A NEW 23-hectare technology park could demolish a man’s home in Didcot if approved.

Reef Group, a developer 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 include a data centre, waste management site, a wood recycling organisation and a battery storage facility.

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

Herald Series: (Reef Group)(Reef Group)

However David Cooke, who lives in a rented property on Hill Farm, has not been told what will happen to his home if the plans are approved.

He has rented the property for about four years and heard about the plans when the council opened public consultation for the latest plans 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. 

Despite this, Mr Cooke, who works for Thames Cryogenics in the town, said he thinks the plans are “great” and will “put Didcot on the map”.

 “I think the plans are great,” he said. “But I did query them as there’s a house in the middle of the land. I’m just curious as to why they haven’t addressed it.

Herald Series: (Reef Group)(Reef Group)

“It’s a quiet little site up here but the land is pretty rubbish for agriculture. It’s a big bit of land next to a landfill so they’re never going to fill it with great houses.

“So think it’s a great idea and it saves a developer showing up and trying to squeeze lots of houses in.

READ MORE: Plans for new tech park will cause CHAOS on Oxfordshire roads

“There are some lovely housing estates in Didcot but we don’t have the jobs, the transport and the facilities for them. We need to put in the schools, the roads, and the traffic measures first.”

Mr Cooke added that Didcot is a “soulless railway town” and the new technology park could make the town a “great place to live.”

“You will never create the heart of Didcot,” he said. “At the moment it’s only turning into a giant housing estate.

Herald Series: (Reef Group)(Reef Group)

“We could put it on the map as a large technology centre rather then being one of the worst towns in Britain.

“It’s a soulless commuter town and I think we object too much sometimes - we need to on with these things.”

He said doesn’t know what he’ll do if the house is removed but he plans to stay in Didcot.

READ MORE: 'Proposed retirement apartments in Didcot could free up 58 homes,' says developer

He added: “As long as I don’t get home one day and there are bulldozers going through my home then it’s fine as that would be upsetting.”


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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