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Appleford Parish Council

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Appleford-on-Thames is a village and civil parish on the south bank of the River Thames about 2 miles (3 km) north of Didcot, Oxfordshire. It was part of Berkshire until the 1974 local government boundary changes. The 2011 Census recorded the parish’s population as 350.

Evidence of Romano-British settlement has been found in a field south of the parish church plus ceramics and human burials of the same period at Manor Farm. In 1968 the Appleford Hoard of 4th-century Roman artefacts was found. It includes Roman coins, pewter ware, and ironmongery including tools, a chain and a padlock. The hoard is now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

This web site is constantly being updated.  Please bear with us as we bring each section up to date. Last update Aug-21.

WHAT’S ON

A FAIR DEAL FOR APPLEFORD. (This section is being updated)

HIF1 New Relief Road and the Appleford Flyover

The Parish Council (APC) is concerned that Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) officials and political leadership are not listening to the valid concerns of residents regarding the New Relief Road and Flyover Bridge so close to the village.

In Oct 2020 the Parish Council conducted a Village Survey to ascertain residents views on OCC’s proposals for the new Relief Road and Thames crossing including the Flyover.  It established their opinions on a range of issues concerning the proposed development and this informed the Parish Council as to the village’s position and desired response.  In effect it established the voice of the village! 

Appleford does not oppose the road, but it does object to a Flyover 30 ft high with trailing embankments close to and overlooking the village.

VILLAGE SURVEY FINDINGS

Residents of Appleford have consistently expressed their concerns (verbally and in writing) at the Public Consultations in 2018 and 2020.  Following the OCC Cabinet decision in July 2020 to build the road between Appleford and Sutton Courtenay, the Parish Council has attended numerous meetings on 24 Sept 20, 20 Nov 20, 7 Jan 21, 21 Jan 21, 14 Apr 21 (site walk through) and 1 July 21. That’s six meetings in the last 12 months

On 7 Jan 2021, APC presented a Position Paper to OCC setting out our concerns and alternative alignments.  This was rejected by OCC in their response two months later.  Appleford does not accept the arguments put forward by OCC rejecting the Position Paper which took the form of a rebuttal rather than consultation. The Parish Council has presented architectural models and diagrams to support its case.  APC contends that the Compromise Route is feasible and the best solution.  It argues for access to the new Relief Round at the roundabout and not at a T junction.

APC addressed OCC Council on 9 Feb 21 and raised questions at the following Council meeting on 23 Mar 21.  On 14 Sept 21 our Chairman delivered a Petition address to OCC Council and presented the Appleford Petition Report and findings to the Chairman. 

OCC have been slow to provide underlying information and reports requested earlier this year. The little information provided to date has been high level summary information with no underlying data and carries the caveat that it is draft. Of particular concern is the cost estimate provided for the Compromise alignment.  The figures provided are broad estimates with little detailed back up or substance.  Cost estimates contain an extraordinarily high contingency reserve of almost two thirds of the total cost. These costs are simply not credible. 

POSITION PAPER LINKS 
ADDRESS TO OCC COUNCIL LINK

Both FCC Environment (landfill) and Hanson Aggregates (gravel stock yard) have confirmed the Compromise Route will not impact their commercial site operations.

Appleford is grateful to its neighbouring Parish Councils, namely Sutton Courtenay, Culham and Long Wittenham who have all provided letters of support in favour of the Compromise Route.

Move the Flyover at Appleford Sidings

The Compromise Route

OCC preferred alignment shown in yellow is only 50m-70m (circa 75 yards) from residences on Main Road. This is simply too close!

The Compromise Route in magenta crosses the rail sidings 200m back (west) from the village and provides the best possible mitigation – separation.  OCC claim crossing the lake (man made drainage pond) is £5m-£6m more expensive.

APC believe the Compromise Route (magenta) which has been adjusted to avoid clipping the landfill is the best solution.  It is shorter and more direct avoiding the bow shaped curve of the yellow route.  In our view, OCC has exaggerated the cost of any alternative alignments.

Principal Objections

The Parish Council maintains the Flyover will damage the village irreparably. Objections to OCC’s proposed alignment are: –

  • an elevated road & flyover at the rail sidings with trailing embankments
  • that will be visually intrusive, and 
  • will generate significant traffic noise along with 
  • rail noise echo from an expanded rail flyover bridge, and 
  • emissions, harmful to human health, blowing onto residents below

Offer of Mitigation are inadequate.  Mitigation is only partly effective and the measures offered are not an acceptable or a fair exchange for the health and well being of residents.

Village Petition

In June and July this year (2021) the Parish Council conducted a Village Petition.  The results have been communicated to OCC and will be formally presented at a (full) Council Meeting on 14 Sept.  The Petition shows 92% of Households and 73% of adults in the village reject OCC’s alignment and want the Compromise Route. 

Examples of Flyover Bridges nearby

The videos below demonstrate the damage in terms of noise, emissions and visual impact the Flyover will have on our village. It’s unacceptable!

OCC and the new political leadership (Fair Deal Alliance for Oxfordshire) must start listening to our concerns. What about a Fair Deal for Appleford?

WALLINGFORD BYPASS BRIDGE (CARS)

DRAYTON BRIDGE (CARS & COMMERCIALS)

Recent and Upcoming Events 

  • 1 SEPT – VILLAGE ASSEMBLY TO UPDATE RESIDENTS (ATTENDANCE 65).
  • 14 SEPT – VILLAGE BANNER DELEGATION OUTSIDE COUNTY HALL.
  • 14 SEPT – PETITION ADDRESS & PRESENTATION OF PETITION REPORT TO COUNCIL CHAIR.
  • 21 SEPT – OCC CONSULTATION ON ROAD PLANS (CANCELLED – AWAITING UPDATE FROM OCC)

Road Campaign:  Appleford will continue to campaign against a Flyover close to the village.  It is seeking verification and validation of the Costs for the Compromise Route and believes OCC’s estimates (approximately double the cost) for building the same flyover bridge further west are exaggerated and are not credible.

OCC have advised that costs for the HIF1 Scheme are running well over Budget. Therefore, cost will be an important factor. It would be unacceptable to find that OCC reject the Compromise Route for a modest increment of say £1.5m, to find the scheme runs hundreds of millions over budget.

While cost will be a factor, the environmental and community impact cannot be ignored..

The Parish Council is examining the possibility of a Crowd Funding initiative with neighbouring parishes. If OCC reject our valid concerns and reasonable request to move the road a short distance, we will consider every possible option including recourse to law.

What Residents can do?

Once the planning application is filed, write to the OCC’s Planning Committee members (names on OCC web site) and object to the Flyover. Ask them to reject the application or impose conditions to move the road away from the village.  Please also write to the Vale of White Horse District Council objecting on the impact the road will have in terms of noise, pollution, and human health. Don’t forget your Councillor and local MP.

Pressings Special Summer Edition: The Parish Council issued a Special Edition of the Pressings (Aug).  This provided  information on the status of the HIF1  development and guidance for residents on how to support our campaign.    

All we ask for is a Fair Deal for Appleford.  This can be achieved by moving the Flyover a modest 200m back from the village.

Book the Village Hall here

We will soon be able to offer online booking for village hall hire.

All bookings will be confirmed by the administrator.