A NEW 23-hectare technology park in Didcot could create traffic chaos, warns town council.

Reef Group, a developer from London, is seeking planning permission for the scheme off the A4130 on Hill Farm, immediately north of Appleford, in partnership with Vale of White Horse District Council and South Oxfordshire District Council.

The plans, which include a data centre, waste management site, a wood recycling organisation and a battery storage facility, are similar to an application which Pro Vision, of Hampshire, applied for on the same site in 2016. 

READ MORE: Developers took six years to review plans for new technology park in Didcot

Herald Series: The new link road (Reef Group)The new link road (Reef Group)

Public consultation is currently open for the latest submission which seeks mostly to apply a Local Development Order (LDO) to the technology park, which is something local authorities use to simplify the planning process. 

However town councillors are concerned about how long it will take for the developers to install a new road in the area to prevent congestion.

Members of the council’s planning and development committee say that traffic mitigation measures for the Northern Perimeter Road are “essential” to prevent traffic chaos.

Lucy Blake, planning and environment officer for the council, said: “Didcot Town Council’s planning and development committee have doubt over the time scales for this scheme in relation to road infrastructure.

Herald Series: Proposed park (Reef Group)Proposed park (Reef Group)

“The traffic mitigation measures are essential to avoid congestion on the Northern Perimeter Road.

“The committee support the views of the County Archaeologist that the site needs further field evaluation.”

READ MORE: Neighbours shun plans for new takeaway over noise and traffic concerns

Reef Group have agreed to construct a “Culham-Didcot Link Road”, which will be a new link road running towards Culham from the site, to address a “general increase in traffic flows”.

It has also agreed to restrict the volume of traffic during the peak hours until the road has been fully constructed and open to traffic.

Herald Series: Proposed park (Reef Group)Proposed park (Reef Group)

Developers add that the new road could be an opportunity to provide a new bus service through the technology park.

In a transport statement, Reef Group said that by making the scheme an LDO it “significantly reduces” the predicted number of vehicles travelling into the site.

It adds that the development would also “extinguish” the use of Hill Farm resulted in less traffic to the area.

However, it doesn't state when the road will be built by and councillors are concerned the road won’t be delivered in time and will add to existing traffic issues in Didcot due to housing developments.

Councillor Bill Service said traffic is a “major issue” in the town due to developments such as Great Western Park and Ladygrove.

Herald Series: Proposed park (Reef Group)Proposed park (Reef Group)

He said: “My own view is that the infrastructure should really go in before any other developments in Didcot.”

READ MORE: Didcot Mayor calls for better health care before more housing developments

The town council is also concerned the public consultation hasn’t been publicised enough.

Ms Blake added: “The committee noted that there has been little response shown to the consultation and suggest better publicity is needed.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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