‘Housing would be vandalism’
RESURRECTED plans to build homes on a tree nursery have been described as an “act of vandalism”.
Vale of White Horse District Council wants to build eight “emergency housing” flats on the former Harcourt Way tree nursery north of Bowyer Road.
A similar plan for 14 flats was rejected in 2009 after strong opposition from residents who consider it to be a nature reserve.
Now the Vale is bidding to develop the site again.
Richard Nugent, a gardener who lives in nearby Marsh Court, said: “I was very upset to learn of yet more plans to build on the old tree nursery in Harcourt Way despite local opposition to this act of vandalism.
“As a child, like many kids, I enjoyed fishing in the stream for sticklebacks and have seen water voles and kingfishers disappear as development increases.
“The nursery is a last oasis for various birds and wildlife.
“I know other people love the nursery but, as usual it seems that money talks, and we are powerless to protect our own local spaces being trashed by development.”
Other residents also objected to the plans on the Vale’s website.
F Walsh and D Charlton of Bowyer Road, Abingdon, said they “strongly objected” to the plans, adding: “The site is completely unsuitable for the development proposed. It would involve the unnecessary removal of healthy trees and destruction of an existing haven for wildlife.
“The land is described as disused but we derive pleasure from the wildlife the land and trees support, particularly in summer months.
“We believe the diversity of birds and presence of ethnic mammals, particularly hedgehogs makes the site an ecological benefit to the area.”
The homes would be built by Cranbourne Homes, which is developing the Old Gaol site in Abingdon, to meet its affordable social housing quota.
The Vale’s planning department is due to make a decision on the flats early next month.
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