes it I guess Hong Kong's the place for them, not England Lord Palmerstone

5:37pm Wed 6 Mar 13

Socrates Sister says...

I think the problem here is that the developer is choosing where to build houses based on their profits rather than the council choosing where development is based on what is best for the community as the Vale has no local plan in place.
I don't think Jill Carver's deli came into it!
I think the problem here is that the developer is choosing where to build houses based on their profits rather than the council choosing where development is based on what is best for the community as the Vale has no local plan in place. I don't think Jill Carver's deli came into it! Socrates Sister

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