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Link road homes plan to 'cause congestion'
ELEVENTH-HOUR plans to build 300 homes on the site of a failed Witney link road plan will choke the town, councillors have said.
Members of West Oxfordshire District Council’s cabinet were warned by backbenchers about the controversial scheme at a meeting.
It has been added to a district-wide blueprint of where 5,500 homes should go by 2029.
The “Witney East” site was part of the Cogges Link Road that was scrapped after council chiefs failed to get Government approval to force sale of the land. A further 1,000 homes in Downs Road remain in the latest draft of the council’s local plan.
Carterton North East member Henry Howard said: “The time taken by residents to get into Witney is going to be unacceptable to them.
“With that in mind it will be quicker for both sets of people to go to Carterton and they will be most welcome.”
Woodstock and Bladon councillor Julian Cooper warned of congestion, saying: “We now seem to be saying we can put some more in Witney East and magically Bridge Street will get more capacity.”
Chadlington and Churchill’s Neil Owen said the plan would have a “serious impact” on Ducklington Lane and the Shores Green junction.
Some 700 homes are proposed for east Carterton with 400 more in the town centre on former Ministry of Defence (MoD) land.
A consultation last year sought views on east and west sites only.
Brize Norton and Shilton member Verena Hunt said: “If the east site goes ahead and swallows up Brize Norton village, it is not going to stop there.”
Last year’s consultation proposed 4,300 new homes in the district by 2026, but the extra MoD land, the failure of the link road and national planning reforms had boosted this to 5,500 strategic director Andrew Tucker said.
He said: “It does present both a clear and deliverable strategy for accommodating growth where it is needed and in the most sustainable way.”
And council leader Barry Norton warned the council could be “at the mercy of developers” if it fails to meet Government housing targets with its own agreed options.
The plan also proposes 600 homes in Chipping Norton, 450 in the Eynsham and Woodstock areas and 350 in the Burford and Charlbury areas.
Some 35 to 50 per cent of homes will be affordable depending on the area and the plan proposes 60 hectares of district business land.
About 50 people attended Wednesday’s meeting at Langdale Hall, Witney, where the consultation was approved to start next month.