This will be much shorter than the previous email but then it's only three weeks since I sent that missive out and not much has changed.
All major planning applications remain as they were except the Lidl appeal.
The Inspector (Stephen Wilkinson) has now issued his decision.
He didn’t support the argument that the Lidl proposal for a supermarket near the Mably Way Roundabout would impact the landscape setting of either Grove or Wantage and suggested that the physical and visual separation between settlements has already been significantly compromised by recent development.
However he decided that the effect of the proposal on Grovelands was significant and in conflict with both the Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework and dismissed the appeal.
So there will be no supermarket on that site.
We'll have to wait and see what plans are put forward for retail on Grove Airfield or on other new developments in the next Local Plan.
And health issues.
The only news is that Jane Hanna (our re-elected County Councillor) is now Chair of the Oxfordshire Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee so if she gets her way I'm sure that Wantage Hospital will be a key part of the agenda for the near future. We hope that she can do better than the previous Chair (Cllr Arash Fatemian - who asked the Clinical Commissioning Group several times to reopen the inpatient beds and was ignored every time).
Wantage Neighbourhood Plan - no news
The current close of the western end of the market place has been extended until January 2022.
According to the Wantage Herald this week "Following 'significant' support from residents for more walking spaces, Wantage Town Council confirmed it is working to make the closure permanent with highway consultants now employed to refocus on the permanent scheme and liaise with the Oxfordshire County Council on developing proposals for it." "This will take many months".
Finally, regarding the vacancy for a Town Councillor: there was a Town Council Meeting when the "Process to Co-opt a Town Councillor" was on the agenda. The meeting was held in the Vale and Downland Museum last week but no opportunity for the public to observe the meeting so until the minutes are published we have no idea what was discussed.
The Town Council is still not holding formal meetings and standing orders are suspended. The Clerk, as the Council's Proper Officer and Responsible Financial Officer has delegated authority to make decisions on the Council's behalf, subject to the agreement of an Emergency Consultation Panel (ECP). The members of the ECP are the Town Mayor and the chairmen of the standing committees. The Clerk should be guided by the views of a majority of the ECP. During the period in which these circumstances pertain, the Clerk has the same authority level as the Council itself.
No information about the actions of the council is available to the public at the current time.
Don't forget that if you have to travel, you can access information about roadworks around here at https://one.network/ and 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 after they have been published.
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