Developer to apply for cash to fund road

The Oxford Times: Councillor Les Sibley at the junction  of Howes Lane. Picture: OX66989 Greg Blatchford Buy this photo Councillor Les Sibley at the junction of Howes Lane. Picture: OX66989 Greg Blatchford

WORK to build a major new road replacing Bicester’s Howes Lane could start next year if funding is approved.

The construction of a new eco-town near Bicester has raised concerns current roads may not cope with an influx of traffic.

Developer A2Dominion said it will this month apply for Government cash to fund the new route.

If the application – to the Homes and Communities Agency’s large sites infrastructure fund – is approved, the developer said work could start in 2015.

Regional development director Gerry Walker said: “It’s our intention to put infrastructure in to enable other phases to start.

“This fund is set up by the Government to help unlock large sites in terms of forward funding of key infrastructure.

“A2Dominion hopes the NW Bicester project will be an attractive development to the Homes and Communities Agency.

“All bids received will need to go through a process before any bids are selected or otherwise.”

The proposed new road will be opposite the current Howes Lane, a tunnel would be built under the railway embankment, and a new junction created at Bucknell Road and Lords Lane. It will have a 30mph speed limit and will not form part of the Bicester ring-road, A2Dominion said, which would be located at the south of the town via Graven Hill and Langford Village.

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A2Dominion said at this stage it cannot say how much funding it is applying for or how much the road project will cost.

Mr Walker told Bicester town councillors once the first few hundred homes in the first phase at Banbury Road were built, both Lords Lane and Howes Lane would be at “capacity”.

He said: “It’s not a long way off. What we know is the junction at Howes Lane and Lords Lane will almost be at capacity therefore the junction is not fit for purpose.”

The news comes after work started last month on the first phase of the 6,000-home eco-town at North West Bicester.

Town, district and county councillor Les Sibley raised concerns the new Howes Lane would attract more traffic, including larger lorries that at the moment cannot fit around the junction at the Bucknell Road railway bridge.

He said: “It’s going to link all roads – Skimmingdish Lane, Southwold Lane, Lords Lane, Howes Lane and Vendee Drive.

“They are trying to play it down saying it’s just a little road. It isn’t, it’s going to be a main road going through that end of town.”

Town and district councillor Nick Mawer said he supported the move to re-align the road but was concerned it would be less straightfoward for motorists to reach the A41 and M40 and so people would drive through the town centre instead.

Comments (6)

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2:01pm Fri 9 May 14

Severian says...

This is a bit premature, given that the "Eco-Town" has only just cut turf, and the "masterplan" is actually just a few pages of sketches, and hasn't been approved by the Council.

Not only that by Cherwell District Council's Draft Local Development Plan is not yet in force, and faces a public enquiry very soon.

People also need to be aware that this proposal involves ripping up Howes Lane and replacing it with a 30mph "urban boulevard" (A2Dominion speak for a narrow road with LOTS of traffic lights) so the current route from Southwold and Bure Park to the motorway/Oxford will be severely restricted. A2D's proposal is to send most of that traffic the other way round town - i.e. it will go right past the airfield to the roundabout on the Launton Road (the one that is already chaotic this week).

The new link road built as part of the Kingsmere development will be a "road to nowhere", because the new roundabout at the junction with Howes Land/Middleton Stoney Road will now terminate at an industrial estate.

Once again our planners are not putting together any joined up coherent proposals, and are allowing individual developers to push Bicester outwards willy-nilly, with no understanding of what the long-term impacts are likely to be.

Unfortunately we appear to have no councillors who are able to see past the end of their noses, let alone consider what and how we want Bicester to develop.
This is a bit premature, given that the "Eco-Town" has only just cut turf, and the "masterplan" is actually just a few pages of sketches, and hasn't been approved by the Council. Not only that by Cherwell District Council's Draft Local Development Plan is not yet in force, and faces a public enquiry very soon. People also need to be aware that this proposal involves ripping up Howes Lane and replacing it with a 30mph "urban boulevard" (A2Dominion speak for a narrow road with LOTS of traffic lights) so the current route from Southwold and Bure Park to the motorway/Oxford will be severely restricted. A2D's proposal is to send most of that traffic the other way round town - i.e. it will go right past the airfield to the roundabout on the Launton Road (the one that is already chaotic this week). The new link road built as part of the Kingsmere development will be a "road to nowhere", because the new roundabout at the junction with Howes Land/Middleton Stoney Road will now terminate at an industrial estate. Once again our planners are not putting together any joined up coherent proposals, and are allowing individual developers to push Bicester outwards willy-nilly, with no understanding of what the long-term impacts are likely to be. Unfortunately we appear to have no councillors who are able to see past the end of their noses, let alone consider what and how we want Bicester to develop. Severian
  • Score: 4

2:42pm Fri 9 May 14

Geoff Grace says...

Why should my taxes pay for a road to this private development ?
Why should my taxes pay for a road to this private development ? Geoff Grace
  • Score: 3

5:11pm Fri 9 May 14

Severian says...

Geoff Grace wrote:
Why should my taxes pay for a road to this private development ?
This is called Capitalism - the government taxes your money to allow their friends in the building and development business to make massive profits.

One of the earliest documents about the Bicester Eco-Town is to the leader of Cherwell District Council confirming that one of the key aims is to ensure that "The Council, landowners and the private sector would enjoy the benefits of the long term growth in value which they expect to achieve from the development." i.e. it isn't about building a greener environment and providing much needed houses - it's about making money for the council, developers and landowners.

You can see this letter here: http://www.cherwell.
gov.uk/media/pdf/o/r
/P3Eco_letter.pdf

Read the first bullet point - you can see what their priorities are.
[quote][p][bold]Geoff Grace[/bold] wrote: Why should my taxes pay for a road to this private development ?[/p][/quote]This is called Capitalism - the government taxes your money to allow their friends in the building and development business to make massive profits. One of the earliest documents about the Bicester Eco-Town is to the leader of Cherwell District Council confirming that one of the key aims is to ensure that "The Council, landowners and the private sector would enjoy the benefits of the long term growth in value which they expect to achieve from the development." i.e. it isn't about building a greener environment and providing much needed houses - it's about making money for the council, developers and landowners. You can see this letter here: http://www.cherwell. gov.uk/media/pdf/o/r /P3Eco_letter.pdf Read the first bullet point - you can see what their priorities are. Severian
  • Score: 0

5:24pm Fri 9 May 14

tired99 says...

Please could the Bicester Advertiser/Oxford Mail stop posting pictures of Les Sibley almost every time there is an article about the town. He's been a Councillor for years so could have objected to any proposals before they were approved. Instead he phones up his mate Sam McGregor to get some free publicity. Of course the article also fails to mention that his house is very close to Howes Lane.

Bicester needs a complete ring road not a 30mph boulevard otherwise the town centre will be more congested than it already is.
Please could the Bicester Advertiser/Oxford Mail stop posting pictures of Les Sibley almost every time there is an article about the town. He's been a Councillor for years so could have objected to any proposals before they were approved. Instead he phones up his mate Sam McGregor to get some free publicity. Of course the article also fails to mention that his house is very close to Howes Lane. Bicester needs a complete ring road not a 30mph boulevard otherwise the town centre will be more congested than it already is. tired99
  • Score: 5

9:33am Sat 10 May 14

wales01man says...

Does this Developer put any money up or is it all grants?

So Eco they want to Tarmac more green space
Does this Developer put any money up or is it all grants? So Eco they want to Tarmac more green space wales01man
  • Score: 3

9:36am Tue 13 May 14

to ny w says...

wales01man wrote:
Does this Developer put any money up or is it all grants? So Eco they want to Tarmac more green space
Of course its grants, It needs £12m of public funding to set up the infrastructure at the Exemplar site and Cherwell hope to recover it from future developers, if that ever happens!!

Elephantus blanco
[quote][p][bold]wales01man[/bold] wrote: Does this Developer put any money up or is it all grants? So Eco they want to Tarmac more green space[/p][/quote]Of course its grants, It needs £12m of public funding to set up the infrastructure at the Exemplar site and Cherwell hope to recover it from future developers, if that ever happens!! Elephantus blanco to ny w
  • Score: 0

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