A million new homes in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc
In July 2021 the Government launched a consultation seeking views to help them create a vision for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc Spatial Framework, and "in doing so guide the future growth of the area to 2050". This is a subtle way of saying empyment growth and 1 million new homes.
We have responded to the consultation and our response is available HERE
For background see our Oxford-Cambridge Arc page.
Consulation on the Oxfordshire 2050 Plan
The Oxfordshire 2050 Plan will set the broad scale and pattern of future development in Oxfordshire from 2020 to 2050. We believe the plan proposes excessive growth. If this plan is accepted it will be impossible for Oxfordshire to meet zero carbon commitments and would be detrimental to the evironment and biodiversity.
The Oxfordshire Plan 2050 consultation proposes 3 different growth options (we have about 300,000 homes in Oxfordshire now):
1. "Standard Method" - 102,000 more houses (33% growth)
2. "Business as Usual" - 123,000 more houses (41% growth)
3. "Transformational" - 153,000 more houses (51% growth).
We have responded to the consultation and our response is available HERE. The form is a typical submission form so the most important page is PART B – 30.
We question the basis of the housing growth figures and how these can be used as the basis of local plans for Oxfordshire and would urge all those with any influence to share our concerns.
For background see our Oxfordshire Plan 2050 page.
What's the Future for Leisure Improvements in OX12?
Following the cancellation of plans for a new Leisure Centre in Wantage and Grove, the District Council is now working out how to spend more than £6 million of developer contributions on leisure facilities in our area.
In February 2021 the District Council had said that they would be contacting community groups and sporting organisations in Wantage, Grove and Faringdon to help to identify how more than £6 million of developer contributions will be spent. The latest press release on the subject (March 22, 2021) says that
"local sports clubs in the Grove and Wantage area are helping Vale of White Horse District Council understand how money that’s coming in from new housing developments could be used to help provide appropriate new or improved leisure facilities for local residents."
"The clubs, along with their local town and parish councils and district councillors, are being asked to provide initial views on whether their current facilities – like sports pitches and courts – will be suitable for the forthcoming increase in population locally, or if they think they will need to improve existing facilities or build new ones."
So if you are a member of a sports club and would like to add ideas, then please check to see if your club has been contacted. If not then contact the Town Council or Grove Parish Council and feed in your ideas - copy us in to your conversation so that we can help.
Oxfordshire Health Services have initiated yet another project to help shape the future of community services for the whole county. Community Health and Care Services Draft Framework.
They have a consultation on the principles for Community Health Services for the older population which closes on 10 October 2021 and our response is available HERE
We're not sure how a strategy for community services seems to have been redefined as for older people only, but intend to find out.
There is an application from Persimmon to build at least 531 (possibly up to 700) homes between the northern edge of the Grove Airfield development and the Denchworth Road. For details see our Grove Airfield Expansion page.
Wantage Neighbourhood Plan
Wantage Neighbourhood Plan was first drafted in 2014/15, with the help of the Campaign Group but was rejected by a planning inspector in 2016.
According to the Town Council website the "updated draft Wantage Neighbourhood Plan published in November 2020 is undergoing further amendment in response to input from the survey that closed on 15 January and from the District Council Planning Department. The next version of the Plan will be published in early March." I guess they are a little behind!
See also our comments.
What are we campaigning about?
Some 7,000 houses are in the pipeline for Wantage, Grove and the surrounding villages. More may soon follow as the new Council is thinking about the plan to 2050.
Government guidelines say that development should be "sustainable". We do not think it is sustainable
to put thousands of houses where medical facilities are increasingly inadequate, schools are virtually above capacity,
there is little employment in the area, and roads to where there is employment are unsuited to commuting.
We came together to campaign for a better deal for our area. As it says in our Aims:
We are not against any development in Wantage and Grove but:
- Developments should be proportionate and sustainable
- The infrastructure should enhance and improve the quality of life for its residents
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