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190 new homes ‘will have no impact on village traffic’
OXFORDSHIRE’S highways authority has said the construction of 190 homes on the Wolvercote paper mill site will not impact traffic through the village.
Oxford University wants to sell off the site after getting planning permission for the homes but this has sparked concerns from a large number of Wolvercote residents.
One of their fears is the amount of traffic the scheme, off Mill Road, will generate, particularly on the already-congested Wolvercote roundabout.
But Oxfordshire County Council officer Huw Jones says in a report this won’t be a problem. He said: “It is accepted that the additional traffic in terms of the total volume is not significant at around one to two per cent of the total traffic on the roundabout.
“The speed limit through the village is 20mph. The recent speed observations show some speeds to be in excess of this and, therefore, mitigation measures should be used to complement the works that are envisaged for the junction of Mill Road with Godstow Road.”
Mr Jones adds that the university should pay £225,000 to help buy a new bus to increase the frequency of the village’s service.
John Bleach, the chairman of the Wolvercote neighbourhood forum steering group, said: “The development is far too large and too dense and will adversely affect the character of Lower Wolvercote.
“The development is too large for the existing road network. We are unconvinced by the applicant’s predictions of car use.
“The sole means of access issues onto a narrow and busy road between two pubs and near a bend beside a children’s play area and is potentially hazardous.”
In its planning application, the university says the increase in traffic in Godstow Road will be “small” and the impact on Wolvercote roundabout will be “insignificant”.
Production of paper at Wolvercote dated back to at least 1674 and it was claimed that during the 18th century it made the best white paper in England.
The mill was bought by Oxford University Press in 1870 and continued to supply it with paper until its closure in 1998.
It was demolished in 2004 and in 2005 the university put forward plans for a £40m scheme including 200 homes for staff on the 17-acre site.
But the plans were scaled back to reduce costs, then shelved in 2011.
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