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Column 2nd October 2019

Good news for pupils but road may take a wrong turn

The latest Crab Hill Forum meeting took place last week.

The Forum is the place where the developers involved in the Crab Hill (Kingsgrove) development can provide information about the proposed development to members of the local community including town and parish councils and other community representatives.

It provides an opportunity for all parties to raise issues and provide constructive feedback about development proposals and associated infrastructure.

This development includes plans for 1,500 new homes in an area from the A417 to the east of Charlton to the A338 Mably Way Roundabout.

It goes all round the back of Charlton Village and Charlton Heights and includes plans for a new primary school, community centre, sports facilities, allotments, a 60-70 bed care home, open spaces and the Wantage Eastern Relief Road.

At the meeting we received updates on the work so far.

Phase 1a (70 homes behind Wantage Cricket pitch along the A417) is being built by St Modwen Homes and should be completed early next year. 34 homes have already been sold and 27 families have already moved in.

Phase 2a (174 homes behind Tom’s Field and north of the A417) is being built by Cala homes. Building has started and the show homes should be completed before the end of the year.

Phase 3b (82 homes along the A417, behind the new bus stop) is being built by Bellway Homes. The show home should be ready early next year.

The Primary School is required to be built before the occupation of 290 homes but agreements between the County Council Education team, the Department of Education and St Modwen means that it is being built early.

Building has started and it will be ready for the first pupils by September 2020. As reported by the Herald recently it will be run by the GEMS Academy who already run a primary school in Didcot.

The Wantage Eastern Relief Road is slightly more problematical.

In the past it has been announced that £7.71m of the £15m cost would be provided by a grant from the Government which must used before the end of 2021.

Then the grant turned into a loan and apparently the Growth Deal from the Government to support the additional homes provides an additional £2,000,000.

Yet at the meeting last week, the developers announced that the loan is no longer available and that the money from the Growth Deal isn’t definite yet.

So we wait for further news.


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