We learnt this week that the site west of Woodway Road will be put forward for planning permission. In preparation for this the developers will carry out a public consultation exercise and will therefore be distributing a leaflet about their proposals to all Blewbury residents.
When you have had a chance to study their proposals please let us know what you think (positive or negative) in two ways: by posting your comments on this website, or alternatively via our housing needs survey which is due to be distributed shortly.
It is vital that you complete the survey because your views count and will influence both our Neighbourhood Plan and the proposed Woodway Road development. The survey does not ask specific questions about this development but if you would like to comment on it please do so in the space at Q 30 of the survey. It would be most useful if your arguments are considered carefully and constructively.
Please note that the Blewbury Neighbourhood Development Plan can only represent your views. We are not permitted to guess villagers’ opinions, nor are we permitted to dominate with our own views – we can only reflect the feedback we receive from you. Therefore if you feel strongly about the proposed project, please ensure you voice your opinions as stated above, and ask your friends and family who live in the village to do so too.
We can then take a strong stance using the qualitative and quantitive statistical backing of the majority of villagers to have a decent chance of influencing the outcome.
Update: Some useful info on the Vale’s current housing plans, by Dermot Mathias, Chair of the Blewbury Neighbourhood Development Committee:
“The Vale of White Horse District Council is currently in the process of finalising Part 1 of the Local Plan 2031. The draft of this plan identifies that over 20,000 new homes need to be built in the Vale between 2011 and 2031 which means over 1000 new houses a year in our area. The final draft of this plan will be published in November and submitted to the Secretary of State in February 2015. The need for houses is based on an overall estimate for Oxfordshire and although we could challenge this estimate there can be no doubt that there is considerable need for new houses.
“However, the interesting point for Blewbury is that the Vale’s Plan envisages that virtually all of this new housing will take place in a few major, strategic sites such as Harwell and Milton, Harwell Oxford Campus, Milton and Grove. Our understanding is that the Plan will show there to be a negligible requirement for new houses outside the major strategic sites and therefore there will be no specific requirement for new houses to be built in Blewbury. As we have seen, this does not stop developers putting forward proposals for the development of new sites in villages like Blewbury and each proposal would be considered on its own merits/faults.”
How to Fill Out the Kler Leaflet and info on the BNDP Survey
Our survey and research expert on the BNDP team has put together some helpful advice and info:
The Village Survey
* All of the volunteers have received their bundles now, and some have
already distributed theirs; others will do so over the next few days
* The volunteers will advise that the Village Survey is completely
different to the Kler Group leaflet (I wouldn’t grace it with the term
survey) and the timing is purely coincidental
* There is room in the Village Survey to provide any other comments – at
Question 30, and then a blank page at the back, so people are welcome to
record their views about the Kler leaflet there
The Kler Leaflet
* nobody has to fill the Kler leaflet in if they don’t want to
* the questions are indeed biased and will therefore not stand
scrutiny as professional, objective research
* if people do want to respond, then ‘not applicable’ can be used in
the biased questions 2 and 3, and they can then add their views in question
* if people do want to respond and have access to a copier it would be
great to have copies of their replies so we can have responses on our own
file, and challenge any misrepresentation of findings
The leaflet which arrived today has been professionally constructed. It can be argued it is intended to provide the reader with positive and supportive information to divert objections. One could be forgiven for believing the development is a done deal.
Apart from an extra two to three hundred souls in Blewbury and, say, the impact this could have on the Primary School, let us consider the impact this development would have on Woodway Road itself.
Woodway Road would surely need to be widened to safely accommodate ingress to and egress from the development. And most importantly how would access to the London Road be controlled, bearing in mind that the junction of Bessel’s Way and London Road, which is but a few metres from Woodway Road, is the main rush hour route to and from Didcot to Reading.
This junction has long been noted as ‘dangerous’ and there have been more than a few road traffic accidents there. A few years ago I was given sight of the planned proposal to build a roundabout at this junction. The plan failed as the Law requires roundabouts to be lit at night and Blewbury does not support the use of street lighting.
Were this development to be seriously considered by Blewberians and VoWHDC the safe passage of traffic must be assured and provided to and from Woodway Road, London Road and Bessel’s Way and this would surely require street lighting to illuminate one or two roundabouts or simply traffic lights?
There is also another aspect of this development to consider: Those Blewberians old enough to remember the planned development of Graehame Close will know how the proposed number of dwellings there mushroomed to many more houses than originally permitted …
When I read the Vale draft Local Plan, I was relieved that further development in our beautiful village was not intended or required to achieve the District Council housing target, to the year 2031. I was therefore horrified to learn of the proposed development of 120 houses west of Woodway Road. Not only is this development not required in the village at all, but is within an area of outstanding natural beauty and therefore subject to development constraints. If we allow Developers to get a toe hold in these precious areas and dictate our village future, where will it end? I am therefore vehemently opposed to the proposal.
Since my earlier input I have learned the proposed building site is, apparently, water logged and below Blewbury’s sewer system.
I was interested to read the comment regarding the sewer system, as I have lived for nearly 30 years in a property bordering the proposed development. For at least the last 20 years we have suffered sewer problems. I have had to regularly use drainage rods to clear blockages and when this has failed have had to call out the local council more recently the water board and even used house insurance to have the drains cleared. It concerns me that we might be adding to an existing problem.