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Congestion concern over housing plans
PLANS to build 43 homes and two sports pitches on land in William Morris Close have met widespread opposition.
Oxford City Council has received 85 letters – the majority negative – about plans by Cantay Estates Ltd to redevelop the site.
The developer wants to build a mix of one- to four-bedroom homes and two new all-weather pitches on the site which at present is used for parking and sports fields.
The news comes after plans to turn the neighbouring former Lord Nuffield Club site into a free school were deferred by the council’s east area planning committee.
Most of the objection letters are from residents, who say the development will have a profound effect on parking and traffic.
East Oxford councillor Saj Malik objected to both the housing bid and the free school application.
He said: “We do not need these houses here. It is against our local plan and there are problems with access and traffic already.”
In her letter to the council, William Morris Close resident Hannah Qualtrough said: “Holloway Road is already very congested with traffic at peak times and this proposal to add additional properties will increase the congestion.
“Barracks Lane is not suitable as a single access road for the amount of additional properties proposed in the long term, and construction traffic on this road will cause problems for local residents in the short term.
“Inadequate parking allocation could lead to local residents facing difficulties parking their vehicles and cause overspill onto nearby streets, in particular Barracks Lane which has unrestricted parking.”
Fellow William Morris Close resident Emma Gillespie said: “Parking is a key reason why we bought the flat and to increase the houses/flats in the area would severely affect accessibility to parking.
“I do not appreciate having to search for a parking space in the area where I own my property.
“This would give rise to arguments within the community and owners/tenants over spaces and would effectively reduce the worth of living in the area.
“In addition, Holloway is already congested in both directions. To introduce new tenants in an area which was so attractive because of its peace, would cause traffic congestion to double at least, making every owner/tenant’s commute to work considerably worse, adding to the city’s traffic problem.”
A statement sent to the council on behalf of the developer said: “The proposed scheme seeks to develop the site with two all-weather pitches together with 43 dwellings, 21 of the dwellings provided being affordable.
“The mix of dwellings complies with the city council’s balance of dwellings policy.
“The development will adopt an appropriate scale and use materials and local vernacular detailing to create a scheme that will be both low key and in keeping with the character of the surrounding area.”