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Column 4th August 2021

Infrastructure late on Grove Airfield

Persimmon are not meeting their contractual obligations.

At a Grove Airfield Development Forum meeting last week, County, District and Parish Councillors, Council Officers, representatives of community groups and Persimmon discussed progress and issues associated with the development.

According to the contract signed by Persimmon they have to deliver infrastructure for the residents at various points during the buildout.

They were supposed to deliver a replacement football training pitch by the time that 50 homes were occupied and before the old training pitch was removed.

50 homes were occupied before the end of 2019 and as the roadworks have taken place along the Denchworth Road, the old training pitch has gone but the plans for the pitch still haven’t been approved.

They were also supposed to provide a Temporary Community Building by the same deadline.

This has now changed to providing funding for groups to use existing facilities but this still hasn’t happened.

Then they were supposed to complete the first 400 square metre children’s play area prior to the occupation of the 150th home.

The target of 150 occupations was hit summer last year but the play area still isn’t finished.

The completion of the southern access road and the changes to the Airplane Roundabout were supposed to be completed before the 250th occupation (April 2021), but last week we were informed that 320 homes were occupied and the road won’t be finished before October.

By 400 occupations, Persimmon should have handed over the first primary school to the County Council but this is currently expected to happen by September 2023 – at least a year late!

The next target is 500 occupations and given the current rate, we expect that to happen by the end of summer 2022.

The contract states then Persimmon should have completed the Brereton Drive Pedestrian Crossing, Main Street Pedestrian Crossing, Mallard Way/ Swift Green Pedestrian/ Cycle Link, Savile Way improvements, Mably Way improvements and Letcombe Brook/ Cane Lane Footpath improvements as well as more sports pitches, allotments and about 5 hectares of Public Open Space.

We shall be very surprised if any of this happens by then but the Council doesn’t seem to be taking any action to ensure that the terms of the contract are being met and no penalties are in place.


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