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Column 23rd February 2022

One conurbation

As I have mentioned in the past, the District Council is working on a new Local Plan for the Vale.

This will be heavily influenced by the discussions taking place in the Growth Board (now the Future Oxfordshire Partnership) about the scale of housing growth likely to be included in the Oxfordshire 2050 plans.

The figures being discussed vary from one new home for every two existing homes to one new home for every three existing homes.

So what will that mean for OX12?

The current local plan (2011-2031) allows for the 2,500 homes which have been built in OX12 since 2011, a further 2,400 to be built in the next 5 years and about at least the same again by 2031.

This means that by 2031 we will already have doubled the 7635 homes that were in Wantage and Grove at the time of the 2011 census.

But that won’t be enough. Although the figures across the whole of Oxfordshire will be somewhere between 100,000 and 153,000 more homes by 2050, very few of these will be built in Oxford City so requiring many more to be built in rural areas like OX12.

We are already seeing developers closing in with ideas for more developments here.

More homes will definitely be built north of Grove Airfield as Persimmon have already submitted an application for around 750 homes in addition to the 2,500 which have already been approved.

Between Wantage and East Challow, Dandara will push for at least an additional 800 homes north of the canal and there has already been an initial application for an additional 200 homes north of the A417.

Another initial application has suggested 200 homes east of the A338 in Grove and developers have been advertising a possible site for about 900 more, north of the railway line filling the gap between Grove and East Hanney.

This means that East Hanney, East Challow, Wantage and Grove will be amalgamated and become effectively one ‘town’.

The existing centres of Wantage and Grove will not be sufficient to cope with the needs of an area with at least 18000 homes but there is no sign of the District or Town and Parish Councils preparing a strategic development plan for this area.

So the first thing we need is a name for this amalgamated conurbation.

Should it be East Wansgrove or just South Abingdon or West Didcot?


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