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Column 30th September 2020

Current planning applications etc..

The news about Wantage Hospital is covered elsewhere in the paper so I’ll provide an update on the planning issues in the Wantage and Grove area. The developers in East Challow on the Park Farm site are still trying to increase the density of the development. In 2018 the site was approved for 88 homes but later that year they tried to add an additional 27 homes to the site. This expansion was turned down by the Vale on the basis that it was a poorly designed, cramped and congested scheme and it would place unacceptable pressure on the facilities in East Challow and fail to provide the social and recreational services to serve the development. Earlier this year, they were given consent to replace 4 x 3 bed semi-detached houses and 2 x 5 bed houses with 6 x 4 bed detached houses on the southern part of the site but since then they want to add an additional 13 houses to the north west part of the site. I don't see anything in the application which provides any more facilities for East Challow so I don't see why this application should be approved but if you want to comment on the application you have until 6 October. The application reference is P20/V1395/FUL. The application for expansion of Elms Farm Business Park P18/V2025/O seems to have expanded their application from an additional 2,000 square metres to an additional 4,470 square metres but no revised plans are yet available. As the Lidl application was turned down because “the proposed scheme was not well integrated into the local character of the area and is at odds with the rural interface and the important role that the site plays in terms of visual and physical separation of Wantage and Grove”, it seems unlikely that this application could be approved. A small piece of good news is that the new primary school opened on Crab Hill (alias Kingsgrove) on 21st September. We wish pupils and staff the very best in their new home. The Crab Hill Development Forum took place last week and the developers confirmed that work on the Wantage Eastern Link Road will start next summer and will be completed in 2023. Plans for the 5th phase of housing development on Crab Hill should be available later this year and the plans for the Care Home to be built opposite the new school are in progress.

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