Another month has gone past and we really hadn't noticed! Christmas is nearly here and as usual it always seems like an opportunity for developers to try a squeeze in applications while we are too busy to notice!
The main one this year is the final patch in Grove which doesn't already have outline permission. This only came in today so we haven't had time to update our website yet but it is available on the White Horse District Council website as application P20/V3113/O. This is an application from Persimmon to build at least 531 (possibly up to 700) homes between the northern edge of the Grove Airfield development and the Denchworth Road. Comments can be submitted until 17 January.
Our first comment is that they say they held a public consultation but they didn't even speak to the Grove Airfield Forum members (including us) and their website consultation only received 31 comments so I don't think they tried very hard. Also the Local Plan only requires 400 homes to be built on this site so Persimmon seem to be getting greedy again.
Although this is not a comment on this specific application, Persimmon only have completed about 100 of the 2,500 homes which they already have outline planning permission for so we wonder if this application is a way of locking in existing housing standards before the Government tightens the rules to make zero carbon mandatory.
Persimmon have also submitted the detailed application [P20/V2994/RM] for the next tranche of homes on the Airfield (another 169 homes) but still haven't submitted the application for the first primary school or seem to have managed to finalise the application [P20/V1014/RM] for the sports pitches and temporary changing facilities. They also have an application [P20/V0617/DIS] in which suggests that while they move the Denchworth Road at the Cane Lane junction nest year, they will divert traffic via Cane Lane. We have asked our County Councillors to object to this.
I took part in a Webinar run by Oxford City Council and the Oxfordshire Growth Board this morning which showcased the zero carbon and low carbon developments being built already in Oxfordshire including one developer who aims to deliver "Carbon positive" homes which lock up more carbon than they emit. There was also talk about a development providing excess energy to power existing homes close by. Wouldn't it be great if the big developers around OX12 also had that aim?
The next consultation on the Oxfordshire 2050 Plan has been put back until Summer 2021, with final submission of the Plan not due until September 2022. Meanwhile, the Oxfordshire Growth Board is instead asking us all to comment on a Strategic Vision for Oxfordshire, that will sit above the 2050 Plan. The "engagement" closes 3rd January 2021. It's available here: https://www.oxfordshireopenthought.org/strategic-vision. You need to scroll through the blurb to find the start of the survey at the bottom.
The response from Need Not Greed Oxon (NNGO)is available on their website http://www.neednotgreedoxon.org.uk/resources/ and we'll be drafting our response shortly. NNGO make the point that the Vision explicitly omits the ‘quantum of housing or economic growth for Oxfordshire’ which is having such a detrimental impact across our landscape and many existing communities. Without this, the words risk becoming meaningless ‘motherhood and apple pie’.
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. Have a safe and happy Christmas.
Thanks for reading,
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group