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Column 24th February 2021

How to complete the Grove Northern Link Road

Persimmon Homes has submitted an outline planning application for the area north of the Grove Airfield Development.

This site was allocated for housing in Part 2 of the District Council Local Plan approved in 2019 and as part of the rationale for approving the site, the Plan requires a Comprehensive Development Framework to be produced for Grove that will be published as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

The Plan states that development will be supported through a master-planning process involving the community, local planning authority, developer and other stakeholders that will ensure proposals for Grove are considered holistically, including i. understanding the cumulative infrastructure requirements for Grove, taking account of existing and future needs
ii. exploring opportunities to maximise sustainable linkages between the existing settlements and the new developments,
iii. understanding how future growth should maximise opportunities for better public transport connections, including a future railway station at Grove.

Yet the application has been submitted and the community doesn’t seem to have been involved in any master-planning.

The County Council has now submitted its responses to the application and it appears that they aren’t very happy.

I quote: “The Local Plan part 2 requires a comprehensive development framework to be produced for Grove as an SPD as part of the approval given to the inclusion of this site in the allocation of housing for this area. This application should not be considered in isolation until an SPD has been produced.”

Part of the reason for approving this application was to ensure that the Grove Northern Link Road (GNLR - intended to divert traffic away from the old centre of Grove) is completed.

Some of this road has already been built as it goes through the Bellway Development from the A338, but it is currently a no-through road. There is a small stretch of this road which should go round the back of Grove cemetery and cross the Denchworth road into the Airfield development which has not been applied for.

The County comments that it is highly likely that this development will be reliant on the completion of the GNLR to provide sufficient capacity to accommodate the traffic from the new development.

They point out that the majority of the application site is within the same ownership as the patch behind the cemetery and imply that the applicant should include this land within this proposed development to ensure the delivery of the GNLR.

This seems very sensible to me.


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