Plans submitted for new research HQ and homes

Plans to build 91 homes in Wallingford alongside a new science research headquarters and have been submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council.

Not-for-profit science experts CABI has been drawing up plans for its new HQ on land next to its existing base off Nosworthy Way since 2011, and was granted outline planning permission in 2013.

Another planning application for housing on the land next to the base was filed by the company on October 12, as futuristic designs for CABI’s new headquarters were also unveiled.

Oxfordshire county councillor for Cholsey, Mark Gray, said: “CABI originally wanted care home facilities on the site but soon realised that they didn’t have the budget for that,

“However, they know they can get this application through as South Oxfordshire District Council need CABI to remain in Wallingford.”

If given the go-ahead, the new HQ building could be completed in the second half of 2017 and the houses by 2019.

Around 150 people work on the existing site, which leaks and has drainage problems.

CABI had also previously had setbacks within the community after attracting mixed feedback from residents at the start of the year when it revealed its detailed plans in a public consultation in January.

Cllr Gray added: “I think CABI are doing a very sensible thing, bringing in homes for this site. There is a huge demand for homes but my concern will be whether they can fill them and house prices in the area won’t help with that.

The planning application states that the existing buildings on the site ‘are no longer fit for purpose’.

It adds: “The existing buildings are uneconomical in terms of layout, energy efficiency and requires a high level of maintenance.

“The proposals for the development on the site at Nosworthy Way will enable CABI, an important local employer, to secure its future in the area and provide an opportunity for the possible expansion of its workforce.”

The plans were submitted by Surrey-based developer Cala Homes and CABI.

A target decision date has been pencilled in for January 11 next year.