Airport plan grounded by government’s commission

The Oxford Times: Matthew Barber Matthew Barber

TWO plans to build an airport near Abingdon have been rejected by a Government commission.

But the site, south of Marcham and north of the Hanneys, could still be required for a reservoir by Thames Water.

Yesterday as the Airports Commission rejected both the Oxfordshire proposals, Matthew Barber, leader of the Vale of the White Horse District Council, said: “I am pleased but not surprised.

“At the start I said I thought it was a ridiculous idea and someone was trying their luck.

“We are close to London but not that close and the fact is that it just wasn’t the right area, not to mention the transport problems and the fact that it would decimate several villages.”

Abingdon town councillor Iain Littlejohn agreed and said: “I don’t think having an airport so close to Abingdon would have been good for the town.”

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood added: “As everyone knows, our local road network is already beyond capacity and I can’t think of a more inappropriate place to build an international airport. Of course, more investment in the area is most welcome, but our priority must be key local infrastructure improvements such as the A34.”

Two separate proposals had been put forward – one for a four-runway airport by Bristol-based firm Pleiade and another for a three-runway hub by an organisation call Progressive Aviation Group.

The commission rejected the Progressive Aviation Group proposals first because the Pleiade plans were more detailed.

In its report the commission said the area has also been earmarked for a future reservoir by Thames Water. The company has long held plans to put a reservoir on the site but these were rejected by the Government in 2011.

Thames Water spokesman Becky Trotman said it may still be required and added: “We will be looking at all future water supply options in detail between now and 2020 and would like to see the site continue to be safeguarded from major development until a decision is made.”

Mike Carrivick, a spokesman for Progressive Aviation Group, said: “I suspect that the site in Oxfordshire will not be in contention any more and that must be very satisfying for the residents.”

Pleiade did not comment by the time the Oxford Mail went to press.

The commission considered 52 options and ultimately concluded the best solution would be for new runways at Heathrow or Gatwick.

The site near Abingdon has also been put forward for a 30,000 home garden city but a representative of the consortium of landowners proposing it did not comment on the commission’s findings.

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:24am Wed 18 Dec 13

Anon Coward says...

obvious non story was always a non story....

Now... what about this announcement that the Chiltern Interchange on the A34 will be getting a diamond interchange that Abingdon so obviously needs !
obvious non story was always a non story.... Now... what about this announcement that the Chiltern Interchange on the A34 will be getting a diamond interchange that Abingdon so obviously needs ! Anon Coward

3:22pm Wed 18 Dec 13

King Joke says...

Where is the Chiltern Interchange?
Where is the Chiltern Interchange? King Joke

10:17pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Gunslinger says...

King Joke wrote:
Where is the Chiltern Interchange?
Should be Chilton not Chiltern. It's the one south of the main Harwell site where the original 'old' A34 joins the present dual carriageway towards East Ilsley and Newbury.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: Where is the Chiltern Interchange?[/p][/quote]Should be Chilton not Chiltern. It's the one south of the main Harwell site where the original 'old' A34 joins the present dual carriageway towards East Ilsley and Newbury. Gunslinger

9:40am Thu 19 Dec 13

King Joke says...

Thanks. How will a diamond here help Abindgon? Surely this kind of junction, where a new route diverges from an old one, will usually be one-directional? Does Anon mean Lodge Hill Turn?
Thanks. How will a diamond here help Abindgon? Surely this kind of junction, where a new route diverges from an old one, will usually be one-directional? Does Anon mean Lodge Hill Turn? King Joke

9:48am Thu 19 Dec 13

camden says...

Anon Coward wrote:
obvious non story was always a non story....

Now... what about this announcement that the Chiltern Interchange on the A34 will be getting a diamond interchange that Abingdon so obviously needs !
If you take time to read the report it states that as of this moment in time, Heathrow and Gatwick expansion are the preferred options. Eighteen months ago Heathrow was a non starter and Gatwick was a reluctant second option. Two years from now, when the commission is due to report next it will be all change again. The update to the Chilton interchange you mention was incorporated as part of the plans for the airport development. and in my opinion only happen as a result of a major development of the land proposed for the airport development.
[quote][p][bold]Anon Coward[/bold] wrote: obvious non story was always a non story.... Now... what about this announcement that the Chiltern Interchange on the A34 will be getting a diamond interchange that Abingdon so obviously needs ![/p][/quote]If you take time to read the report it states that as of this moment in time, Heathrow and Gatwick expansion are the preferred options. Eighteen months ago Heathrow was a non starter and Gatwick was a reluctant second option. Two years from now, when the commission is due to report next it will be all change again. The update to the Chilton interchange you mention was incorporated as part of the plans for the airport development. and in my opinion only happen as a result of a major development of the land proposed for the airport development. camden

10:17am Thu 19 Dec 13

Anon Coward says...

camden wrote:
Anon Coward wrote:
obvious non story was always a non story....

Now... what about this announcement that the Chiltern Interchange on the A34 will be getting a diamond interchange that Abingdon so obviously needs !
If you take time to read the report it states that as of this moment in time, Heathrow and Gatwick expansion are the preferred options. Eighteen months ago Heathrow was a non starter and Gatwick was a reluctant second option. Two years from now, when the commission is due to report next it will be all change again. The update to the Chilton interchange you mention was incorporated as part of the plans for the airport development. and in my opinion only happen as a result of a major development of the land proposed for the airport development.
I don't need to read the report to know there will never be an airport built next to Abingdon.

Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that.

Just as they can see that nothing will happen until after the next election, after which it will be built at Heathrow.

The Chilton interchange is happening, regardless of any fantasy airport plans, which is nice for the workers at Harwell, but its Abingdon's north junction/lodge hill/call it what you will that really needs upgrading.

The update to lodge hill has been proposed and backed by members of all the political parties every time an election is on the horizon.

But.... there is always a reason why it cant be done, mostly based around who would pay for it.

I think our best hope is that it could be done as part of an upgrading of the A34 in general, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

Will it happen in my working lifetime... unlikely I think. :(
[quote][p][bold]camden[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Anon Coward[/bold] wrote: obvious non story was always a non story.... Now... what about this announcement that the Chiltern Interchange on the A34 will be getting a diamond interchange that Abingdon so obviously needs ![/p][/quote]If you take time to read the report it states that as of this moment in time, Heathrow and Gatwick expansion are the preferred options. Eighteen months ago Heathrow was a non starter and Gatwick was a reluctant second option. Two years from now, when the commission is due to report next it will be all change again. The update to the Chilton interchange you mention was incorporated as part of the plans for the airport development. and in my opinion only happen as a result of a major development of the land proposed for the airport development.[/p][/quote]I don't need to read the report to know there will never be an airport built next to Abingdon. Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that. Just as they can see that nothing will happen until after the next election, after which it will be built at Heathrow. The Chilton interchange [bold]is[/bold] happening, regardless of any fantasy airport plans, which is nice for the workers at Harwell, but its Abingdon's north junction/lodge hill/call it what you will that really needs upgrading. The update to lodge hill has been proposed and backed by members of all the political parties every time an election is on the horizon. But.... there is always a reason why it cant be done, mostly based around who would pay for it. I think our best hope is that it could be done as part of an upgrading of the A34 in general, but I'm not holding my breath on that one. Will it happen in my working lifetime... unlikely I think. :( Anon Coward

10:43am Thu 19 Dec 13

King Joke says...

Logically you'd put an airport at the population centre of mass, which would be somewhere between London and Birmingham, in Oxon, Bucks or Northants. THe public opposition would make it virtually impossible however.

A better idea is to use HS2 and HS1 to code-share HS rail services into long-haul flights at Heathrow. If you took out flights to Manchester, Newcastle, Paris, Brussels and other short-haul destinations there would be plenty of room at Heathrow for A380 and B747 flights to long-haul flights to the markets we need access to.
Logically you'd put an airport at the population centre of mass, which would be somewhere between London and Birmingham, in Oxon, Bucks or Northants. THe public opposition would make it virtually impossible however. A better idea is to use HS2 and HS1 to code-share HS rail services into long-haul flights at Heathrow. If you took out flights to Manchester, Newcastle, Paris, Brussels and other short-haul destinations there would be plenty of room at Heathrow for A380 and B747 flights to long-haul flights to the markets we need access to. King Joke

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree