The developers are swarming all over our town and village – sticking yet another new estate outside the present residential perimeter. Apart from the massive airfield development, there’s Crab Hill, Monks Farm, Stockham Farm Fields, and so on. But what people actually want first is improved infrastructure – that’s schools, roads, health services, buses, shops …. What’s there is already insufficient for the current population, so what’s going to happen when the developers have made their millions selling the properties they’re building, do you think they’re going to provide all the infrastructure that’s needed? No, we don’t think so either. We shall continue as your local Labour representatives to push for infrastructure BEFORE property development – that’s schools before houses, roads before houses, health centres before houses, buses before houses …. you get the drift.
Wantage and Grove Councils are up against a lot of pressure from the Government via the County Council’s Strategic Housing Market Assessment which has allocated over 20,000 homes built in the Vale District by 2031. Our Constituency is against this level of housing because it is based on projected economic growth with some questionable assumptions over employment levels being made rather than on projections of population growth.
We also have concerns over the piecemeal nature of developments that have been planned which will lead to problems over public transport provision. Also there appears to be no provision of new road infrastructure to relieve the pressures that the new developments will generate. The County Council has decided there is no need for a Wantage western relief road and the Grove Airfield transport assessment also says the current road provision is sufficient even though the Airfield development is going ahead.
Another planning issue to do with the Housing allocation is the need for more schools. Our view is that a new Grove Secondary school is vital when the Grove Airfield development goes ahead and this will go ahead following consultation and a report by the County Council.