CONTROVERSIAL plans for a major new estate and slip roads in North Abingdon may be pigeonholed by the worsening coronavirus outbreak.

The detailed proposal, which was first announced to residents in March last year, is set to be discussed by Vale of White Horse District Council planning committee in the coming months.

However, as all planning meetings have been halted until the end of April amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the review of the scheme may need to be pushed back.

Vale councillor Emily Smith revealed that the proposal for around 425 houses for the land off Dunmore Road could be one of the few plans which review could be postponed.

While Ms Smith said this is 'worst case scenario', the councillor acknowledged that many employees – from the district council, planning committee and contractors – may be ill or self-isolating over the upcoming weeks.

However, local residents were not eager to see the scheme progress anyway with many concerned about 'horrendous' traffic.

Housebuilder David Wilson Homes and Barratt are set to construct the new properties, which will be a mix of one, two, three, four and five bedroom homes.

The proposed scheme will see a 900 new 'high-quality' residencies in the North Abingdon area by developer Commercial Estates Group.

One resident from a neighbouring estate who wishes to remain anonymous argued the number of new properties will definitely have an adverse impact on drivers using Dunmore Road.

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He added: "There are definitely mixed reactions by people in the area – some do not want this build simply because traffic is already so bad in Abingdon.

"There are a lot of opinions circling around but nobody had heard anything about it until we all received these leaflets hand-delivered through the letterbox."

The man was referring to a surprising leaflet distributed last week by the local residents' association.

In the flyer former planning advisor Ticia Lever revealed that the county council has undertaken significant modelling of the A34 slip roads and that the planning application for the project will be submitted in June this year, with the secretary of state for transport Grant Shapps determining the application.

Ms Lever who is part of the North Abingdon Local Plan Group said that construction of the slip roads is scheduled to begin in July next year and completed in May 2022.

A spokesperson for Oxfordshire County Council said: "This scheme would be funded by the government and from housing sites planned for the surrounding area.

"The current programme shows construction starting mid-2021 and completion in mid-2022, subject to planning and Highways England approvals of course."

While the ongoing pandemic may in fact push back planning committee meetings, there is nothing to suggest that construction works may also be affected.

The county council added: "At this time there is nothing to indicate an impact but we will of course keep the situation under review."

To find out more about the plans visit