Wantange and Grove Campaign Group (WAGCG)
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WaGCG)


News this week is not about roadworks but about health services.

Wantage Community Hospital is closing to ensure long-term safety.

"Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust will be closing Wantage Community Hospital and relocating services currently provided there to alternative local settings from early this summer. This is a planned closure, required on safety grounds, to permanently eradicate the risk of legionella in the hot water system.

Raised levels of legionella have been detected in the hot water system at Wantage and we have been applying effective short- term treatments to the system. Currently there is no legionella risk present. However, because pipework at WCH is old, corroded and hot water circulation is poor, legionella will recur unless the plumbing for the whole site is replaced."

This problem has been known for a long time and we are a little suspicious about the need for a "early" closure when there is a planned "consultation" later in the year.

As the press release states: "The closure will take place before a major public consultation planned for this autumn to determine the future provision of bed-based and ambulatory care for older people and adults with multiple long term conditions in Oxfordshire. We have set aside funds to carry out the necessary plumbing works once the outcome of that consultation is known."

So why is it closing earlier?

A campaign to save the hospital has been set up and you can sign the petition here


OxLEP – Oxfordshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership – the unelected private company that is driving the economic growth in our county – is holding a public consultation on the ‘Refresh’ of the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).

The consultation runs until Friday 20 May and is being hosted on the OxLEP website.

The public were not consulted on the original SEP – the economic strategy for Oxfordshire. When it was drafted in 2014, OxLEP promised a public consultation on its growth plans, but cancelled this due to ‘lack of time’!

But while the public are finally being given the opportunity to comment on some aspects of the Plan, the overall growth targets are not up for debate.


Planning Updates

  • Grove Airfield - Still 2500 homes but details of planning conditions and financial contributions have still not been agreed. Until everyone has signed, nothing can happen. See (Vale Ref: P12/V0299/O) for details.
  • 150 homes on King Alfred's East Site - An outline application (P15/V2952/O) to turn the Kings Alfred's School East Site into a housing estate with 150 homes has been recommended for approval. This is an outline application and the Academy will sell the site to developers who will then submit a detailed application showing the exact number, position and size of houses to be built.
  • East Challow - Up to 36 dwellings on land at Challow Park (including former Council depot), Challow Road, East Challow. See (Vale Ref: P15/V2545/O) for details. This application has been recommended for approval by the Planning Committee.
    - 50 homes behind Windmill Place. See (Vale Ref: P14/V2318/FUL) for details. This application is back on the agenda with revised plans etc from Bovis. This application has still not gone to a planning committee, and
    - An outline application for the development of up to 88 dwellings on the corner between the Depot and the Village has now been submitted. See (Vale Ref: P16/V0652/O) for details.
    - See our East Challow page
  • East Hanney- Both applications for 200 homes were turned down by the Planning Committee on 25th November 2015. See (Vale Ref: P15/V1846/O) for details of the application east of the A338.
    - The application for 197 homes on the land south of Summertown, see Vale Ref: P15/V1616/FUL has gone to appeal.
    - a new outline application has been received for up to 30 homes south of The Causeway East Hanney, see Vale Ref: P16/V0364/O.
    - see our Hanneys page for detail of the impact on the Hanneys.
  • West Hanney - 16 dwellings off School Road, an application for the Hanneys was submitted in December 2015. This has now been amended. (P15/V2887/FUL)
    - A new planning application has been submitted for 11 homes on land adjacent to Church Farm (P16/V0635/FUL)
  • East Hendred A new outline planning application (see Vale Ref: P16/V0235/O) has been submitted for 75 homes near Featherbed Lane East Hendred after the first application was refused (see Vale Ref: P15/V2328/O). - The full planning application for 48 homes on land north of the A417 to the east of Portway Cottages, Reading Road, East Hendred has not yet gone to a planning committee (see Vale Ref: P15/V2560/FUL).
  • Crab Hill we still have no information about the developers of the 1500 homes at Crab Hill although we understand the site is under offer. We did write to the District Council recently about the requirement for a Development Delivery Forum for the development. According to Schedule 10 of the S106:
    "As soon as reasonably practicable after completion of this Agreement and in any event prior to the Commencement of Development, the Owners, the District Council and the County Council shall set up and implement the Forum in accordance with the terms of reference contained in this Schedule." "The membership of the Forum may vary from time to time but will include representatives of the Owners and subsequent developers and officers of the District Council and County Council, and may include local District and County Councillors, Town Council representatives, any other representative of relevant local organisations and representatives of the local residents." We would like to be a member of the Forum. See (Vale Ref: P13/V1764/O) for details or go to our Crab Hill) page for some more information about the application.
  • Outline ideas for the remainder of Monks Farm. In mid July 2015, a consultation exhibition was held in the Old Mill Hall in Grove by Gallagher Estates and Gleeson Strategic Land working with Williams F1 to provide comprehensive development proposals that they say will benefit Grove and Wantage by bringing new jobs and homes to this part of the Science Vale. Planning applications have not yet been submitted but this shows how much additional traffic will hit the A338 south of the Williams Roundabout. See ourMonks Farm pagefor more details.


The Police Counter in Wantage Library has closed from the end of March 2016

Quote from Thames Valley Police:[show more]


For information on the status of the Local Plan Examination click here


The NPPF fails to protect against unsustainable development, reports Government committee - See the full report


Vale District Council commits to a feasibility study on a "new Settlement in the Vale"

At the Council meeting on 16th July 2014 the Councillors agreed to commit to a feasibility study and a public consultation for one or more new settlements in the Vale as solutions to our long term need for housing. This is outside work on the Local Plan so in addition to the 20,560 which are likely to be in the Local Plan, we could expect a further development of up to 30,000 new homes. This could double the number of homes in the Vale in the next 20 years. Where will the funding for the infrastructure required come from?

As Councillor Richard Webber said at the meeting:

"From an average build rate of 550 houses per annum, (last year 400 and only once in the last 30 years 700), we are now in the Local Plan for consultation seeking to achieve an average build rate in excess of 1000 new homes per annum. With the advent of the SHMA, the number could go up by another 3-400 per annum. If Oxford City wins its fight to pass over some of its SHMA allocation to the Districts, we could be over 1500 per annum, nearly 3 times our current average. Not for nothing is Oxfordshire the home of Alice in Wonderland."

Little boxes on the hillside ....[show more]


Open Letter to Matthew Barber, [show detail]

And his reply.


Developments around Wantage and Grove

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We should like to thank the Wantage Camera Club (Ian Bateman) for our banner at the top of the page.

We are not affiliated with any political party and our only source of funding is donations. You can donate to the campaign fund by credit or debit card or you can pay money straight into our bank account at HSBC Bank.
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Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
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Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
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