Land East of Kingston Bagpuize
Categories: Site Appraisal, Transport Assessment, Highway Design
Client: Lioncourt Strategic Land
Project Date: 2015 - Ongoing
Contact: Roger Key
Location: Kingston Bagpuize, Oxfordshire
The city of Oxford has grown to the limits of its administrative borders, so its unmet need for housing land is being spread around the neighbouring, more rural local authorities. Vale of White Horse District Council has been working through the process of updating its Local Plan since 2015 and in 2017, turned its attention to finding sites to meet its share of Oxford’s unmet needs.
Lioncourt Strategic Land entered into a development partnership with landowner St John’s College, Oxford in 2016 to promote a site for up to 650 dwellings and various supporting developments on land to the east of the village of Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor. Benefits of the site include its location just outside the Oxford Green Belt, and between the A420 Swindon to Oxford and the A415 Witney to Abingdon roads, meaning that all these destinations can be reached by public transport.
The site provides the opportunity to provide a new road linking the A420 and A415, which can be signed as a new route for the A415, thereby drawing through traffic away from the centre of the village. Public consultation revealed that this idea had been contemplated some 50 years earlier, when Kingston Bagpuize was in Berkshire.
Key Transport’s role has included liaison with Oxfordshire County Council to seek agreement of the transport strategy that underpins the emerging masterplan. This includes design of the relief road and its roundabout junctions on the A420 and A415, and the intermediate development accesses. Planning of the pedestrian and cycle network includes amendment of off-site routes and the introduction of new, safe crossings of the A class roads. Liaison with the main bus operator, Stagecoach, involved planning alterations to the route of the Swindon to Oxford express bus service, to better serve the development. The preferred route is along the old Oxford Road that connects directly between the centre of the village and the heart of the proposed development and would be restricted to use by buses, cyclists and pedestrians via a bus gate at the site boundary.
The proposal also raises an unusual transport issue. The new A420 roundabout would be located very close to two existing lay-bys which, according to Department for Transport guidance, would have to be located. One obvious option was to replace both lay-bys with a single rest area off the new relief road but concerns about the wider implications of this option alongside a new residential area led to rejection of this option and replacement with new lay-bys elsewhere along the A420.