Square deal for gateway plans

Oxford Mail: Mragaret Davies Mragaret Davies

A PUBLIC square and 33 new flats form part of an ambitious proposal to regenerate the area opposite Didcot Parkway train station.

With a scheme costing about £7m to reorganise the station forecourt expected to be completed in the autumn, the Government-backed Homes and Community Agency, which works with local authorities on urban regeneration, has put forward a planning application for redevelopment of the former Labour Club in Station Road.

The plan for a new square, flats and offices is part of a wider project known as Didcot Gateway, which could also include a new hotel and a multi-storey car park.

The plan has come forward after members of the public were consulted last year on how they wanted to see the area regenerated.

Town council leader Margaret Davies said: “The former Labour Club has been boarded up now for about 18 months and the consultation asked people what they thought should be done with the land between Haydon Road and the club.

“This application by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) shows it is serious about creating a more pleasant place for people arriving in Didcot and the idea is to create a new gateway through to the Orchard Shopping Centre.

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“A public space with trees is being created and it will be a vast improvement on what is there now.

“There are several different proposals for the gateway area and it would be a good idea if work is completed in different stages so that progress can be made.

“This development will require some parking spaces as parking on the site is currently used by commuters.

“I think this application shows that the HCA is very keen to make progress.”

The design and access statement for the plan says: “The former Didcot Labour Club has come to the end of its current use and is now vacant.

“It offers very little to its immediate environment and creates an inactive edge on Station Road and Lydalls Road.

“The public space in front of the site is not used to its full potential and only provides a pedestrian thoroughfare with no incentive to stop and use the urban space.”

The HCA has been working closely with South Oxfordshire District Council over the redevelopment of the gateway site and the planning application is due to be considered by March 3.

Comments (3)

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12:53pm Sat 18 Jan 14

HPG says...

So the public asked for a square, flats, offices and parking? They didnt ask for a bowling alley , some nice restraunts like Nandos, Frankie and Bennys etc, places to go for nice meal after a game of bowling or cinama, a large wetherspoons style pub, where work collegues can take work visiters for a drink...not broadways or wally arms...but somewhere you can chill, eat and talk.....perhaps a area which would actually attract people to jump on train knowing they can get straight of for a evening or afternoon spending at whatever is put in this space...we want diffent! Not same office and housing
So the public asked for a square, flats, offices and parking? They didnt ask for a bowling alley , some nice restraunts like Nandos, Frankie and Bennys etc, places to go for nice meal after a game of bowling or cinama, a large wetherspoons style pub, where work collegues can take work visiters for a drink...not broadways or wally arms...but somewhere you can chill, eat and talk.....perhaps a area which would actually attract people to jump on train knowing they can get straight of for a evening or afternoon spending at whatever is put in this space...we want diffent! Not same office and housing HPG
  • Score: -75

10:22am Sun 19 Jan 14

Gunslinger says...

The whole area around the station is a total shambles at the moment, why does it need to take till the autumn to sort that out?

Car parking needs to be looked at. There is spare capacity in the 'official' station car park in Foxhall Road, which is at present controlled by FGW and excessively expensive, hence the demand for the cheaper and more convenient parking in Station Road. A change in the way this is operated might encourage train travel to closer destinations like Reading and Oxford rather than just London, as well as reducing the need for some of the present rather ad hoc vacant site parking opposite.
The whole area around the station is a total shambles at the moment, why does it need to take till the autumn to sort that out? Car parking needs to be looked at. There is spare capacity in the 'official' station car park in Foxhall Road, which is at present controlled by FGW and excessively expensive, hence the demand for the cheaper and more convenient parking in Station Road. A change in the way this is operated might encourage train travel to closer destinations like Reading and Oxford rather than just London, as well as reducing the need for some of the present rather ad hoc vacant site parking opposite. Gunslinger
  • Score: -79

10:54am Thu 23 Jan 14

andy1975 says...

Good news. Didcot is really on the up and improving the look of the town from the station is essential.
Good news. Didcot is really on the up and improving the look of the town from the station is essential. andy1975
  • Score: -54

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