As you may have seen in the Herald last week, Grove Airfield has finally been granted outline planning permission.
The idea of building on this site was first reported in 1967 so it is 50 years ago.
Since then much water has flowed along the Letcombe Brook and votes from Grove residents against the development have been totally ignored.
It is now almost inevitable that some houses will be built on the Airfield.
The agreement between the developers and the planners is now available on the Council website but it is more than 200 pages and will require some time to study.
The expansion of Grove in the 1960s and 1970s created a much larger village around a small central conservation area. This development will more than double the size of the village built 50 years ago.
Hopefully it will provide the additional infrastructure required which wasn’t built when Grove was expanded last time.
The planning decision document talks about no more than 2500 dwellings with associated services and facilities including a secondary school, 2 primary schools, a Local Centre including the space for shops, cafes and offices, open space and the realignment of Denchworth Road.
The open space covers a total of 50 hectares and includes a community park to the south with sports pitches and allotments, and children’s play areas as well as an ecological park to the north- west where the worst flooding is likely to be.
The document also states that “no more than 1,500 dwellings shall be occupied before the Northern Link Road, linking the northern spur road and the A338 has been constructed and made available for use in accordance with a scheme to be submitted and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.”
Many more plans and documents are required to be submitted and approved by the Planning Department before the detailed planning application can be submitted for the first batch of homes so don’t expect to see new homes or schools anytime soon.
According to the agreement, there should be a Grove Development Forum to provide a place for discussion between councils, developers and community organisations about delivery of planned infrastructure (similar to the Crab Hill Development Forum of which the Wantage and Grove Campaign Group are a member) so as soon as that is put in place we hope to be invited to join. I will let you know.