Filed under: building work

Toilet block at Abbey Meadow re-opened

Toilet block at Abbey Meadow
The revamped toilet block at Abingdon’s Abbey Meadow re-opened yesterday, 6th March. The Vale of White Horse District Council (VWHDC) has funded this refurbishment, which follows on from the re-opening of the rebuilt open air pool in 2018, and the redesigned play area in 2017.

The block has been completely refurbished and includes five self-contained unisex toilets and a men’s urinals. The Abingdon Lions have added a defibrillator.
Toilet block at Abbey Meadow
The block also includes a ‘Space to Change’ facility, which includes a wheelchair accessible toilet and a height adjustable adult-sized changing bench and hoist. The ‘Space to Change’ was not in the original design but after a large petition by parents and the intervention of the local MP and others it was added to the design.

Cllr Alice Badcock, Vale of White Horse District Council cabinet member for community services, said: Abbey Meadow is the most-visited park in the district and now with all the changes we have made to make it more accessible, it can be enjoyed by everyone for years to come.

Cllr Helen Pighills, Vale of White Horse district council ward member, said: These improvements are great news. The inclusion of a ‘Space to Change’ toilet is so important for ensuring more families and children with disabilities can make use of Abbey Meadow.

Thankyou to VWHDC for the press release and quotes. The work was done by Oxford Direct Services – the commercial arm of Oxford City Council. The splash pad and outdoor swimming pool at Abbey Meadow will be open for the summer from 25th May.

1 Comment March 7, 2019

North Abingdon Housing Exhibition

North Abingdon Housing Exhibition
Today there was an exhibition about the first phase of homes off the Dunmore Road in North Abingdon (425 from 900). The land includes part of the field to the right of the footpath to Sunningwell, and the field to on the left of the footpath – after the woodland round Tilsley Park.
North Abingdon Housing Exhibition
Dunmore Road is part of the route round Abingdon. There will be two new junctions to serve the first 425 homes, and so traffic flow will be impacted.

The development will help finance the south facing slip lanes at the Lodge Hill junction onto the A34. That should reduce the amount of traffic on the Dunmore Road. However those Lodge Hill plans are currently lodged with the Highways Agency and they could be biding their time. The Oxford to Cambridge Expressway is also under consideration this year. So they might delay a decision on Lodge Hill until the expressway route is decided.
North Abingdon Housing Exhibition
The exhibition was at the Northcourt Centre and was very similar to previous housing development exhibitions and comprised some stand up exhibition banners, maps scattered on tables, and representatives of the developers for people to talk to about the plans. You can view the same banners online and make comments at https://northabingdon.co.uk/.
North Abingdon Housing Exhibition
The banners show which parts will be built by Barratt Homes, and which by David Wilson Homes, and examples of houses they built recently. They also show the estate roads, and green spaces (one is called LEAP)

The banners do not address the main local worry that these houses will be built before any infrastructure – that is not just the A34 slipways, but also the new primary school. Doctor surgery capacity in Abingdon will also an issue. I heard one developer representative saying ‘I am not a traffic expert’, but as always that is what many of the questions were about.

16 Comments February 28, 2019

Demolition of Bellinger to begin

It was a sunny day in Abingdon.
Demolition of Bellinger
Demolition experts have moved into to the ex Bellinger Garage on Ock Street – after the new care home got planning permission on appeal.
Demolition of Bellinger
Nearby work has been underway pollarding the Plane trees on Conduit Road. The road has been kept open and the tree surgeons pass down a log at a time on the one side, allowing cars to pass on the other.

5 Comments February 21, 2019

Abingdon Baptist Church – Re-dedication and cakes

Abingdon Baptist Church - Rededication
Just over a week ago the builder handed back the keys to Abingdon Baptist Church after an extensive re-ordering of the interior.

Last Sunday church members returned to worship there, and today (9th February 2019) there was a special re-dedication service.
Abingdon Baptist Church - Rededication
The church building downstairs was packed, and the large balcony almost full of people.

On the civic side there was the Mayor of Abingdon, Chairman of the Vale, and Councillors, two of whom are church members.

There were ministers and people from other Abingdon churches, and past baptist ministers including Revd. David Fleming who now serves in Luton. David Fleming spoke about the early vision of reordering the church. Revd. Dr Paul Goodliff, and the present minister, Revd. Steve Millard, then described how the plans had come together and been carried out.

To re-dedicate the church, and give an address, was Revd. Lynn Green – General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.  She remembered being a student minister at Abingdon Baptist Church around 1992-3. She said a church could be like the Tardis in Doctor Who. It may look old fashioned and irrelevant on the outside, but inside it was bigger and so much more amazing.
Abingdon Baptist Church - Rededication
Back in 2015 the outside of the church was painted from sky blue to the grey colour required by English Heritage. Solid doors were replaced with glass doors to make the building more open.

The church then closed in 2018, and builders brought a digger to dig out the old floor and baptism pool.

During that process some old bones were discovered. The police were interested until they turned out to be 200-year-old Abingdon baptists. They were reburied after an archaeological investigation.

The church building has been made into a space that can be used for future generations, and the community. The floor and the stage, and baptism pool were remade. Walls were made good so the big crack is gone. Pews were replaced with more comfortable flexible seats. There are some cinema style seats in the balcony – the best seats in the house. The interior is now bright and light. Lots of new cables have been laid to allow the latest and future technologies.

After the re-dedication service, tea and coffee and cakes were served.

6 Comments February 9, 2019

Progress on old Bellinger Site

Bellingers Site
Bellinger, the car dealer, moved from their Ock Street site on 7th October 2016.
Bellingers Site
Churchill Retirement Living then put in a planning application during February 2017 for 39 one and two bedroom apartments on the site.

The application was initially turned down by the Vale of White Horse District Council planning committee. The council officer judged that the benefits outweighed the concerns, but Councillors disagreed. Reasons for refusal were ‘…the scale, bulk and close proximity of the proposed building to existing dwellings, the proposal will cause an undue loss of light, sunlight and privacy to neighbouring properties…
Bellingers Site
So the site has had a couple of years to return to nature. I once took a picture of a young fox on the site.

The plan was then granted on appeal on 3rd October 2018 by a planning inspector, and so building work cannot be far off now.

9 Comments January 27, 2019

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