East Challow Planning Applications
East Challow will change!
East Challow is a small village about 1 mile from the western edge of Wantage. It has a thriving primary school and village pub but limited other amenities. It is divided by the A417.
Two developments have already been granted planning permission in the village; The Nalder Estate development are building 71 homes (see no 2 on the map) and permission is outstanding to build 14 homes on the old Country Club site in Woodhill Lane (see no 1 on the map). Bovis has submitted a planning application for 50 homes behind Windmill Place (see no 3 on the map) and a further application has been recommended for approval for 36 homes on Challow Park (see no 4 on the map and "Filling the gap" below). There is an application for a further development on Park Farm (see no 5 on the map) for 88 homes.
According to the 2011 census East Challow had a population of 769 and 313 homes and these applications will add 260 additional homes so these applications add over 80% to the size of the village and won't add useful things like a small shop or post-office.
Behind Windmill Place circa 50 homes (3)
The application is in for 50 houses on land off Windmill Place East Challow, for details see the
Planning Application. This is not land allocated for development in the draft Local Plan and is strongly opposed by local residents.
The most interesting comment is that from an officer at the County Council:
"Sustainability; There are no local shops to serve the day to day needs of the new residents. The need to catch a bus to get a pint of milk is not a feature of a sustainable development"
See our comments
Areas of Concern:
Schools: Although the development is close to a primary school in the village, Year 7 and 8 of King Alfred's Academy are based on the East Site (in Springfield Road) which is 2 miles away and would therefore require transport. The main King Alfred's Site at Portway requires children to walk along Letcombe Hill and Ickleton Road (the B4507), both are busy narrow roads with no footpath. These are dangerous and should be upgraded before further developments are approved for East Challow.
Shops: the nearest shops are in Wantage Town Centre and are approximately 2 miles away. This is really not walking distance for anyone except the fit. Any elderly, infirm or those with young children will need transport
Public Transport: The nearest Train station is Didcot Parkway, over 10 miles away and at least 20 minutes by car (parking at the station is getting increasing difficult). Buses from East Challow only go hourly from Childrey to Wantage. Any journeys further than this requires a change in Wantage. Buses go from Wantage to Didcot (hourly), and Wantage to Oxford (half-hourly). This does make commuting via public transport difficult.
Leisure facilities: Wantage Leisure Centre may be less than 2 miles but Wantage Leisure Centre is estimated to be running at 100% full, at 810 visits per week in the peak period and there is no capacity to cater for any additional demand. 80% is usually considered full. At least £1.1m needs to be spent on Wantage Leisure Centre in the next 12 months and a further £½ m in the next few years.
The transport assessment is based on a list of sites considered relevant to the selection parameters submitted. We believe that these must have been incorrectly specified as the locations selected for comparison include:
These are within the first few sites listed and due to lack of time we have not been able to investigate other sites but none compare to a rural village 2 miles from the centre of a small market town and 10 miles from a train station. Cars are very much a requirement in this area and there are likely to be many more journeys and cars per household than this sample data would suggest.
- New Bedford Road, Luton - this is an urban location on the A6 with bus services every 15 minutes and a train station in 2.7 miles
- Thorpe Park Road, Peterborough - this is an urban location less than a mile from Peterborough town centre and train station
- Hawkshead Avenue, Wokington - this is an urban environment less than 500 yards from the town centre
- Sydney Road, Crewe - another urban environment with a train station 6 minutes away
- Alverton Road Penzance - a busy area less than 500m from the town centre
- Bosvean Gardens, Truro - less than 100m from the train station
- Isaacs Close, Poole - less than 200m from the university.
We therefore urge the Highways Department to reconsider the data and request more useful comparatives appropriate to East Challow.
Impact on the Countryside:
More grounds for a reconsideration of this proposal can be found in the Rural White Paper ‘Our Countryside: The Future – A fair deal for Rural England.’ (Defra 2000).
In the White Paper it is suggested that: ‘It is not just the physical feature which give the countryside its unique character: there are less tangible features such as tranquillity and lack of noise and visual intrusion, dark skies and remoteness from the visual impact of civilisation’’
The White paper goes on to state that: ‘ Increased measures will be taken to promote tranquillity’
Influences on tranquillity in the countryside are identified as noise (9.4.2) and light pollution (9.4.4) ‘ Light pollution of the night sky is an increasing intrusion into the countryside at night and it is an issue that we would want all rural local authorities to take into account in their planning and other decisions.’
It is important to remember that the Ridgeway Long Distance Footpath is an iconic National Trail and will be affected by this development. Destroying the peace and tranquillity surrounding the Ridgeway with this huge visual intrusion will have a detrimental of the number of visitors to the Wantage area and will lead to the loss of all the health benefits of walking in the countryside, a cause currently close to the Government’s heart.
Also the comments from Thames Water
Following initial investigation, Thames Water has identified an inability of the existing waste water infrastructure to accommodate the needs of this application. Should the Local Planning Authority look to approve the application, Thames Water would like the following 'Grampian Style' condition imposed. “Development shall not commence until a drainage strategy detailing any on and/or off site drainage works, has been submitted to and approved by, the local planning authority in consultation with the sewerage undertaker. No discharge of foul or surface water from the site shall be accepted into the public system until the drainage works referred to in the strategy have been completed”. Reason - The development may lead to sewage flooding; to ensure that sufficient capacity is made available to cope with the new development; and in order to avoid adverse environmental impact upon the community.
The existing water supply infrastructure has insufficient capacity to meet the additional demands for the
proposed development. Thames Water therefore recommend the following condition be imposed:
Development should not be commenced until: Impact studies of the existing water supply infrastructure
have been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the local planning authority (in consultation with
Thames Water). The studies should determine the magnitude of any new additional capacity required in
the system and a suitable connection point. Reason: To ensure that the water supply infrastructure has
sufficient capacity to cope with the/this additional demand."
Filling the gap (4)
A planning application for up to 36 dwellings on land at Challow Park (including former Council depot) Challow Road (A417) between Wantage and East Challow on the site of the old council yard (see no 4 on the map) was recommended for approval at the Planning Committee on 15 February see P15/V2545/O for details.
Park Farm - East Challow (5). An outline application for the development of up to 88 dwellings has now been submitted. See (Vale Ref: P16/V0652/O) for details. This will fill the gap between Challow Park and East Challow Village and require the creation of a roundabout on the A338 in the village.
Nalder Estate - 71 homes
The Nalder Estate development was given permission on 19th April 2013 to build 71 homes on a site which is partially in employment use and partially greenfield. This site is now being built.
Across the 3.23ha site, the 71 dwelling units will produce a density of 30 dwellings per hectare. A total of 28 of the dwellings (40%) will be affordable housing (7 of these will be shared ownership but will be 2 and 3 bedroom houses suitable for 4 and 5 occupants). 16 of the dwellings are 1 or 2 bedroom properties and all of these will be affordable homes. The remaining 12 affordable homes will be 3 bedrooms. Market properties will be 3-5 bedrooms. There will be a small landscaped public open space in the middle of the estate. There will also be a "Work of Art" on the site paid for by the developers.
We do not know how many jobs will be lost as a result of the development.
The Highways department made some comments:
There are two main concerns relating to the proposal from a highway and transport perspective.
The first is the location of the site being some distance from local amenities such as local shops.
This will require residents to drive for most journeys even for minor requirements such as buying
milk, bread or newspapers.
The second and perhaps more pressing concern relates to the access junction on the A417.
There is an incline on the access road up to the major road and visibility is restricted in both
directions. Whilst the access is in a 30mph area it is on the limit of the residential area and vehicles are
accelerating into more open country or leaving the open country into the built up area. There is
also a high percentage of HGV’s.
We believe that some highway calming measures will be provided by the developers but have been unable to find the details.
Challow Country Club, Woodhill Lane - 14 homes (no affordable requirement)
Detail to follow.
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