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Wantage & Grove Campaign Group November Update, inc Wantage planning

on Wed, 20/11/2019 - 8:09pm

An update from Julie Mabberley, ​Campaign Manager at the Wantage and Grove Campaign Group.

These emails seem to be about once each month at the moment as the major development have most of the approvals they need. There are a few new applications relating to both Crab Hill and Grove Airfield which might be of interest.

St Modwen, the developers of Crab Hill, have submitted an application to amend the Section 106 agreement which determines the level of contribution they have to make to the community - it is available to view on the Council website as application P19/V2997/MPO. The proposed changes don't change the overall level of financial contributions required but do alter a lot of details. We don't have a lawyer as part of our working team, so if anyone wants to go through the fine detail and tell us exactly what the implications of the changes are we'd be really grateful. Just get in touch to the email below. Comments can be submitted to the District Council until 11 December.

The application for for the 4th phase of Crab Hill (Phase 1b) P19/V0565/RM (just the other side of Castle's Wood from the current St Modwen building site off the A417) was approved by the Planning Committee on 24 October.

There has always been a lot of talk about what the Americans buried in Grove Airfield when they left. Now Persimmon have submitted additional contaminated land information on two applications relating to the areas where Charles Church​ Homes are being built. The applications are P19/V2105/RM and P19/V2567/RM and the document appears to be the same on both applications. They seem to have dug test pits up to 2.8m deep and haven't found anything yet...

The application for changes in densities for Grove Airfield P18/V2870/FUL has been withdrawn, as has the application for discharge of the school brief on Grove Airfield P17/V3404/DIS. It appears that the Department for Education isn't in a hurry for new schools near us.

Wantage Eastern Link Road;-

In February 2018, HM Government announced that the Council’s Marginal Viability Housing Infrastructure Fund (MVHIF) bid had been successful and that a £7 million contribution to ensure that the link road was built would be forthcoming. Well, that wasn't quite true.

Although successful with the bid, the amount of funding eventually awarded was lower than the original bid amount. Of the £7.71 million, Homes England granted the council £1.951 million.

This should still be sufficient to finish the road, but it is contingent on several draft conditions, currently being negotiated between the District and County Councils and Homes England, as outlined below;

  1. Written evidence to Homes England that independent legal advice has been sought and that the transaction complies with State Aid requirements
  2. Milestone dates for the infrastructure works
  3. Confirmation that s.106 funding in the sum of £5.767m (index linked) has been secured
  4. Acceleration of 222 homes in the western parcel of the Crab Hill development site

So it should be built by 2022, but the proposed changes to the Section 106 agreement mentioned in the earlier email may affect it. Anyway - who knows what will happen after the Election!

Most of the major applications which affect our area are the same ones that we reported last time including:

  • The detailed application for the 3rd phase of Grove Airfield P18/V1485/RM (120 homes to the west of the current building works);
  • Lidl on Grove Road P18/V2300/FUL (further documents submitted but the access is still off Grove Road between Woolage Drive and the pedestrian crossing);
  • The expansion of Elm Farm Business Park P18/V2025/RM 
  • The erection, demolition and conversion of buildings on Grove Technology Park Downsview Road following approval of application P16/V1721/FUL;P19/V2126/RM 
  • The Leisure Centre on Mably Way P18/V0760/RM (on "ice" until the District Council works out if it has any money);
  • The Monks Farm (final phase) application for 220 homes behind Williams F1 P19/V1420/O, and
  • The previous phase of Monks Farm  P16/V0981/O for up to 400 dwellings including some land to expand the existing primary school. This was recommended for approval in July 2018 but is still not agreed.

For details on any major development please go to our Current Developments Page.

For updates on road closures see (previously

Finally - there is a french market in Wantage tomorrow, 21 November, if you want any ideas for Christmas presents.

Thanks for reading.

Best wishes
Julie Mabberley
Campaign Manager
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group