The next meetings will be at 8pm on Monday 8th July and 'provisionally' Tuesday 6th August at the Stonewater Common Room. All residents welcome (but please let us know ahead of the date if you're coming)!!

Saturday, 29 April 2017

South Oxford District Council Local Plan

A resident writes about the emerging SODC Local Plan:

South Oxfordshire District Council is developing a new Local Plan that, once made, will shape the future of their district. They say they are committed to involving our communities in preparing this new plan, and as it is adjacent to our area, it will surely have repercussions throughout the Vale.  (The Vale of the White Horse Local Plan 2031 was adopted on 14th December 2016).  The emerging Local Plan sets out their vision for South Oxfordshire up to 2033.  It identifies where housing, retail and employment  should be located and the infrastructure required to support this growth, such as new roads, schools, health services and sewerage.  The proposed policies in the plan will be used to help make decisions on planning applications in the district.  There is a 7 week consultation, Wednesday 29th March to 5pm on Wednesday 17th May 2017.  Contact SODC for further information. There are various ways of giving feedback - see the website for SODC or write to them at SODC Planning Policy, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Abingdon OX14 4SB.

Worryingly, there is very little about flood prevention in this plan.  On scrolling though, it is only mentioned once or twice.

They say in section 8.28 'Buffer zones are important along watercourses to give species and habitats protection from increased disturbance associated with development.  The extent of the buffer is dependent on the size and nature of the development,  it should be a minimum of 10 metres wide, measured from the top of each bank.  Larger developments should provide further buffering, and these additonal areas can be used for informal recreation.'  and again in section 8.30 'Buffer zones also help to reduce the incidences of flooding by allowing water storage and natural drainage of rainwater'.  They comment also on the value of watercourses for flood management in section 8.22.

For anyone whose homes were flooded, or nearly, in 2007 this must seem to be a worrying trend.  The Councils have made, generally, very few proactive flood prevention plans in order to mitigate the serious impact of flooding in the future.  This is, at the very least, a missed opportunity.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme

A resident comments on the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme.  Will it affect our area?  You can read about it on the following websites:

The planned scheme shows various options, see ‘Channel Route Options’, covering a 5km area running from just north of Botley Road to the Thames at Weir Mill Stream just south of Oxford.

It has been designed to carry water away from the city centre during heavy rainfall.  Also, here is a link to the latest news story (Oxford Times – posted 9th April 2017):

There will be opportunities to view the final designs for the  channel at a series of public events next month.  The dates for the events which are all from 2pm to 8pm are: 

11th May - West Oxford Community Centre, Botley Road
12th  May - South Oxford Community Centre, Botley Road
15th May - Oxford Deaf & Hard of Hearing Centre, St Ebbes
18th May - St Luke's Church, Canning Crescent

The agency hopes to submit a planning application to Oxford City Council on November 3rd and start groundworks in September 2018.

It will be interesting to see how the plan for the final designs takes into account the effect, on Abingdon and other areas, of the extra water flooding downstream in the future.  Watch this space!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

New Equipment for Masefield Play Area

The Town Council has made a decision for the new equipment which will be installed in the Masefield play area.  This has been ordered and will be installed on Tuesday 30th May consisting of a “Two in One Playzone” and a Nest Swing.  The Council say that they took note of requests made by some younger members of our estates who wrote in requesting certain equipment.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

FREE Compost for your Garden or Allotment

Do you need FREE compost to mulch your garden or allotment?

The Vale is having another compost giveaway on Saturday 13th May 9.00am - 11.00am in Crowmarsh Gifford, and on Sunday 14th May 9.00am - 11.00am in Rye Farm Car Park.  As before it will be first come, first served, so be there early with your own bags and shovels to claim your share.  This is the compost made from the brown bin collections, so local and sustainable in the extreme!