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

Column 3rd July 2019

When neighbours are no concern of the folks next door

There has been a great deal of publicity recently about the problems with the completion of the Bovis development at Stockham Park Farm (marketed as Letcombe Fields).

This development was first proposed by a company called Dandara before the Local Plan was finalised.

Dandara then went on to obtain permission for two further developments (marketed as Abbey Fields and Downsview Park).

As the development was for a total of only 380 homes and at the north-western corner of Wantage, there was no requirement for infrastructure on the site and most of the developer contributions were earmarked for the new Leisure Centre not for road improvements.

Since these developments were approved Dandara has continued to have an interest in the area and has proposed building approximately 800 more new homes in the same area (between Wantage and East Challow) as a way of funding the Western Link Road from the Airplane Roundabout on the Denchworth Road to the A417 on the Western side of East Challow.

Dandara has put this proposal to the District Council for inclusion in the Local Plan but it has not been included in either the approved Part 1 document or the Part 2 document still awaiting final approval.

Last year Dandara held a consultation in East Challow (the land between Wantage and Challow is part of East Challow Parish), to obtain views on their plans for “West Wantage”.

East Challow is preparing a Neighbourhood Plan and one of the major concerns of the residents is the traffic on the A417 so including this development in the Neighbourhood Plan would divert much of the traffic around the village via the Western Link Road.

After the consultation in 2018, Dandara updated their plans and a few weeks ago held a second consultation in East Challow.

The 2018 plans proposed leaving a very narrow gap (less than 100m at its narrowest point) through the centre of the development creating a visual break between Wantage and East Challow.

The 2019 plans propose putting more of the development in the east of the plan (closer to Wantage) and the remaining homes on land to the north of the A417 between Haynes and the W&G industrial estate to the west of Challow.

There is no requirement for the residents of Wantage to be consulted on these plans for what is effectively another extension to the town because the land is in East Challow.

So if it is in an approved East Challow Neighbourhood Plan it will happen.

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