PEOPLE living in an Oxfordshire town are ‘concerned and disgusted’ about plans to place a ground maintenance compound on land intended for a wildflower meadow.

South Oxfordshire District Council has submitted plans to place a compound comprising of staff welfare, cleaning and office Portacabins as well as parking bays for up to 18 vehicles, a skip area, fuel storage, open storage and several shipping containers on the land to the west of Sir Frank Williams Way in Great Western Park, Didcot.

The permanent grounds maintenance has been planned as the management and maintenance responsibilities of the nearby housing development is being assed from Vale of White Horse District Council to South Oxfordshire District Council.

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Therefore, the authority wants a permanent compound nearby.

The application has caused concern for people living nearby stating the land was supposed to be used for allotments and wildflower meadows.

However in a design and access statement, the council states that the site has no ‘development plan policies’ related to it as well as it ‘not being the subject of any protected areas which provide a clear reason for refusal’.

Claire Hill, of Oak Hill Lane, said: “My family and I live just up the road from this proposal and are disgusted with this application. It should be a wildflower meadow and allotments.

“We bought our house knowing we would be able to walk around here. This would obstruct us all to walk around the bottom of Sir Frank William Avenue and it would create more traffic, noise and pollution.”

She added that she only found out about the application about a resident shared it online, describing the work by the council as ‘sly’.

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Gareth Clarke, of Red Kite Way, added that more than 3,000 people have responded to the Facebook post with the ‘vast majority’ objecting.

He said: “The Great Western Park Residents' Association outright objects to this proposal. The location is completely unsuitable and provides no benefit to residents.

“We are also concerned that both health care provision and allotments are nearly 10 years late compared to the master plan.

“This will have a negative impact on the biodiversity in addition to a landscaping. There are plenty or more suitable locations.”

Simonas Mikuzis, of the Poplars, added: “The construction will change the natural landscape and may decrease property values. Furthermore, the new development will increase traffic and may strain local infrastructure, such as roads and public transportation.”

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Didcot councillor Ian Snowdon said the application treated residents as 'second class citizens'. 

A full decision will be made by February 16. To comment, visit application number P22/V2705/FUL


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

Gee covers Abingdon, Didcot, Wallingford and Wantage.

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