The recommendations from the paper listed below (if implemented) do seem to enable a variety of employment opportunities to be created, which could include technical, scientific, industrial, educational, retail and tourism related occupations. However it is impossible to gauge quantitativley the number of jobs that would be enabled. The larger question is to what extent footloose employers will choose the South Vale for the location of their activities. What is well established is that such companies make physical communications a significant factor in their decision making process. Here Wantage/Grove does not score highly as it has a poor linkage with the A34 corridor and is not close to the motorway network and national rail. The other side of the coin is that the area (currently) has a good natural environment with a well educated population.
The number of extra jobs required will depend on the number of houses to be built in the 2029 Plan period. The draft Local Plan for the Vale requires Wantage and Grove to provide 5500 extra homes . Thus, this may require an extra 8250 jobs if we suppose 1.5 jobs per household.
The picture changes radically if we take the new household projection data issued by the Department of Communities and Local Government. This suggests that the previous growth rates are too high. This projection is of a 7.78% increase above the 2011 census figure in the Vale as a whole to 2021. Extrapolating to 2029 leads to an increase of 14%. If Wantage and Grove take the same proportion of the number of new homes in the Vale as in the Local Plan the total comes to 2886, or 2387 if the 489 new homes approved in major developments since 2011 are taken into account. This leads to a requirement of an extra 3580 jobs.
As we have frequently stressed the proposed extend of the housing development appear to be unsustainable taking the meagre plans for the infrastructure into account. In practice it is likely that an automatic stabilizer will come into play insofar as developers will be unlikely to build houses at a rate greater than they can be sold. It is to be hoped that the draft Local plan will be amended so as to be in conformity with the new household projection data. All this points to the conclusion that the release of sites for housing development should be significantly scaled back in the 2029 Plan.