Please make sure that your comments are also sent to the Council, thank you.
Our comments can be downloaded at wagcg_comments.pdf
A massive detrimental effect on the immediate and surrounding areas [show detail]
I’m sending this e-mail to voice my deepest and honest concern with regards to the plans to develop 1500 new homes on Crab Hill. Being someone who grew up and who has lived in Wantage for most of my 39 years of life, I do not think this disproportionate number of homes can be added without having a massive detrimental effect on the immediate and surrounding areas.
Most of my points and main concerns are as follows:
1. Infrastructure (Link Road)
The A338 and the A417 are already extremely busy roads, especially at peak times, adding 1500 homes will add at least 800 vehicles to these roads at these times. I have heard that the only thought through plan for adding to the highway infrastructure is to add traffic lights at the A338 end of the link road, therefore allowing the traffic from the new estate to join the main road. I’m unclear on how this will help the traffic flow through Wantage and in my experience as far as I can tell adding traffic lights will only add to hold ups along the route and through the town and surrounding villages. This development cannot be allowed to proceed without modifying the existing or adding new roads to cope with the increased volume of traffic.
These roads are also extremely dangerous for people wanting to cycle to and from work and therefore alleviating some of the traffic on the roads, it is for this reason many don’t cycle, if the highway infrastructure was improved maybe many who use these roads to get to and from work may would be encouraged to cycle. For these reason I am also deeply against the development plans at Crab Hill.
2. Infrastructure (Parking)
As you will know Wantage has limited parking facilities and limited shopping facilities, adding to the town’s population by such a number would have a huge detrimental effect to the town as the town would become log jammed because of additional vehicles trying to park at existing shopping sites, which I might add are very difficult to find a parking space at the best of times now at certain times of the day, I cannot believe this has not been considered or addressed before any development plans have been submitted. I was speaking to one the developers representatives at the Civic hall a few weeks ago, It is very clear to me that no or very little thought has been given to the required infrastructure requirements with a development of this size. One of the comments back from the representative when asked about the infrastructure problem over additional parking problems and log jammed roads was ‘people could always take public transport or cycle to reduce the stress on the roads’, now, I work full time and my wife also, aswell as many other families in Wantage and the surrounding area, we have 2 children of Primary school age and it is just not possible to run a normal working day by cycling or taking public transport, from this answer I concluded that the development company did not care about the problems a development of this size brings to a town like ours. As well as this he said that ‘more people could take public transport or walk to the shops to alleviate the parking issues when going for your weekly shop’, again, it is not possible to perform a weekly shop for a family of 4 and use one of those options, a car is the only possible, sensible, way to get your shopping home, again no thought or care assigned by the developers. For these reason I am also deeply against the development plans at Crab Hill.
3. Schools (Primary & Secondary)
It was mentioned that if the development of the Grove airfield was to go ahead then a new primary school would be built but this would not happen for a number of years, but what about the families moving to the new development at Crab Hill? Where will they’re children go? the current primary & secondary schools are already oversubscribed, I strongly feel that adding 1500 homes to Wantage with no thought of adding a primary school or secondary school is a problem in the making and if new schools aren’t added if the build commences then there will be additional problems with regards to people already living in the area trying to get their children into existing schools as well as people who would be moving to the area. For these reason I am also deeply against the development plans at Crab Hill.
4. Policing/medical facilities
The police in Wantage are practically invisible as it is, I think a few PCSO’s walk the streets occasionally, they do as good a job as they can with the current population, the police force are already over stretched, this will stretch them to breaking point in and around Wantage, what will be done about increasing the policing levels in the area if 1500 new families move to the area? This seems to be another oversight by the developers?! As well, medical facilities, the current doctors surgery is already very busy and it’s very difficult to get appointments with your own doctor within a 2 week time frame, even longer trying to get a dentists appointment, I understand if the Grove development goes ahead then a medical centre is to be built there, but no such developments with the Crab Hill development have been taken into consideration, this is not acceptable, it will only add the current systems to breaking point making it virtually impossible to make appointments for such critical services. For these reason I am also deeply against the development plans at Crab Hill.
There are not sufficient jobs in the immediate area to support the numbers of people that 1500 new homes would bring, surely it would make more sense to build closer to where the jobs are such as the land immediately surrounding Harwell IBC and Rutherford or Didcot for the Milton business park or Oxford for the Oxford science park and many others around those areas.
For these reason I am also deeply against the development plans at Crab Hill.
In my opinion and many of my friends, neighbour’ and families opinions too, the area as we know it will completely change beyond all recognition, from a market town that has bags of individual character and charm and a town that I have known and loved for most of my life to an unrecognisable much larger town not unlike Abingdon/Didcot/Newbury which are towns which are in my opinion much less attractive to live. I deeply and fully oppose the proposal to build 1500 new homes at the Crab Hill development, the disproportionate increase will change Wantage as we know it.
The town is currently surrounded by peaceful, unspoilt countryside and this will reduce the distance between surrounding villages and our lovely individual town, if this development is allowed then who will stop the floodgates from opening further and therefore allowing development firms to erode the surrounding countryside further?!.
Residents of Wantage do not want this oversized development.
Here’s an idea, why can’t the copious numbers of empty buildings within Wantage and the surrounding villages/area be developed into affordable homes instead of building on greenfield sites, there are still many new built properties in Wantage and the surrounding area that are un-occupied, the focus should be on these not building new homes!! what is the point of developing more homes to lay there empty. Surely if all of the empty building/homes were developed into affordable homes this would at least fill half of the proposed Crab Hill development homes?! Has anyone even considered this idea?! If so I’d be very interested to find out what the outcome was?!In my opinion this development would be better placed on the outskirts of a much larger town which already have much of the infrastructure in place, such as Newbury, Swindon, Oxford, Didcot or Abingdon and leave our lovely little town alone!!
A 50% increase would be inconceivable [show detail]
We wish to voice our concerns over the plans to build 1500 new houses on Greenfield sites (they are quite literally green fields), at Crab Hill.
The government guide lines on planning place enormous emphasis on sustainability. These plans are self-evidently, not sustainable as, together with the 2500 homes planned for the Grove Airfield site, they would be increasing the number of households in the area by over 50% without any significant infrastructure improvements at all other than a new road which by-passes the centre of town. Even with massive new investments in roads/public transport etc, to try to claim an increase of 50%+ as "sustainable" would be absurd. Who is asking for this? Is it the Vale of the Whitehorse? Is it the County? Or is it the Government? For it is obviously not the local people. We can only presume that the planners have not tried to use any of the roads out of Wantage/Grove during the morning peak, nor tried to board a rush hour train from Didcot Parkway, for, if they had, they would realise that a 50% increase would be inconceivable.
It does seem very odd that there has been no attempt to justify these plans, and certainly not to show evidence of their sustainability. And, until someone does provide a satisfactory justification, we shall remain resolutely against these plans.
Andria & Sid
Take your development elsewhere [show detail]
1) The size of this development in my view is disproportionate to the size and population of both Charlton Village and Wantage Town. This development alone will increase the town's population by 20%, which I am extremely unhappy about. The density of dwellings per hectare proposed on this site is to tight and I am concerned about the amount of parking, recreational facilities and open spaces children's play areas as there are currently no other facilities other than in the central town location.
2) The delayed date for the proposed link road for this area is not acceptable. The significant increase of the traffic to the A338 and A417, where I understand no improvements have been planned other than traffic light to the A338, is outrageous! Traffic lights will only slow up the traffic and further delays causing congestion. We have problems on these roads at present if there is an accident or road works, this has in the pasted caused significant grid locking taking hours to get from Didcot to home, this is not acceptable.
3) Town centre is already bursting with cars at the weekends and there is no plans to improve the town centre parking for shoppers. The market town as we know it will lose its charm and character.
4) Schools are already fully subscribed and I understand that no schools will be built until between 2018-2022, this is not acceptable.
5) Leisure facilities within the town are outdated and inadequate for current population, let alone the increase.
6) I have seen no provision to improve Police services. We have no police station only a police desk within the Wantage library. Having been a special constable for 4 year in 'M area', it is essential that we have sufficient policing in this area.
In summary I fully oppose this proposal to build 1500 new home at the Crab Hill development, the disproportionate increase will change Wantage as we know it. Wantage is a beautiful market town, surrounded by peaceful countryside. Homeowners in Wantage do not want this oversized development.
Take your development elsewhere, where the improvements are welcomed for example, Abingdon, Oxford, Newbury where the infrastructure can be easily adapted around the A34, instead of ruining our market town and countryside!
I believe it will be a very unsustainable community [show detail]
I believe it will be a very unsustainable community. Wantage has already absorbed a lot of new houses and although we have gained an equilibrium after a time, there is a limit to how much growth a town can take, or should take.
We do not have the necessary shops and ammenities that all the extra people will need. This will lead them to travel elsewhere for much of their shopping and leisure. Those that come into the town centre will overcrowd the ammenities that are there presently. The few facilities planned for this development will not be enough, and will also not create enough jobs.
Jobs, or employment, is another issue. There is not much employment in Wantage proper, and most people already travel elsewhere for work. AEAUK, an erstwhile employer in the area, has been reducing its employee numbers greatly over the last few years.
Milton Park is another popular venue for employment of Wantage and Grove citizens. It is further away than Harwell is. People going to work there already find the roads very crowded.
People having to travel to work at these distances and beyond do not fit in with the "green" or sustainable objectives that the government (and all political parties) seem to have. The proposed community will cause more traffic on the road, more pollution in the air, and and increased use of motor fuel, whether they travel by car, bus or train.
It is also not very sustainable or "green" to build on good farmland.
Although the report does not consider the ecological damage that would result to be very significant, there would be a great loss of habitat to birds that are in decline in southern England (peewits and skylards for example, both present on Kingsgrove Farm currently). Red Kites have been the subject of a campaign for several years to bring them back from dangerously low numbers. We now have some pairs of Red Kites locally, but the species as a whole is still on the Amber List of birds of medium conservation concern (RSPB) because of their drastic decline in numbers previously. How is removing good habitat for birds in decline or subjects for concern in any way "sustainable?"
The Crab Hill development will also take away many acres of good farmland which is in use currently. The UK currently imports at least 40 % of its food. Although Britain has, over time after WW2, become an exporter of grains, bad years can sometimes mean that she needs to import grain - this year, for example, because of bad weather through 2012 and early 2013, the UK imported almost 3 million tons, having not needed to import so much since the 1970s. The housing development will add to the loss of food produced in Britain by removing such productive, useful farmland from British agriculture.
Finally, there is the issue of ethics and personal property rights. Compulsory purchase orders - which would be necessary to gain the land currently owned by Kingsgrove Farms - are unethical. If the owner of the land closer to the A417 wishes to sell, that's his lookout, but on no account should anyone be required to sell their personal land. It's a basic human right to be able keep the property you own and no government, local or national, however "public spirited" their motive should ever override that right.
In summary, overcrowding of what is currently still - just- a rural market town, ecological concerns, and ethics concerning property should all lead the council to reject the proposed development at Crab Hill.
I am truly appalled by the intended build at Crab Hill [show detail]
I am truly appalled by the intended build at Crab Hill Wantage which is situated on the A417. This site is Green Fields and agricultural ground containing much wildlife whilst providing Green Fields within our rural area of natural beauty. The current build in Didcot is already encroaching into Harwell and now your intended build will totally cover an area of Wantage which is precious natural countryside.
The road system, town infrastructure, Schools, work places, police and almost all amenities can not cope with the size of this project. The intention to damage our Town is preposterous given the amount of areas away from Wantage which are currently able to cope with the housing increase.
This build is totally about making money for a few rich individuals whilst inflicting long lasting pain on everyone and totally damaging our countryside. It should be avoided now whilst we still have a community.
Who will benefit from this expansion? [show detail]
Although the new proposals include new roads around Wantage, they only exacerbate the problem that exists on the A417 and A338. 1,500 houses are likely to add 3,00 cars into the equation. When one then adds the cars that will go along with the other developments, the problem becomes mind-boggling.
It doesn't end there. Parking in the Waitrose and Sainsbury's car parks is becoming more and more of a trial with motorists regularly driving round and round to find a space (don't get me started on the empty disabled parking allocation).
In terms of entertainment, the area appears to be on a downturn, with pubs closing and store spaces unoccupied. Punitive ground rents have reduced the choice for shoppers, filling the town with charity shops. These, and other thoughts have been voiced by residents from Wantage and grove but it appears that no-one is listening. Apart from a couple of landowners, who will benefit from this expansion? Will there be hundreds of jobs for the new residents to walk or cycle to?
All I can do is save up and try and move away from my home one day [show detail]
I think the issue is much broader than whether or not people want the development. It encompasses population growth and the reasons why, greedy big business and politics. Problems associated with large numbers of people in our unnatural modern technological world and where we came from hundreds of years ago. We are facing new problems and having to learn how to deal with them.
I don’t think it is a matter of just ‘no houses here please’ I think it is more complex than that and everyone just looks at the symptoms and not the bigger causes and issues. Either that or it is just about the money and keeping people spending, whatever the cost.
Have a great day and thank you for the web site. I wish you luck but I do not think much if any of the development can be stopped. All I can do is save up and try and move away from my home one day. If we care about anything I guess we just end up being forced out.
Please be careful with our precious countryside [show detail]
What work there will be for so many people, how many additional cars there will be on our busy roads? Will the allotments be lost? Where will the additional water supply come from, and sewage works, and - has the irreversible damage that will be done to the beautiful countryside been considered fully? It will never come back. What price our country - do we really want to cover it all over in concrete - is that really the quality of life we want for our people. Better to build down like they do in New Zealand - with green roofs - why not? Please, be careful with our precious countryside, and consider carefully how this will be looked back on. The land, our land, our great grandchildren's' land is so, so special. We do not want to kowtow to big money - to fritter it away on Toy Town housing Estates - do we? Please consider carefully, our beautiful land.
This plan should be scrapped [show detail]
Wantage is known for its AONB. There are already plans on the airfield. Will there be extra police as I know crime will go up. It will be as bad as Didcot if all the plans in Grove/Wantage go ahead. Mably Road will be very busy and congested during rush hour. Value of nearby homes will drop due do the landscape disappearing. Schools are near full. There are no jobs in the area. Knowing the airfield nearby is already causing problems, this plan should be scrapped without a doubt.
Is this the worst thing that could happen? [show detail]
Is this the worst thing that could happen, on the face of it I would have to say I am in favour of the Grab Hill development.
Can we be confident that funding for infrastructure will be found? [show detail]
Of course Wantage Station needs to be re-created; and new schools built. If the Council is "attempting to borrow money" to fund the development of Wantage Eastern Relief Road, we cannot feel confident that funding for new schools, residential care, drains, and further roads could be available for these to be in place in time for the proposed greatly increased local population. Important: try reaching a central Oxford destination for 9 pm, from Wantage, as things are - bearing roadworks in mind! The 7.45 bus from the Market Place cannot be depended on to do this, with the long tail-back from Frilford lights, plus heavy congestion on Botley Road (- and other routes).
40% growth will significantly impact the character of Wantage [show detail]
I object to this development because of its size. 1500 homes will increase the population of Wantage by approx 40%. This, together with the proposed development of the Grove airfield will significantly impact upon the character of Wantage, a small market town.
I am concerned about the provision of facilities for such a large increase in population:-
1. Medical:- This development alone will require 3 new full-time GPs and their ancillary services to provide basic general medical care. The Health Centre in Mably Way would have to be expanded to accommodate new doctors and nurses at financial cost to the practices themselves. The airfield build would require another new GP per 500 homes as well.
2. Education:- Both primary and secondary education facilities in this area are already fully committed. New schools would be needed to provide adequate education for the influx of new children to the area.
New build is usually associated with an increase of young adults with children. It will be particularly difficult during the transitional years while the houses are built.
3. Job provision:- I am concerned about the provision of employment for the large increase in population. Oxfordshire has always had a low level of unemployment.
4. Traffic increase:- While the new ring road will ease congestion in the town centre, the increase in traffic will adversely affect the A417 to the east and the A338 to the north, particularly in the morning and evening rush hours to work and schools.
No improvements to local infrastructure [show detail]
The Housing development at Crab Hill does not include ANY improvements to the local infrastructure.. As things stand at the moment it is possible that all 1500 house can be built with no improvement to the A338 and A417. It is also possible , although unlikely, that all 5,000 houses scheduled for Wantage/Grove could be built with no improvements to the A338 and A417.
The housing density shown on these plans is much too high, no-where in a rural setting should a dph of 52 even be considered except in multi storey developments. The dph of this development should be the same as the current Charlton Heights to which it is adjacent. The plans should include some bungalows, the housing of choice of many senior citizens.
Although the plans show a new primary school being built on this site, there is no provision for school places for children in the first phaze of this development. At the recent meeting with Oxfordshire Counry Council considering schooling in Wantage/Grove the County stated that there were no free places envisaged in the existing schools. This shortage was highlighted by the recent need to bus kids out of Wantage/Grove for the last three years.
This is not in the spirit of the legislation that guards AONB [show detail]
Building such a large extension of Wantage at such high densities right up to the AONB boundary is not in the spirit of the legislation that guards protected landscapes. Our beautiful countryside, such a necessary asset in these stressful days, needs guarding against dangerous precedents that would be established should these development proposals be allowed to go ahead. There is more to life than houses etc!!!
A recipe for disaster for all of us who are living here [show detail]
These developments in the Grove Wantage area are a recipes for disaster for all of us who are living here. The infrastructure will NOT support an extra 801 houses/people/cars. Anyone with an ounce of brain would build the infrastructure FIRST, then the houses, I suspect the PROFIT word is the reason !! Furthermore, the total number of houses to be built in the area is totally out of order, we live here because we like it how it is, nobody wants another Milton Keynes here. To any resident who reads this, we need to stand up to these people or we will lose a very beautiful village/town.
Bitterly disappointed at the Presentation [show detail]
Last night I went to the Crab Hill presentation in Grove. Bitterly disappointed as the presentation was exactly as before and the staff, although willing to talk, had no answers to any of the many questions I and about 30 others put to them.
In particular I was told that the transport of people to and from the development was NOT an necessary part of the plans for any Housing Development.
I also raised the access to the first part of the development as it shows builders, materials, residents and school traffic all using the one entrance from the A417. I was told that they would never have building traffic and residential traffic using the one route to the A417, and when I asked why the plans didn't show this, I was told it was not a necessary part of the development plans.
On the subject of proposed density of 52 dph shown on the plans I was told that this was necessary to allow for the school and centre. I asked why no bungalows as these are often the choice of the elderly and I was told that many people at previous and this presentation had asked for some bungalows to be included, but apparently no one in Planning had ever mentioned it. There was no indication of how the 'gap' between the current Charlton housing and the new would be maintained, just that there would be a gap, dependant on the size of back gardens.
I was told that the Primary School would be completed by the time the 450th house was occupied, but they had no answers as to where the children from the the first houses built would go to school, although they had been told by the Education Department that all Wantage schools would, on current plans and forecasts, be fllled before the new primary school was built.
So I suppose more kids to be bussed out of our area.!!
In general a total waste of time as it left more questions unanswered than before. No one seems to be responsible to ensure that all the necessary infrastructure is available as new housing becomes available.
Currently it is perfectly possible that Crab Hill, Stockham and Grove airfield developments could be built and occupied before any improvements to the A338 and A417 are completed, and that there could be no local employment for any of the increased population.
The overall dwelling density is much too high [show detail]
The overall dwelling density is much too high, it should certainly be no higher than in the adjacent dwelling in Charlton. The DPH figure of 52, quoted for some parts of this development, is inner city density and should nor be even considered in a rural area. Access to the site is inadequate if one considers that initially there will be construction staff and goods, then new residents going off-site for employment, and then children going to primary school off-site until new primary school is built. According to different parts of this proposal the primary school will be completed either during phase 1 or phase 3 of this development. I can find no 'tie up' with improvements to the A338 or A417, so all employment will not only be offsite, it will need to use existing inadequate infrastructure. I can also find no allowance for primary education until new school is built.
This area is not suitable for the amount of houses planned [show detail]
This area is not suitable for the amount of houses planned for a variety of reasons and should be rejected.
The area already causes flooding and any building would only increase the problem.
There are no plans for employment to be provided locally for the majority of the new residents and therefore this would only add to the increase in traffic out of the area to places of employment. The roads need to be examined at an early stage to avoid gridlock in the area.
Once again there is little thought for the increased burden on facilities that are creaking at the moment and will become unworkable with the extra people that this development will bring to the area.
This is totally overdevelopment [show detail]
The Vale proposes a density on average of 40 Dwellings per Hectare. This is totally overdevelopment when one considers the the whole of Charlton is 24 dph, and if one take the whole of Grove as now the density is only 27dph, if one excludes the playing field in the land area.
The plans are supposed to provide a housing mix to cover all requirements. There are NO bungalows in the proposals, and there is already a great shortage of this type of dwelling, which is often the dwelling of choice of the elderly - I am biased as we live in a bungalow, but it took 3 years to find this one when we wanted to move from West Hendred.
I can't find it but I know I have seen somewhere recommended dph for all type of development in both rural and town enviroments the figures are from Central Government. As an aside the 55dph is almost double the density of Milton Keynes, and I don't think we want to go down that route.
It would be useful to know the dph figure of the various estates round Abingdon, the new estate at Didcot is reputed to be planned on 32dph.
There is no significant employment linked to the whole of this development, so we are back again to the A338 and A417, neither of which is scheduled for significant improvements.
I don't travel by train to London often since I retired, but the car parking at Didcot Parkway used to be almost always full. Thus if people are expected to travel by train, what increase in parking at Didcot Parkway is planned, allowing not only for the increases in Wantage/Grove, but also the very large developments going on in Didcot
We need houses, school, community centre and park. [show detail]
I noticed the article in the Herald concerning the proposed site at Charlton ie Crab Hill. It mentioned a load of houses, school, community centre and park. This sound good to me so please for the sake of my grand children, great grandchildren, the young people, us Oldies and my sanity to agree to to this being built A.S.A.P. (I'm 77 now so speed is important). Now the poor souls in Upthorpe Drive will loose there precious views off 15 miles of countryside but needs must to serve the rest of the community.
Questions to the Council - see below for answers.
1. In the Planning Statement it states:
Can you please explain what is mean by assessed a realistic "worst case" impact ?
Worst case Impact is the applicant’s assessment of how the scheme would be delivered without external funding.
The transport assessment has been based upon a cumulative impact, i.e. the impact of phase 2 has been based upon the addition of 850 units to the network, rather than 400 on top of the 450 which would already be in the baseline by virtue of the completion of phase 1. This is an assessment of the worst possible case.It should further be noted that the Transport Assessment has made allowance for considerable development on other sites within Wantage and Grove within each of the horizon years that have been assessed, i.e. development at Grove Airfield, Monks Farm and Stockham Farm. As such, all assessment are a ‘worst case’ as the maximum level of traffic likely to be on the highway network has been assumed in all scenarios.
2. In the same paragraph it states:
Can you explain this discrepancy please?
Reference to Primary School is an error. It is anticipated the primary school will be delivered within phase 1. The remaining facilities are anticipated to be delivered in phase 3.
3. In the document "12 Flooding, Hydrology and Water Resources" it states:
Where can I find Figure 4 in Appendix 12.1?
With regard to the land drainage plans, there is an error in the document, there is no Appendix 12.1 however the drawings can be found at Appendix E of the FRA..
4. In Document 07 Sustainability Statement, It states: “3.2.6 An Energy Strategy has been prepared for the site.” But I can’t find a copy of this energy strategy anywhere. Can you provide a copy please?
A high-level Energy Strategy was prepared for the client team as part of a wider viability assessment. As Ms Mabberley has confirmed this assessment has been referred to within both the Planning Statement and the Sustainability Statement to underline our client’s compliance to the carbon reduction commitments and planning policy. The Energy Strategy report has not been submitted as a formal supporting document as part of the outline planning application.
5. Can you please explain why the TRICS data shown in Appendix A of the TRANSPORT ASSESSMENT SCOPING STUDY is considered to represent travel patterns in Wantage and Grove? All of the areas referenced in the study are parts of larger conurbations and the likely travel patterns will be affected by the availability of public transport (likely to be more frequent than the hourly service here) and the distances to work/school/ shops etc. How were these areas chosen and how relevant are they to our area?
TRICS is the national standard system of trip generation and analysis in the UK and Ireland, and is widely used as part of the planning process by both developers and local authorities. It is a database system containing survey data which allows its users to establish potential levels of trip generation for a wide range of development types.
The TRICS database allows its users to filter through the data it holds by selecting or deselecting various criteria to ensure that theresults extracted are as closely related to an application site as possible.
Naturally, it is impossible to select sites which precisely match the characteristics of an application site as no two sites are ever precisely thesame. However in this instance, the trip rates applied are based upon an average of data recorded at 16 different sites, all of which will have slightly varying characteristics. Nevertheless, by relying upon a largedata sample, it is considered that the extracted trip rates are a reasonable representation of those expected at the application site as some of the selected sites will generate more and some less traffic.
It should of course be appreciated that the applicant sought approval to the use of the applied trip rates from the County Council prior to the Transport Assessment being completed and this approval was duly forthcoming.
6. Given that the Developers are still performing archaeological assessments of the site at the current time, how can the application be considered when the data is still not complete?
Surely the application should be withdrawn until such time as the archaeological sampling is done and the report can be completed?
It is not unusual for further survey work to be undertaken during a live application. The key issue is we have the results of these assessment prior to any decision. The report documenting the survey was received by the Council on 30th October. OCC Archaeology team have been consulted and the document is available on the Council’s website.
7. Given that the maximum height of properties in Charlton is approximately 7m, why do the developers require maximum heights of at least 9m as shown in Figure 4.3 - Max Build Heights Plan:
“- Maximum 2 storeys (9m)
- Maximum 2 storeys (10m)
- Maximum 2.5 storeys (11m)
- Maximum 3 storeys (12m)”?
That is their aspiration – whether it is acceptable will be for the Local Planning Authority to consider.
8. Given that this is in effect a new village, shouldn’t it have its own Church?
This is something being explored with the applicant. It maybe contributions are sought for existing church de-nominations and other religions.
9. Given that the most common feedback at the earlier consultant sessions were:
“The comment made most often was that the scheme was too large or inappropriate.
This was followed closely by the concern that there are not sufficient jobs in the area.
Thirdly, that there was concern regarding the loss of agricultural land.”
Does the Council feel it necessary to respond to these comments?
Not at this point in time, these are valid concerns that will be considered as part of the application process.
10. As the most listed detailed design concerns at the earlier consultation were:
“- the delivery of education provision as a result of the development.
- that appropriate levels of car parking are required and thirdly,
- that a doctors surgery is required.
What have the developers changed in the proposal to address these issues?
We are in negotiation with the applicant to bring education provision forward. Appropriate levels of car parking will be achieved in accordance with OCC standards. Contributions are sought for additional off site Doctor Surgery provision in consultation with the NHS property services team.
11. The offsite facilities that were ranked highest in the earlier consultation were the secondary school and highways works so what is the Council doing to address these concerns prior to approving the application?
We are working on various scenarios to ensure both are delivered early.
12. The “Analysis of travel patterns of people living in new homes built between 2001 and 2007 in the Vale of White Horse” states that
How has this been addressed in this development?
Contributions are sought for increasing frequency of existing bus services between Abingdon, Oxford and Didcot as well as the key employment sites at Harwell and Milton Park. This will include the ability to provide improved service provision at evenings and weekends.
The development will be connected by new footpaths and cycleways to Grove and Wantage and contributions are also being sought towards further improvements to off-site pedestrian and cycle infrastructure.
Development is required to mitigate its own impact through the provision of, or contribution towards, infrastructure and services where it isnecessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms; directly related to the development; and fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development.
The Crab Hill development will be required to contribute towards bus services and infrastructure, provide footpaths and cycle routes from the development to key destinations, and meet the car parking standards for residential developments.
13. The Documents state that
As the Core Strategy and the Local Plan have not been approved and all consultation with residents within the area has been against these developments, why is the council considering this development at this time?
The council has no control over when an application is submitted. The applicant considers there is a case to justify this development prior to the new local plan being adopted due to the current shortage in housing land supply. It is now for the LPA to consider whether this development is acceptable based on the variety of issues raised, including planning policy.
14. Paragraph E.8 of the Transport Assessment states
Does this mean that a leisure centre and secondary school will also be provided on the site as well as a full range of retail facilities?
In short, no. There are various scenarios being considered for a new secondary school and leisure centre in the wider area.
15. Paragraph E.9 of the Transport Assessment states
The analysis performed by the Vale in 2008 “Analysis of travel patterns of people living in new homes built between 2001 and 2007 in the Vale of White Horse” states that
It also shows that car usage is increasing and that car usage in this area is higher than in many parts of the country.
Has this information been taken into account when evaluating the transport assessment?
Traffic generated by thedevelopment has been distributed across the highway network using data relating specifically to the Wantage Charlton, Wantage Segsbury and Grove wards. This has ensured that the applied assumptions are as closely as possible related to the anticipated travel patterns of those occupying the proposed development.
The above referenced document has not therefore been used to inform the Transport Assessment given that it was considered that ward specific data provided a more reliable and focused basis for assessment.
16. Paragraph E.19 of the Transport Assessment states
What will the District Council do to ensure that the roads are improved such that they operate within capacity?
We have also noted this this issue and discussing this with the applicant in more detail with a view to finding an adequate solution.
17. Paragraph E. 29 of the Transport Assessment states
Short term in this context seems to mean from 2014-2022 – 8 years. What studies have been done to show the impact on the use of Wantage town centre during this period?
We havealso noted this this issue and discussing this with the applicant in more detail with a view to finding an adequate solution.
18. Paragraph E. 36 of the Transport Assessment states
As the 36 bus service will no longer operate in the sections between Wantage & Didcot from mid-October and the 32 service between Grove, Wantage and Didcot will continue to run hourly for the time being, does the Council consider this to be “excellent public transport”? If not what is being done to address this?
As discussed above, development is required to mitigate its own impact through the provision of, or contribution towards, infrastructure and services where it is necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms; directly related to the development; and fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development.
The Crab Hill development will be required to contribute towards bus services and public transport infrastructure. The contribution will be sought to achieve a level of service through the site connecting to key destinations.It will not be tied to a numbered bus services such as 36 or 32 service in order to provide maximum flexibility and accommodate any changes in bus service provision between the time of the planning application and when the bus service is needed to serve the development.
19. Paragraph 3.3 of the Transport Assessment states
Can you please explain how this development will meet the criteria defined in “1” and “3” above?
As discussed above the development is required to mitigate its own impact through the provision of, or contribution towards, infrastructure and services where it is necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms; directly related to the development; and fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development.
The development is contributing towards improved public transport and the Science Vale UK Transport Strategy which includes the Wantage Eastern Link Road.
In terms of criteria 1, by assisting with the delivery of the Wantage Eastern Link Road, the development will contribute to providing a more reliable and freer flowing road network. In terms of criteria 3, the proposed enhancements to public transport services funded through contributions collected from the development, will be tailored to local needs and will, as much as possible be reliable, fast and efficient.
20. According to paragraph 3.20 of the Transport Assessment
“The Local Transport Plan was adopted in 2011 and includes a separate transport strategy for the Science Vale UK area. The strategy identifies five key outcomes as being of special relevance:
• Maximise the economic potential of the area by enabling the efficient and reliable movement of people and freight;
• Reduce the carbon footprint to support targets for carbon reduction;
• Increase the skill levels of people through realising the agglomeration benefits of the high-level research and development employment opportunities that will be created to meet the expected increased demand in hi-tech and science industries;
• Increase opportunities for all through improved accessibility to employment, education and services; and
• Promote the choice and design of measures that will not degrade the nature and built heritage, non-transport solutions will also have a role to play.”
Can you please explain how this development will assist the achievement of each of the five outcomes identified above?
The extract from the Science vale chapter of LTP3 lists the five strategic outcomes identified for the area up to 2030. All development within the Science Vale UK area will be requested to contribute to the SVUK Transport Strategy to enable the council to deliver these outcomes.
21. Paragraph 6.4.1 of the Design and Access Statement states that
“Along the A417 to the south of the site a foot / cycle path will be located adjacent to the northern edge of the road carriageway. This route will extend from the existing eastern edge of Wantage where the pavement presently terminates on this side of the road, to the easternmost junction onto the A417. At this point the existing PROW presently crosses the A417 so the new connection will link Wantage to this wider route. The works to introduce the foot / cycle path will form part of the traffic calming works upon the A417, which will assist in reducing its speed to 30mph and incorporating it into the extended settlement boundary. This is likely to involve reduction in the carriageway width to accommodate the path.”
We are not clear what this means. Will the foot/cycle path continue to the “easternmost junction onto the A417” i.e. to the WELR, or to the existing PROW? We would prefer it to continue to the WELR so that it can be used by cyclists to link to the West Lockinge road and join the Regional Cycle Route 44 to Harwell.
It is expected to continue to the WELR.
22. Paragraph 4.8.1 of Chapter 04 Proposed Development states that this development
“meets the objectives of retaining the rural feeling of the Vale, while ensuring that development is sustainable, reducing the need for car use and ensuring that new developments are located in proximity to urban centres.”
How can a development with housing densities of up to 55 homes per hectare meet the objectives of retaining a rural feeling? This is the very edge of a small market town where the density should certainly be no higher than in the adjacent areas in Charlton. The minimum number of dwellings per hectare (dph) is quoted as 25 which is the equivalent of most areas in Charlton The higher figure of 55 dph, quoted for some parts of this development, is inner city density and should not be even considered in a rural area.
Concerns are noted. It will be for the LPA to consider whether the proposed density is acceptable.
23. Paragraph 4.10.16 of Chapter 04 Proposed Development gives working hours for construction activities as 07:00 to 18:00hrs Monday to Friday and 08:00 to 13:00hrs on Saturdays. This is not appropriate for a residential area and should be reduced.
This is standard industry practice.
24. Saved policy DC1 as quoted in Chapter 5 requires developments to be
“of a high quality and inclusive design such that the layout, scale, mass, height, detailing, materials used and its relationship to adjoining buildings and open space do not adversely affect those attributes that make a positive contribution to the character of the locality”.
As none of the buildings in Charlton are more than 2 storeys high, how can the design include buildings with 3 storeys?