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What Does Sustainable Mean?

According to the National Planning Policy Framework , plans and approvals must be realistic and sustainable. "Achieving sustainable development means that the planning system has three overarching objectives"

Local Plans should include strategic policies which set out an overall strategy for the pattern, scale and design quality of places, and make sufficient provision for:

  1. housing (including affordable housing), employment, retail, leisure and other commercial development;
  2. infrastructure for transport, telecommunications, security, waste management, water supply, wastewater, flood risk and coastal change management, and the provision of minerals and energy (including heat);
  3. community facilities (such as health, education and cultural infrastructure); and
  4. conservation and enhancement of the natural, built and historic environment, including landscapes and green infrastructure, and planning measures to address climate change mitigation and adaptation.

JOBS:
The local plan for the Vale of the White Horse forecasts 22,982 more jobs by 2031.

ROADS:
All of our A roads are close to capacity and none of our roads are wide enough to allow anyone to safely overtake a cyclist without crossing the white line and getting in the way of on-coming traffic.
There may be enhancements to Featherbed Lane and Rowstock Roundabout and both the Airfield and Crab Hill may include some Bypass Roads but no widening of existing roads out of town for bus stops or cyclists.

GROVE STATION:
Wantage Road Station was closed in 1964 and there have been various ideas about re-opening the station since then. This is now back on a long term agenda.

SCHOOLS:
A new primary school has been built on Crab Hill and two primary schools and a secondary school are planned for Grove Airfield. The first primary school on the Airfield won't be open until September 2023. No dates for the secondary school are available. Existing schools in Wantage and Grove have very few (if any) places available now and new homes are being built all the time.

HEALTH:
The two GP practices in the Health Centre in Mably Way, Newbury Street and Church Street, are both essentially full. An extension has planning consent. Our local Community Hospital is only providing midwife led maternity services (although no births have been possible since August 2021 due to staff shortages), Minor Injuries closed temporarily in 2002, In-patient facilities closed temporarily in July 2016, and Physiotherapy services are dependent on staff availability.

LEISURE:
Wantage Leisure centre is old and tired. A new leisure centre was planned on Mably Way but it has been cancelled. No details of any plans for additional or replacement facilities are available.

FLOOD RISK/WATER
Flooding has a significant impact on the people and economy of Oxfordshire.

HOUSING:
Current plans propose 7,400 more homes in Wantage, Grove and surrounding villages by 2031. By the time all of the new 17,000 residents are living here we might have three new primary schools and a new secondary school, an extension to the Health Centre and an eastern relief road round a quarter of Wantage but no commitments have been made for other improvements to health services or existing roads or cycleways.

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