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Newsletter 14 February 2020

In the email sent out last month we mentioned that the developments at Stockham Park farm are finally nearing completion. Well, we were wrong. An application has just been submitted for eight more homes between Stockham House and Fitzwaryn School off Lime Kiln. See application P20/V0330/FUL for more information. Comments can be made until 5 March. Every little space in Wantage is being filled with new homes.

The Grove Airfield forum took place a couple of weeks ago and we were told that Persimmon now have over 80 homes occupied on their first site (for 191 homes) and Charles Church have nearly 20 occupations on their first development for 55 homes. Applications for a further 160 Persimmon dwellings and 23 Charles Church houses are under consideration and more will follow.
The sports pitch application should be submitted shortly. The temporary community building (an adapted house) should be ready later this year but the idea of an all-age school seems to have been turned down by the Department of Education. So the original plan for a primary school by the time that 400 homes are occupied, a second primary after 800 homes and a secondary school at some time in the future have been reinstated.

Don't expect any of the homes on either Crab Hill or Grove Airfield to be built to zero carbon standard or with electric heating (all come with gas central heating) because the building regulations which apply are those in force when outline consent was given. Even now the regulations don't take any account of the climate emergency.

For details on any major development please go to our Current Developments Page.

News of Wantage hospital is poor. The inpatient beds remain "temporarily" closed after 43 months and the report which was mean to provide an answer on what the future health needs of OX12 are simply states that there is 'not a compelling case' for reopening the in-patient rehabilitation facility. They admit that the report is not sufficiently detailed to make a decision about the future of the beds and propose a new consultation process to take the final decision later this year.

Now those of you who attended our AGM last year will remember Quintin Bradley, Senior Lecturer in Planning & Housing at Leeds Beckett University. He came to talk to us about his research into the planning system. He has recently launched a new survey aiming to gather the views of local residents about housing development and the planning system. It has very few questions but lots of space for comments. It asks about housing targets and housing need, the allocation of housing land and the impact of development on the environment.
Quintin says: “I hope my research will contribute to a more informed public debate on our model of housing supply and distribution. My aim is to help communities to have real influence over planning decisions”.
Please follow this link to the survey: ;https://forms.gle/A37mQUGfjidws4Vy8

For this year's AGM we are planning to go back to a format we have used in the past. Some of you may remember an evening in the Beacon where we asked questions of Ed Vaizey and Matthew Barber about the housing plans for our area. This year we have our new MP (David Johnston) and the Leader of the County Council (Ian Hudspeth) have agreed to participate in a question and answer session on 22 May. More details to follow but put that evening in your diary please.

For updates on road closures see https://one.network/ (previously Roadworks.org).

Thanks for reading.

Best wishes
Julie Mabberley

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


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