The Consultation on Wantage Neighbourhood Plan is now open.
You have until 14 July 2022 to respond.
The Town Council has now finalised updates to the Plan and has to consult the residents of the area prior to submitting it to the District Council and a Planning Inspector.
The original Plan was rejected by an inspector in 2016 relating to the proposed town centre and greenspaces policies.
The updated Plan has been modified to amend or remove the policies that were deemed unacceptable.
All other policies remain unchanged from the document published in 2016 and the updated version of the Plan published and informally consulted upon in November 2020.
No new policies have been added.
More information on the role of the Plan in the planning processes, and a copy of the updated Plan, can be accessed on the Town Council’s website at https://wantagetowncouncil.gov.uk/wantage-neighbourhood-plan/.
The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and the various working groups who developed the Neighbourhood Plan (referred to in paragraph 2.3 of the plan) stopped work in 2015 and since then only Councillors and Council Staff have been involved.
In the survey of residents performed in 2014 to support the plan the most common areas for improvement identified are as follows:
• car parking (availability, cost),
• lack of variety in shopping on offer,
• poor condition of roads and congestion,
• lack of a railway station,
• ensuring sufficient school places,
• limited footpaths and cycleways,
• lack of, loss of, and poor management of green spaces, and
• concerns about losing facilities/insufficient facilities for the expanding community.
Based on comments on Facebook and NextDoor I’m not sure anything has changed but I’m also not sure what the neighbourhood plan can do to change any of this.
The variety of shops has got worse since Wantage won the Great British High Street Award in 2014 and the neighbourhood plan won’t help this.
Congestion has got worse as the number of new homes and associated cars have grown and the plan will do nothing to reduce this.
The railway station was and could be in Grove not Wantage.
School places and facilities for the community are District and County Council issues as are foot paths and cycleways.
The Town Council owns the cemetery, the market place car park and some allotments but no green spaces. Those are mainly owned by the District Council or now more commonly by the management companies of the new developments.