WaGCG : Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WaGCG)

Column 30th March 2022

300 homes not in the Local Plan

There is a new planning application for 300 homes on Tulwick Park to the East of the A338, opposite Bellingers Garage in Grove.

This is not a site allocated in the current plan and should be unlikely to receive planning permission in the near future 

Grove Parish Council object to the application on the grounds that it’s unsustainable and they don’t want any developments on the East side of the main road.

The grapevine suggests that the developers have an option to buy all the land from the site of Grove Station all the way down the A338 to the site where Lidl want to build their store.

The current application is ‘only’ for 300 homes and therefore isn’t large enough to build any infrastructure on site.

If other tranches are similar sizes there will be no infrastructure.

The residents will have to use existing facilities which are currently oversubscribed or hope that the developers who have permission on Crab Hill and Grove Airfield do provide the promised infrastructure soon.

In Local Plan part 2, the inspector suggested that there should be a Development Plan prepared for Grove which would provide a context for all the new homes and determine where any new infrastructure (new GP Surgery, new sports facilities or even a new shopping centre) could be built.

Nothing has surfaced so far and the piecemeal development simply means we get lots of new homes but little else.

Other than green spaces provided on site, for Tulwick Park, any infrastructure funding is paid to the County and District Council, who should then provide the infrastructure for the residents.

“Should” being the operative word. Only one Primary school (on Crab Hill) has been provided with the money from the 2,500 homes built so far.

The Councils will probably argue that there isn’t sufficient money to do anything significant but at least if they had a plan for what Wantage and Grove could look like as a vibrant community in the future it would be a start.

We need a centre which people can walk to which is a ‘destination’ which has bus stops, and parking, and the kind of shops and community facilities which people want to use.

Perhaps we should be asking Grove Rugby Club to move to one of the new developments and build a new Town Centre for the whole community on land near the Health Centre between Wantage and Grove.

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