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Newsletter 26 March 2020

My world seems to be changing quickly at the moment and is getting much smaller.

The District Council have closed it's offices and postponed all meetings for the next six weeks. The Town Council has cancelled all meetings for the time being, the offices have been closed and staff are working from home. Grove Parish Council seems to be doing the same but it's not clear from their website.

The County Council still seems to be holding meetings. The meeting chaired by the Cabinet Member for Environment (including Transport) on Thursday morning is still listed as taking place in County Hall and will approve the proposed introduction of a puffin crossing (a signalled crossing for pedestrians) on the A338 at East Hanney.

As all meetings seem to be taking place by telephone or email they are all taking place in private and the public are not able to attend and hear the discussions taking place. Is democracy one of the things that we have lost at the current time?

Even the Crab Hill Forum due to take place this week has been cancelled and building work seems to have stopped. A new video of the site has been published and there is a video here if you want to see latest progress. We did receive an update from the developers this morning and we're in the process of updating our website with the news but in summary:

  • They should be starting work on the Wantage Eastern Link Road in January 2021
  • 55 sites on the first phase (behind the cricket pitch) are sold and construction should finish in May
  • The show home on the site just the other side of Castles Wood should be ready by June
  • The Bellway development (next to the A417) is in full progress (subject to the virus) and first occupations should be in the next couple of months
  • The Cala Homes development (north of the public footpath) have sold 4 homes and first occupations should also be early summer
  • The primary school is still planned to open in September.

Persimmon (Grove Airfield) have just submitted a revised infrastructure delivery plan as part of their latest planning application (once again we hope to get details up on our website this week), but it still says that they will deliver replacement pitch and facilities and a temporary community building by the time 50 homes are occupied, but 50 homes are occupied and and neither the pitch or the building are in place. We will ask enforcement what they plan to do about it.

We have had to cancel our proposed public meeting with David Johnston MP, Yvonne Constance, and Emily Smith which was planned for 22 May so we have added a discussion forum to our website so that we can discuss the issues with you and then send our questions to these people. Although we know that many members of the Campaign Group also use Facebook, not everyone does, so we felt that our own website discussion would enable everyone to get involved.
This is a direct link to the discussion group https://wantageandgrove.org/discuss.php or you can just click on the menu bar on the website. Anyone registered to receive this email should be able to join in.

All charges are suspended in the District Council Car parks at the Beacon and on Limborough Road until 1 June and during this time you do not have to display a ticket. Any outstanding car park permits, recently expired or due to expire, will also be honoured until that date – permit holders therefore do not need to take any action before then.
This is not an excuse to go out more than you need to but is designed to help to ensure that key workers and those needing to shop for essential supplies do not face additional costs.

Stay safe and if there is anything we can do to help you then please get in touch.

Thanks for reading,

Best wishes
Julie

Julie Mabberley
Campaign Manager

Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
www.wantageandgrove.org


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