WaGCG : Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WaGCG)

Newsletter 11 July 2023

Dear [Forename]

I've just come back from a holiday in Ireland where we drove about 1000 miles around the south coast and the roads were in fantastic condition. For the first time in years, we didn't have to avoid potholes. We came across more potholes driving back through Wantage on our way home that we did all the time in Ireland.
There has to be something wrong and I think it's a combination of lack of funding (what do we pay car tax and fuel duty for?) and an inability of the County to make repairs that last.
Although I hear that West Hanney is having every road resurfaced - who do they know that we don't?

Anyway, to business.

You have about 24 hours left to comment on the following planning applications:

  1. Fullers Field (more commonly known as Tom's Field) - just of Crab Hill Lane near the Kingsgrove Development. P23/V1236/O
    The owners have submitted an outline application to build 60 homes on the field where we used to play football. Access will be from Rutherford Road (near the primary school on Kingsgrove) with two pedestrian links to Crab Hill Lane. Comments can be submitted no later than 12th July. About 70 comments have been received so far so please add your own voice if you haven't already. The consensus seems to be that;
    - it's over-development, the overall Crab Hill site was approved for about 1500 homes - the developers have approval for 1534 (and a 72 bed care home) so an additional 60 is a step too far.
    - biodiversity - the field is a haven for wildlife - where else will the barn owls, muntjacs, swifts, hedgehogs etc feed?
    - lack of capacity in the local area (doctors, dentists, leisure facilities etc)
    - impact on the roads and facilities of Kingsgrove (there isn't enough parking there already and this entrance for 60 homes comes out near the primary school so it will just make things worse
    - the local residents of Kingsgrove have to pay for the maintenance of their infrastructure and this new site may be able to use them without contributing.
  2. Kingsgrove Nursery and retail units - This is also off Rutherford Road and is the detailed application for a children's day nursery,  a convenience store and 3 retail units P23/V1358/RM. They will be located to the East of the primary school and will have 14 parking spaces for the nursery and 35 spaces for the shops (the most unallocated parking spaces on the whole development!). Again comments can be submitted no later than 12th July. No comments other than the statutory consultees have been received so far.
  3. The application for the next parcel of homes on Wellington Gate (Grove Airfield) has also been submitted - this is for another 65 homes just north of where the Community Centre will be and also north of the primary school which will open next September. P23/V1331/RM. Yet again comments can be submitted no later than 12th July. Only one comment other than the statutory consultees have been received so far.

A new application which has slipped through since my last email is an application P23/V1197/S73 to remove of condition 4 (Occupation restriction 55 dwellings until bridge complete) on application reference number P21/V3516/RM. This is part of the Monks Farm development north of Grove and is linked to application P23/V1198/S73. There are many issues with the design of the bridge over the Letcombe Brook and the developers want to access the site from the Denchworth Road to build ALL the houses not just the first 55. The road access from the end of the Maples was supposed to be a secondary access to the North Grove Relief Road not the main access and this is a huge change in the plans for the traffic flow through Grove for development traffic and probably future residents. Grove Parish Council held a meeting to discuss this last week and agreed to strongly object to both applications. Comments can be made until 26 July.

There is currently a consultation on the proposal to make most (but not all) the roads in Wantage subject to a 20mph speed limit. You can comment by going to the following https://letstalk.oxfordshire.gov.uk/wantage_20mph2023/survey_tools/wantage_20mph2023_survey but first you need to see the map of which parts of which roads it will apply to which we have posted on our website at https://wantageandgrove.org/images/Wantage_20mph.pdf. I'm surprised that there aren't links on the Town Council website. The roads include part of Charlton Road, part of Denchworth Road and part of Challow road and well as most residential roads. I would have thought it was easier to make it everything from the Kingsgrove Roundabout to King Alfreds School on the Challow Road and everything from the Aeroplane Roundabout. Anyway you can comment until 5pm on Friday 28 July 2023.

As I mentioned last month Kingsgrove (Crab Hill) have submitted the application for their central park and the proposed zig-zag footpath up the hill pass the allotments on Grove Road P23/V1296/RM. The Central Park will include allotments, 3 sports pitches, a sports pavilion, kick about/ amenity space, a Community Orchard, a variety of play areas for different age groups and a skate park. This was discussed at Wantage Town Council Planning Committee last night and they have many objections and support those already made by Sports England and the Crime prevention team so I guess this application will be subject to further discussion.

As you know, you can read columns from the Herald at https://wantageandgrove.org/columns.php, previous newsletters at https://wantageandgrove.org/newsletters.php and find a list of many of the sports, cultural and community organisations in OX12 at https://wantageandgrove.org/organisations.php

For roadworks see https://one.network/ (the Mably Way Roundabout traffic lights are now mentioned and are now scheduled until 31 July).

Thanks for reading.

Best wishes

Julie Mabberley
Campaign Manager

Wantage and Grove Campaign Group


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