No major housing developments in Wantage and Grove

Councillor John Morgan

Councillor John Morgan

First published in Wantage Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter, also covering Barton and Wood Farm. Call me on (01865) 425427

No major housing developments will be allowed at Wantage and Grove under “relaxed rules”, district councillors have vowed.

Yet a developer eyeing a site for up to 200 homes may still file a planning application.

Vale of White Horse District has relaxed planning laws across the Vale to help it meet its housing target.

But councillors now saythat will not apply to Wantage and Grove as about 3,600 homes are already earmarked there in large developments.

Some 2,500 homes are due to be built on Grove Airfield and 1,100 at Crab Hill in east Wantage under the council’s long-term core strategy. But developers had come forward with an additional 11 sites for more than 1,000 homes in the area.

The interim housing supply policy (IHSP) was approved last month and planning restrictions have been relaxed until 1,000 homes are built or until a long-term housing strategy is adopted.

Leader of the Vale Matthew Barber said: “We are in recognition of the significant amount of housing coming to that area and the serious infrastructure concerns people will have.”

However, it does not stop developers from submitting planning applications that do not fit with the policy.

Developer Dandara is considering what to do with its plans for up to 200 homes at Stockham Farm off Denchworth Road, Wantage.

John Morgan, Wantage Charlton district councillor, said the Stockham Farm development could be good for the town and help to take the pressure off other sites.

He said: “They have put a lot of thought into how it could be done.”

But he added: “We will have to wait and see how it fits in with the housing policy.”

After announcing plans to relax planning rules, 146 sites for 5,078 homes were identified by developers in towns and villages across the Vale.

Roger Cox, cabinet member for planning at the Vale, said: “Officers are still in the early stages of screening the sites put forward to be considered under the IHSP.

“Having a large number of sites put forward means we are able to select the most appropriate locations.

“It will take some time as we are taking care to ensure the right outcomes are achieved.”

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