Plant nursery near Wallingford to relocate after 63 new home plan

A plant nursery in Wallingford will be forced to relocate as a developer looks to redevelop its current site.

Purely Plants have used the site off Wantage Road for the last 25 years but will now relocate its operation within the next two years.

It follows potential plans by developers Nicholas King Homes to build 63 homes on the site located on the outskirts of Wallingford.

The company has sent letters to residents and discussed the plans at a meeting in the town hall on February 13 as it prepares to submit an application to South Oxfordshire District Council.

READ MORE: Oxfordshire town to get new homes built on its doorstep

Purely Plants owner Andy Ledbury said he wanted to stay in Wallingford and was currently looking for a site between three to five acres.

He said: “We want to stay here because the customers here have been absolutely amazing through covid and when we got our water shut off a couple years ago. It makes sense to relocate somewhere local.

“It is a lovely site to be on and we get on really well and are well supported by our landlords.”

“The timings always difficult but we needed to relocate because we need a bigger site and we would have been looking to relocate anyway. But it’s proving much more difficult to find somewhere around Wallingford.”

Town councillor Stephen Beatty raised concerns over the proposed development – which would feature 25 affordable homes, 0.54 hectares of public open space, and a play area for children,

He said: “I have got a really low opinion on all development of green field sites when brown field sites are available. When does development stop? When we live in one big concrete mess.”

Cllr Beatty added that the proposals should respect the Wallingford Neighbourhood Plan – which dictates that houses built on the site meet certain characteristics.

He said: “It is either a neighbourhood plan or it is a make-it-up-as-you-go-along plan. If you’re going to just throw it in the bin, what was the point of all that time and cost.”

However, Cllr Giles Cattermole said development of the site was “inevitable” and it was preferable to other locations.

He said: “My personal view is that area is suitable for development, but it must not affect the bypass.

“It’s on the outskirts of town and it’s serviced by two roads in and out. It has no scenic value unlike the other side of Shillingford Road which has great scenic value where it’s a steep bank to the river Thames.

“It is much less damaging there than some of the other proposals for expansion.”

Nicholas King Homes were contacted for comment but did not respond.