Villagers’ shock at development size
5:30am Wednesday 26th March 2014 in By Elizabeth Mackley
RESIDENTS packed out the Memorial Hall in Shrivenham on Monday night to hear about plans to double the size of the village.
About 300 villagers turned out to the public meeting held by the Vale of White Horse District Council to express their anger at proposals to allocate 600 houses to two sites in the village.
Sarah Day, the Chairman of Shrivenham Parish Council, said that the news that they would be expected to take 600 new homes was shocking.
She said: “We were absolutely horrified because it was the first time that we had about how many they wanted to build.
“We had been taking suggestions about what we could expect and it was around a third of what they have proposed.”
In order to control the future development of the Vale, the district council is working on creating a local plan, which will establish how many houses will be built in the area and where exactly they will be built.
According to the Strategic Housing Market Assessment the Vale of the White Horse needs to provide 20,560 new homes by 2031 to meet nationally growing demands.
Shrivenham residents accept that they will have to fill some of that quota, but district council proposals to allocate 600 homes to the village could see Shrivenham double in size.
There are also fears that existing infrastructure will not be able to sustain any development of that size and that facilities outlined in the draft local plan do not actually exist in the village.
Sarah said: “In the local plan they have said we have facilities which we just don’t have.
“It’s just a box ticking exercise.For example yes we have a post office. But you can only fit three people in it at a time and there are always queues out of it.
“It is also the only post office for miles around and it is used by people in all the surrounding villages as well.”
But Coun Matthew Barber, from the Vale of White Horse District Council, has assured residents that the lack of infrasturcture will be addressed.
He said: “We recognise the concerns raised by people in Shrivenham, as in communities across the Vale.
“The objectively assessed housing target that we have to achieve is a huge increase on the already large numbers that we were making provision for.
“Shrivenham has seen, as well as any other village in the district, the effect of not having an adopted local plan and a five-year housing land supply, with a large number of planning applications and consents in recent months.
“We recognise the urgent need to get a new local plan in place and regret that there will be a number of difficult choices to be made as a result.
“The planning of infrastructure will be vital across the district, but particularly around the impact of future developments on the A420.
“We recognise this and will seek to address it.
“The current proposals are a draft for consultation, and we welcome alternative proposals and will continue to assess any other options put forward to meet this challenge.”
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