COMMUNITIES across southern Oxfordshire have been mobilising against 'massive' developments over fears of noise, pollution and an increasing amount of HGVs.

Plans for a distribution centre at the former Esso research centre on Abingdon Road at Milton Hill Business Park has received objections from residents and parish councils.

Carole Hooper has lived in Rowstock for 22 years and she is part of the Rowstock Residents’ Association.

The group was set up after Harwell Parish Council suggested it would help residents' voices to be heard when objecting to planning applications. The residents' association has objected to plans for homes at the Crab Hill interchange in Wantage and for the distribution site in Milton.

Herald Series: Rowstock residents fear new planning application will bring HGVs to their village.
Picture by Ed Nix

Ms Hopper said: “We started this association because a number of us noticed that there was a planning application for a massive warehousing and distribution site. We thought there will be more lorries potentially going up and down this road, they have told us there will be one lorry coming or going every two minutes, that would be 1200 lorries a day.”

Homeowners in Rowstock say their homes are being damaged by passing lorries and fear further developments will cause more noise, more damage and more pollution.

Ms Hooper said: “Every time lorries go past our properties literally shake and there are cracks developing. It is not just the noise and the damage they cause from the vibrations it is the fact they also want to cut down a number of trees. That seems wrong when we have COP26 going on right now."

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East Hendred Parish Council and Chilton Parish council have also objected to the plans for the distribution centre over environmental impacts of the development and road safety concerns.

Chilton Parish Council raised their concerns for the increasing amount of HGVs in their objection and said: "The hourly rate of HGV s travelling through Rowstock overnight is 27.5 per hour, one every two minutes. The applicant claims that the effect of noise and pollution from the increased number of HGV s will be negligible, this seems very unlikely."

Herald Series: Rowstock residents fear new planning application will bring HGVs to their village.
Picture by Ed Nix

Vale of White Horse District Council said: “This planning application is still in progress. As part of the planning application process we consider all relevant matters raised by local residents.”

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These objections come after communities and councils across southern Oxfordshire have objected to planning applications.

Rowstock Residents’ Association recently hit out at plans to build a new road as part of a 1,500 home development in Wantage over congestion fears.

In Marcham, permission for 90 homes has been granted after it was initially deferred due to concerns over capacity of school and GP services, foul water flooding, air quality and road safety.

In September, a planning inspector approved plans to build 150 new homes in Didcot after a developer's controversial plans to build 176 homes on a 16th century woodland site were turned down.

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