You will have received a strange email from me yesterday addressed to "Dear Sir/Madam", sorry about that but we were tidying up our database and checking addressee details. Thank you to those who replied - we have updated your records where necessary. If you haven't replied and would like to change the way we address you please let us know.
Grove Parish Council held their special meeting last night to discuss their options re the land near Edington Place which is being auctioned next week. They are preparing documents to prove beneficial ownership and were going to agree exactly what to do in the confidential session at the end of the meeting. Hopefully the legal owners will see that as the Parish Council have been maintaining the land for more than 20 years it should now belong to them.
Talking about ownership of common land and open space, Grove Parish Council are now looking at all of the land around Grove to check ownership. Wantage Town Council doesn't own much land at all (except the allotments) most of the land around Wantage is owned by the District or County Council or private landowners. Even the Wantage Mermorial Park is owned by the District Council. The Town Council has declined the offer to take over responsibility for all of green space (sports fields, open space, childrens play areas etc.) on Crab Hill because they would have to maintain the land and they don't do this at the moment (except for the Cemetery). They would be given money from the developers to maintain the land for the first 25 years but they would have to fund maintenance themselves after that (as Grove do now). All of the land on Crab Hill is subject to a 99 year lease and reverts to the current owners after that. The Town Council has expressed an interest in taking over responsibility for the allotments and the community orchard.
While we're on the subject of allotments, the Town Council meeting a couple of weeks ago discussed the possibility of selling off part of the allotments at Stockham Park and Naldertown for development. These are areas of the allotments which haven't been used for years but could be used for social housing or perhaps as some form of public open space. I'm sure you have your own views about this.
I mentioned last week that most of the builders are back at work and most of them have put in requests to the District Council to extend their working hours for at least the next year. I've got used to the beep beep of reversing construction vehicles, other noise and the dust during the day but I do like the opportunity to sit out in the evening and listen to the birds. The Care Home on Grove road has been granted permission to work from 7am to 7pm. David Wilson Homes (near Bellingers) have requested permission to work from 7am to 9pm and Cala Homes on Crab Hill want to work from 6.30am to 7pm. A consistent policy would be good!
Don't forget that you can access information about roadworks around here at https://one.network/.
By the way, if you don't get the Herald and would like to read our columns, we include them on our website at https://www.wantageandgrove.org/columns.php
That's all for now.
Stay safe and if there is anything we can do to help you then please get in touch.
Thanks for reading,
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group