Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Residents protest at threat of link road

FAMILIES living on a Watlington estate are concerned that the growth of the town could affect

FAMILIES living on a Watlington estate are concerned that the growth of the town could affect their safety.

About 80 residents of the Marlbrook estate attended a public meeting last week to complain that they hadn’t been properly consulted on development.

The town has been allocated 79 new homes to be built by 2027 under South Oxfordshire District Council’s core strategy but this number could rise to 150 or more. A referendum on the plan will be held in the summer.

Matt Reid, speaking for the Marlbrook residents, said they were concerned that a new link road going through the estate could be built.

He said this would result in a dramatic increase in traffic, causing problems of safety, noise and pollution.

Residents claimed the plan consultation process amounted to “tokenism” and that a questionnaire distributed by the committee was overly complicated and that a traffic survey was unreliable.

After the meeting, Marlbrook resident Jeremy Bell said: “A link road through Willow Close will undoubtedly become a de–facto bypass, destroying the character of an estate where children now play in safety.”

He said the traffic survey was “a simple numbers count”, adding: “There was no professional impact study into the consequences of such a development and residents are now unifying to say that this proposal should be dropped.”

Nick Hancock, chairman of the neighbourhood plan core committee, said about 30 meetings had been held with the public and community organisations over the past year.

He added: “The point about the de facto bypass â?? that’s their opiniono which they’re entitled.”

“The traffic survey was carried out by a professional organisation that’s independent of any interest group in Watlington. The residents decide what is the best plan for improving the road system.”

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