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Wantage & Grove Campaign Group September 2020, inc Wantage planning

on Wed, 02/09/2020 - 12:44pm

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

Dear All,

As with buses, issues affecting Wantage and Grove seem to come in packs so I apologise in advance for the length of this email.

First - parking charges

Vale of the White Horse District Council agreed to retain the two hour free parking in all of their car parks but to increase all fees (for more than two hours) by 40p. They also agreed to increase the cost of parking permits by 10%; to the phased removal of the discount on residential permits to bring them in line with parking permits, phased over four years, and commencing no later than 1 December 2020 and to stop selling new residential permits from 1 October 2020.

Secondly - Oxfordshire 2050

We have submitted comments to the Open Thought Consultation and this can be found on the homepage of our website at www.wantageandgrove.org 

Then - Vale District Council Corporate Plan

As I mentioned at the end of July, the Vale of the White Horse District Council are determining the priorities for their Corporate Plan and have identified their themes for the corporate plan as:

  •     Providing the homes people need
  •     Tackling the Climate Emergency
  •     Building Healthy Communities
  •     Building Stable Finances
  •     Working in Partnership
  •     Working in an Open and Inclusive Way.

We submitted comments to that consultation as well and our comments are also available on the homepage of our website at www.wantageandgrove.org 

Government Plans for changes to the Planning System

The Prime Minister proposes “radical reform unlike anything we have seen since the Second World War. Not more fiddling around the edges, not simply painting over the damp patches, but levelling the foundations and building, from the ground up, a whole new planning system for England”. The new proposal is to simplify Local Plans, to focus on identifying land under three categories;

  •  - Growth areas suitable for substantial development, and where outline approval for development would be automatically secured for forms and types of development specified in the Plan;
  •  - Renewal areas suitable for some development, such as gentle densification; and
  •  - Protected areas where development is restricted.

Although local residents would be consulted on the Local Plan, they would no longer be able to comment on individual proposals for housing developments. We belive that this is a Charter for developers and our Column in the Herald last week explains why - see the copy on our website for more details at www.wantageandgrove.org/column.php?id=170. We will be reviewing this in more detail and submitting comments.

A Unitary Oxfordshire?

Oxfordshire County Council and Cherwell District Council want to create a unitary Oxfordshire and have commissioned a report to show how much money it might save. Our Column in the Herald this week gives the initial comments on the Report from West Oxfordshire and Oxford City - see the copy on our website for more details at www.wantageandgrove.org/column.php?id=171. There are no comments available from the Vale or South Oxfordshire. The public are not invited to comment at the moment.

Now new news - Wantage Pedestrianisation

Wantage Town Council have now published their draft plans for the pedestrianisation of the Market place. The plans can be seen on their website wantagetowncouncil.gov.uk. There is a survey so please tell them what you think.

Finally, old news - Wantage Neighbourhood Plan

Wantage Town Council have now published the draft Neighbourhood Plan (January 2020 version) on their website here. This was written in 2015 but has not yet been adopted. It doesn't refer to Part 2 of the Vale Local Plan at all even though some of the policies in it will affect Wantage, it also refers to the Wantage plan website which doesn't appear to exist any more. Apparently, because there are no significant changes since 2015 there is no requirement for them to ask for the views of the residents at this point.

Don't forget that that you can find out about road works etc at https://one.network/.

That's all for now.

Thanks for reading,

Best wishes
Julie Mabberley
Campaign Manager
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
www.wantageandgrove.org