PLANS to build 200 affordable homes on a field south of Oxford should be thought out more, according to a nearby boater who has planted trees there.
Earlier this month, Oxford City Council announced it is carrying out investigations at Redbridge Paddock, a field opposite the park and ride on Abingdon Road, to see if the field would be suitable for ‘more than 200 homes’.
There are also plans to add extra boat moorings to the riverbanks west of the field.
One of the tenants who lives on two boats at the edge of the field, has called on the council to be careful of local wildlife when they start excavation, and also questioned whether building on an old landfill site may cause environmental damage.
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Leo Young, a former DT teacher, who lives at Redbridge Paddock, said: “I feel that this whole field is somewhere that nature has regained a foothold.
“I feel if the council is going to build housing, really we should be looking at where there is land that is not accommodating nature.”
In red: Redbridge Paddock from above. Picture: Google Maps.
Redbridge Paddock is a former landfill site, closed for public use in the 1970s or 80s.
It is on the opposite side of the river from the Iffley Meadows SSSI, and Mr Young said he is concerned that though wildlife has returned to the field, construction work may scupper this.
Mr Young, who has lived on boats for five years and planted 85 trees at the site added the city council had been ‘’reasonable’ in communicating its plans, but was also concerned that digging up the old landfill site could also have an environmental impact.
A photo of the paddock. Picture: Oxford City Council
He also called for a wide barrier of land between the river bank and the field to be preserved to help foster local wildlife.
Redbridge Paddock used to be classed as Green Belt land until earlier this year when Oxford City Council created a new Local Plan.
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This planning document allowed the council to earmark the land for use as housing due to the exceptional need for new homes in the city.
If the council’s plans get the go ahead, it wants more than 200 homes on the site, half of which would be classed as affordable, with 80 of them rented out cheaply as council houses.
The city council aims to build 10,884 homes in the city by 2036 to address the housing crisis.
The council was contacted for comment.
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