It's about three weeks since our last email and there are one or two planning related things that you ought to know about.
First: the new school on Crab Hill has opened. It opened to its first pupils on 21st September and we wish pupils and staff the very best in their new home.
Secondly; the developers in East Challow on the Park Farm Developer wants to increase the density of the development again. In 2018 the site was approved for 88 homes but later that year they tried to add an additional 27 homes to the site. This expansion was turned down by the Vale on the basis that it was a a poorly designed, cramped and congested scheme and it would place unacceptable pressure on the facilities in East Challow and fail to provide the social and recreational services to serve the development. Earlier this year, they were given consent to replace 4 x 3 bed semi-detached houses and 2 x 5 bed houses with 6 x 4 bed detached houses on the southern part of the site but now they want to add an additional 13 houses to the north west part of the site. I don't see anything in the application which provides any more facilities for East Challow so I don't see why this application should be approved but if you want to comment on the application you have until 6 October. The application reference is P20/V1395/FUL
On health matters;
Flu jabs are available to all those over 65 via the surgeries. Newbury Street patients should receive a letter giving them an appointment at one of the village halls in the area. Church Street patients can book online or ring the surgery. Most of our local chemists are also offering appointments. Vaccinations for younger people in the vulnerable category should be available later in the year.
Even though the replacement of the water systems at Wantage Community Hospital has now been completed and the Legionella risk has been removed from the site, the inpatient beds at Wantage Community Hospital will need to remain temporarily closed to ensure the resilient staffing of other critical services as we approach winter and a possible “second wave”. of Covid-19. At the Oxfordshire Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting yesterday, the Nick Broughton (new CEO of Oxford Health Foundation Trust) apologised for the delay in completing the work and said that he was trying to set a vibrant future for Wantage Hospital and it would play an essential part in the provision of health services in OX12 but that re-opening in-patients wasn't sustainable. We wait to see what this means...
Maternity services will reopen on 1st October with three refurbished rooms (paid for by the Friends of the Hospital not the NHS) so that's some good news!
On other things:
Don't forget the pedestrianisation plans for Wantage Market Place. The plans can be seen on the Town Council website wantagetowncouncil.gov.uk and the survey is available until the end of October so please tell them what you think.
At the Crab Hill Forum this week we were told that the work on the Wantage Eastern Link Road will start next summer and will be completed in 2023. Plans for the 5th phase of housing development on Crab Hill should be available later this year and the plans for the Care Home to be built opposite the new school are in progress. House sales and occupations continue and they expect to exceed 100 homes occupied by the end of the year.
That's all for now.
Stay safe and thanks for reading,
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group