Your MP’s responses to the 1000 new homes to be built in North Abingdon.

By   4 October 2014
Below are the emails that we sent to Nicola Blackwood, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, regarding the news that instead of 610 new houses to be built on land off Dunmore Road, 1000 have been agreed. 
Below is the latest response from Nicola Blackwood, and we thank her for taking the time to reply;


Dear Abingdon First,

Thank you very much for contacting me with your concerns, and I am sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

I have made the case to the Chancellor in the strongest possible terms that the A34 is operating at full capacity, and we need urgent investment on the route as a whole in order to achieve sustainable economic growth in Oxfordshire, particularly at a time when much needed housing is planned for the area. I have also been pushing hard for investment to address the specific problems in Abingdon and the need for a diamond junction at Lodge Hill to divert traffic away from Marcham Road and Ock Street and ease the queues on Drayton Road.

The new houses on Dunmore Road have been included in the Vale of White Horse District Council’s Local Plan, however before they are approved there will be the opportunity for public consultation and scrutiny throughout the planning application and I will ensure that I do whatever I can to represent local residents through that process.

On the County Council’s recent decision with regard to the pedestrian crossings at Drayton Road and the planned 159 new homes, I have called on the Vale of White Horse District Council to seek legal advice and examine the options for a Judicial Review of this decision. I submitted my objections to this application in August, drawing on safety concerns about the changes to the crossings, and I strongly believe the social and physical infrastructure of the area must be taken into account.

The A34 is not only causing daily misery for businesses, families and commuters but is also acting as a barrier to economic growth and I have consistently said that we must have infrastructure before expansion.

Yours sincerely,



19/10/14                                                                                                                                                                     Dear Nicola,

We are still waiting for your response to our previous emails, one of which your Office manager responded too, telling us we would get a reply as soon as you were out of your meeting (25th September 16:10).
You have recently been in the local press, stating that you have been talking to George Osborne with regard to looking into, or as you put it, “We need a long-term plan for improvement along the whole of the A34”.  Can you then tell us, how this long-term plan will fit in with the 1000 homes that have just been given the go-ahead to be built, in your constituency of Abingdon (North), and IF the A34 gets the upgrade that you require, and desperately needs, will these 1,000 homes then need to be compulsory purchased back (No doubt at minimal cost), and demolished, to allow the expansion of the A34 into at least a three lane carriageway?
Won’t it be the case, that if these homes are built, as a minimum, that the current A34 will have to have that whole stretch adjacent to them, reduced in speed limit to 50 mph, (as is the long stretch at Botley, where the homes are further away than these will be), thus causing more congestion on the A34?
We would also ask for your thoughts and opinion please, on the recent news that Cllr Nimmo-Smith overturned his earlier decision on moving a pedestrian crossing, due to safety concerns, and has now given the go-ahead to build 159 homes on the Drayton Road, thus causing even more congestion to South Abingdon, and potential injury/death to school children who will not use the crossing once it is moved further out of their way and will naturally take the shortest route?
We really do need a response from you on this as our MP, as it does not look good to our (just under) 17,000 viewers that our own MP cannot be bothered to respond to questions about her own constituency?
This email will be published on the website, as will your reply if we receive one.
We look forward to your response at your earliest opportunity.
Many thanks
Kind regards
Dear Nicola
Could you please give us your comment on the 1000 new homes to be built in North Abingdon, and what infrastructure will be put in place BEFORE a brick is laid in this already over-stressed area?
Many thanks
Kind regards
Nicola BLACKWOOD, Nicola (
Thank you for your email to Nicola.  She’s been in meetings all afternoon so I haven’t been able to get a comment from her yet – but I will let you know as soon as I hear from her.
Best wishes,
Emily CliftonOffice Manager to Nicola Blackwood MP | Oxford West and AbingdonHouse of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA | 020 7219 7126 |
Hi Emily,
Could we now ask for Nicola’s comments regarding the 1000 homes that are to be built in North Abingdon, and also what safeguards are to be  put in place to ensure that the infrastructure and leisure facilities are adequate for this massive expansion please?
Many thanks
Kind regards
Nicola was very vocal leading up to the local by-election, regarding the A34 and Lodge-Hill diamond interchange.
We trust that this wasn’t just paying lip-service to try and garner support for the Conservatives? If it was, then people will remember this when it comes around to the general election…

10 Comments on “Your MP’s responses to the 1000 new homes to be built in North Abingdon.

  1. Anonymous

    Builders have always had a lot of pencils in their hands. The problem is that there are far too many helpful hands in the Council offering free sharpeners while ignoring the voice of the people who have elected them. Conservatives are working really hard indeed to ensure that they will lose Abingdon in the next elections.

    Nicola, there is still a chance to save your seat: show with actions that you stand for Abingdon.

    The “we must have infrastructure before expansion” needs more than just words. You must find a way to influence your party councillors to defer the Plan and set a blanket ban policy on any new development until the current infrastructural problems are resolved. Among other good things, such steps will stimulate builders to use their pencils to support and accelerate infrastructural projects in order to reach a point where new development can be afforded and the ban lifted.

  2. Hester

    Be careful what you wish for… Remember that the Drayton Road development was approved because the Vale didn’t have a valid Local Plan in place. So long as we don’t have one, developers can apply to build pretty much wherever they like – Green Belt as such is not a sufficient reason to refuse planning permission. So if this plan is rejected we will be back in that situation and since these sites have already been flagged up I wouldn’t mind betting that developers are already sharpening their pencils!

    The Plan is a long-term one (till 2031): my vote would be to concentrate our efforts on fighting to ensure that we get the infrastructure needed to make sure that when the estates are built they are viable – and that it is in place before people move in.

    PS re Daniel’s point, most people need to live where there is work and, sadly, many of the 610,000 empty houses are in areas where there is little work. However I completely agree that action should be taken in respect of landlords who deliberately keep properties empty – or developers who own sites but don’t use them

  3. Anonymous

    Why Nicola Blackwood simply does not influence Sandy Lovatt, elected from Abingdon councillor at both County and District level, who is one of the driving forces behind the plans for raiding the Green Belt and build 1000 homes?

    Who does he represent: Abingdon or the building companies?

    Nicola, if you do not know how to contact Sandy, please follow this link

  4. AbingdonFirst Post author

    So, Botley residents have won their battle to have the West way development rejected. The Rev Clare Sykes said, “It shows that a community campaign that is well organised and well thought out can pay dividends”.
    Maybe we in Abingdon need some of that community spirit and a well organised campaign to stop the fiasco of over 1,000 new houses being built, in areas where we already have horrendous traffic problems and little or no recreation facilities.
    MP Nicola Blackwood backed the Botley campaign and spoke up against it…we are sure that her voice had an influence…especially with an election looming. Although Nicola has said (see above), that she is against these all of these homes being built without infrastructure first…she has not gone so far to say that these homes should not be built in these areas at all…we cannot cope with them! Maybe it is time that she did?
    What are your thoughts?

  5. Janet Moreton

    We have just been told that Bicester has been chosen for the site of a new garden city with thirteen thousand home, and infrastructure included. Why should we accept houses built on the green belt and in South Abingdon with no supporting roads and infrastructure?

  6. Daniel

    what with these houses, and the whole “Vale Plan” malarkey it may be worth noting that; whilst thousands of houses are being thrust upon Abingdon and the Vale (and elsewhere), that 610,000 (that is – say it slowly, six hundred and ten THOUSAND) homes currently stand empty across England.

    Perhaps making better use of those ready built homes would be better (and cheaper) than building afresh.

    Oops…I forgot….need to keep those developers happy…

  7. Guido

    STILL no replies from “OUR” Nicola??? Obviously only makes sound-bites when there is an election in the offing?!

  8. Dominic

    Considering it is thought about by most people in Abingdon. You would think this would be the one thing she wouldn’t ignore.

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