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Outcry at school plan to sell field for homes
A PUBLIC school could make millions selling a farmer’s field to a housing developer, despite protests from town councillors and neighbours.
Radley College, just outside Abingdon, is hoping to get clearance for 60 houses to be built on a field between Radley Road and Twelve Acre Drive in Peachcroft, Abingdon.
The college currently leases the land to Peach Croft farm to grow crops.
Alison Rooke, town councillor for the Peachcroft area, said: “Currently, the Radley Road could not take any more traffic, and an exit on Twelve Acre Drive would be near a busy roundabout.
“The only other way out would be through the estates which are not designed for that amount of traffic.
“The houses would fill that field and there are all sorts of issues that need addressing, such as town facilities and problems with access.”
Rebecca Evans, 45, lives in a house in Pagisters Road, which would overlook the new houses.
She was part of a group of residents who raised their concerns with the district council when plans for houses on the field were mooted last year.
They thought the plans had gone away, but then saw a notice for an upcoming exhibition about the development.
She said: “My initial reaction was horror – the Vale district council told us this was greenbelt land.
“I am not against new houses, but going from a really quiet estate to having something right up next to you seems a bit thoughtless to the neighbours who are already here.
“Where would cars come out safely on Radley Road?”
Warrick Baldwin, who has managed Hodsons Estate Agent in Abingdon for 20 years, said the homes could be worth as much as £15 million.
He said: “They will have to build 40 per cent affordable housing, which is 24 homes which could sell for between £130,000 and £210,000 each.
“Three-bedroom homes in Peachcroft sell for around £250,000, and four- and five-bedroom houses can go for £400,000.”
Radley College bursar Andrew Ashton said: “Radley College historically owned much of the land in Peachcroft that is now built up, so this is just a natural progression.”
He said the money raised by the sale could help fund the school’s scholarships and bursaries.
The school is holding exhibitions of its plans this Saturday and next Wednesday at the Peachcroft Centre in Lindsay Drive. The exhibition will be open from 3.30pm to 6.30pm on Saturday and from 3pm until 7.30pm on Wednesday, and there will be an opportunity to ask questions.