A NEW developer is now planning to try to build houses on a controversial site in Drayton Road.
Homebuilder Taylor Wimpey has bought the land in Drayton Road after fellow developer Hallam Land Management was thwarted last month in its plan to build 159 homes on the site because Oxfordshire County Council refused to put in two pedestrian crossings.
Taylor Wimpey is now expected to prepare an alternative application to build the same number of homes there, sparking fears residents will eventually lose their battle over the greenfield site.
Neil Fawcett, Oxfordshire County Council member for Abingdon South, said: “It is pretty clear that developers are going to work as hard as they can to get planning permission to build on that site.”
He said he would oppose any application that did not address fears over traffic.
Taylor Wimpey is now looking at options for the site.
Spokesman Chris Fidler yesterday said the firm was preparing to start working on an alternative application.
He said: “As part of this process, we will be discussing our emerging proposals with statutory consultees so that comments which have been made in relation to the previous scheme can be fully considered in our new application.
“We will also be conducting a full public consultation to give local people the chance to influence our proposals before our planning application is finalised.”
Hallam Land Management was initially denied planning permission for the scheme but won it last year on appeal.
The go-ahead was given only if the county council gave written confirmation two new crossings would be created in Ock Street and Marcham Road.
Abingdon Town Council leader Sandy Lovatt last night said: “I personally think we will not be able to hold it off forever.
“We have won two battles, but I doubt that we can win the war.”
It comes as the county council has warned there will not be enough developer money to pay for the Lodge Hill A34 junction to be opened to southbound traffic – even if 610 homes are built north of the town.
Responding to Vale of White Horse District Council’s draft local plan, which suggests building 410 houses between Dunmore Road and the A34 by Tilsley Park and another 200 south-west of the park by 2031, county council planning officer Peter Lerner said he had concerns about the development being able to fund the needed transport and education infrastructure through developer contributions.
He said: “The two proposed Abingdon sites trigger a need for a new primary school, but are unlikely to be able to fully fund it.”
And he said: “There is likely to be an expectation that the proposed development will mean south facing slip roads at Lodge Hill are delivered.
“It is very unlikely a development of this scale could fund such a scheme, which is likely to cost in the order of £10m.”
However, Mr Lovatt said he did not accept the developments north of the town could not bring in the money needed for the interchange that would relieve traffic across the town.
He said: “It is becoming a bigger and bigger crisis year by year.”