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Newsletter 23 November 2018

  1. You\'ve probably seen or heard the local news about the consultation of the Reservoir this week. You only have until 28th Novmber to comment so please don\'t delay.
    As you know, it\'s going to cover 4 square miles between East Hanney, Marcham, Steventon and Drayton and be above ground with 80ft high banks, so not going to be much use as an amenity space.
    You can submit comments via email to Michael Gove MP at water.resources@defra.gsi.gov.uk please cc: consultations@thameswater.co.uk water-company-plan@environment-agency.gov.uk wrmp@ofwat.gsi.gov.uk and us at admin@wantageandgrove.org
    Things that we have found worth commenting on are:
    1) Thames Water have not explained why they favour the reservoir against the cheaper, less environmentally damaging and much shorter time frame of tranfering water from the Severn Water.
    2) They haven said why they need the reservoir, when it will supply less water than they lose through leakage and correcting the leaks would cost far less than the reservoir, and be far more environmentally friendly.
    3) As the reservoir is above ground, what steps they are taking to limit the damage in the event of a ‘wall failure’
    4) What steps they propose in the event of a ‘wall failure’. How many houses will be ‘at risk’ if a failure occurs - 150 million cubic meters of water is a lot!
    5) It appears that Thames Water don\'t need it to meet the needs of their customers but do want to sell the water to other companies around the country but we are the only place in the Thames Water area which they think is suitable to put a storage space for excess water from the Thames.
    6) The method of construction of the wall is untried and untested anywhere in Europe at the proposed size and height
    7) As one person said after my last email - The proposed large surface area to depth ratio of the new reservoir will lead to excessive evaporation. In meteorological terms the reservoir would amount to a large puddle. Why take millions of gallons of water from the River Thames, then spread it across a large area of Oxfordshire so that it can evaporate?
  2. Planning Applications
    There are no new major applications in the area since the last email which listed the ones that haven\'t been decided yet (to view all planning applications mentioned below please go to our website http://wantageandgrove.org/applications.php and click on the appropriate area - this will show you the current applications for major developments). There are, however two planning meetings on 5th and 13th December so some may be decided then.
  3. Save Wantage Hospital
    The County Health and Wellbeing Board met last week and managed to approve nearly 500 pages of reports without asking any difficult questions.
    The Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) meets at County Hall on 29th November from 10am and will be discussing the future of Wantage Hospital again. The choices are a formal consultation over the next 9 months which decides whether or not to reinstate the in-patient beds (doesn\'t mention Physiotherapy or any other services) or a study first to look at what health services we need in OX12 first  - if you want a lift please let us know.
  4. Road works for the next couple of weeks:
    - The works on Manor Road should finish today.
    - The traffic lights on the A338 between Garford and the Frilford lights will be back from 26-28 November
    - The road north from West Challow to the A417 will be closed from 26 Nov to 21 Dec while the water main is replaced.
    - Traffic lights will continue on the Denchworth Road and Newlands Drive near Cane Lane as services are linked to the Airfield development, they may continue to 14 December.
    - Wallingford Street may have traffic lights at the junction with Little Lane (near Waitrose) from 27 to 29 November.
    - Thames Water will also being repairing the sewer in East Challow between 27 Nov and 3 Dec so beware of traffic lights on the A417.
    - The Camel Roundabout may have temporary lights from 3-5 December for Thames Water.
    - There will also be temporary lights on the corner of Mill Street/Market Place for repairs to the wall of the Bell from 3-5 December.
    - Steventon Road by the old nurseries may be closed on 3 December.
    - The Marcham Road from Howard Cornish Road to the A34 will have traffic lights from 20 Dec to 24 Oct 2019 while Thames Water replace their pipes.
    - The Improvement Scheme at Featherbed Lane is about to start and could include: a roundabout on the A417; double bends realignment; junction improvements at Featherbed Lane/A4130 junction; junction improvement at B4017/A4130 Steventon Lights junction; land acquisition to improve forward visibility along Featherbed Lane. No closures yet be it\'s planned to finish by this time next year!

That\'s enough for now. Thanks for reading

Best wishes
Julie Mabberley

Campaign Manager
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
www.wantageandgrove.org


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