A £269 MILLION transport network in Didcot is one step closer to being approved with the grant agreement set to be signed this week.

The Didcot Garden Town housing infrastructure programme, known as HIF1, is the combination of four projects to ensure there is capacity to connect a wave of new houses set to be built to the south of Oxford.

This includes the building of a dual carriageway on the A4130 east of Milton Interchange, a new road bridge over the A4130, railway line and Milton Road, a river crossing linking Didcot to Culham and a bypass for Clifton Hampden.

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The project has been in the offing since 2019 and the next stage is approved a grant determination agreement between Homes England, who are providing the infrastructure money, and Oxfordshire County Council.

In a meeting today (21), the cabinet are recommended to approve the grant which will confirm the funding and the availability period of March 2026.

The next step for the council will be getting compulsory purchase orders from landowners before the plans can be officially approved.  

However, several opponents are against building a road network saying it does not marry up with the environmental ambitions of the county.

An open letter was signed last week by numerous environmental groups, parish councils, and more urging the council to ditch its plans.

Chris Church, of Oxford Friends of the Earth, said the environmental group will continue to head-up the campaign against the application.

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“The council chooses to ignore all the objections,” he said. “It’s fair to say if it wasn’t their own application it would be unlikely to go through but they are making a decision on their own proposal which is not a great way to run a planning system.

“It’s unfortunate that one or two members of the cabinet are pushing this through without proper consideration of the environmental problems there are going to cause.

“They should be saying to Homes England, ‘We want this money but we also want to meet our own climate and environment targets’ - the target means making difficult decisions and this is one of those.

“We will be continuing to push the councillors on the planning committee not to make a bad decision.

“This has happened before and the planning committee have turned around – it can be done again and we know there are a lot of councillors who are unhappy about it but seem unwilling to speaking up publicly.

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“So we are still working against the application, we’re still collecting signatures on our petition that is growing, and there are also plans for a large public seminar with expert speaker – if the council won’t talk about it publicly, we will.”


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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