Ministers to give £3.8m for Wantage relief road

Cabinet member for transport David Nimmo Smith

Cabinet member for transport David Nimmo Smith

First published in News

A £15m relief road plan to ease traffic congestion in Wantage from the effect of 5,000 new homes has been given up to £3.8m in Government funding.

The Wantage Eastern Relief Road (WERL) would surround the 1,500-home Crab Hill estate north of Charlton Heights.

The road, running from the A338 Mably Road to the A417 towards Didcot, will take rush- hour traffic from the town centre and estate roads.

The Department for Transport said it will give “up to £3.8m” to Oxfordshire County Council for the project. The council plans to open the road by March 2017.

Cabinet member for transport David Nimmo Smith said that Wantage would remain “open for business” during the work.

He said: “The money which comes from the Department for Transport is a significant proportion of the amount we need.”

The estate has yet to get approval from Vale of White Horse District Council.

The development would include a neighbourhood centre, a primary school, a central park, allotments and sports pitches.

District council leader Matthew Barber said he was “reasonably confident” all cash could be found but it is not yet “in the bank”.

Wantage and Grove county councillor and Liberal Democrat group deputy leader Jenny Hannaby said funding was vital.

She said: “If these houses are allowed to be built without this road, in 20 years’ time we will be in a disastrous mess.”

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Comments (6)

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11:32am Wed 29 Jan 14

Richard of Wantage says...

Jenny Hannaby said “If these houses are allowed to be built without this road, in 20 years’ time we will be in a disastrous mess.” - It’s going to be a disastrous mess for Wantage/Grove anyway with or without this road. According to my local district councilor (Conservative), the Crag Hill development is a done deal even before the planning committee has voted on it (whatever happened to Localism and Democracy).

What our District and Country councilors haven’t told us is that the only bit of good news is that the morning queue to get onto the A34 will now start on the new bypass and not Wantage town center. Why, how are the new residents going to get to work? We aren’t getting a station at Grove as there is no local rail line and they are unlikely to put in a new local link as the new replacement bridges are not wide enough. Buses, we will need about 80-90 additional buses each morning and evening – again not very likely I a rural location. Walking and cycling – mass take-up only if the journey is less than 4 miles and in an urban environment.

If there is anybody out there who would like to stand as an independent councilor at the next District and Country elections, who believes in realistic sustainable development for the Vale, please stand as I and the 1000’s of Wantage/Grove residents will support you.
Jenny Hannaby said “If these houses are allowed to be built without this road, in 20 years’ time we will be in a disastrous mess.” - It’s going to be a disastrous mess for Wantage/Grove anyway with or without this road. According to my local district councilor (Conservative), the Crag Hill development is a done deal even before the planning committee has voted on it (whatever happened to Localism and Democracy). What our District and Country councilors haven’t told us is that the only bit of good news is that the morning queue to get onto the A34 will now start on the new bypass and not Wantage town center. Why, how are the new residents going to get to work? We aren’t getting a station at Grove as there is no local rail line and they are unlikely to put in a new local link as the new replacement bridges are not wide enough. Buses, we will need about 80-90 additional buses each morning and evening – again not very likely I a rural location. Walking and cycling – mass take-up only if the journey is less than 4 miles and in an urban environment. If there is anybody out there who would like to stand as an independent councilor at the next District and Country elections, who believes in realistic sustainable development for the Vale, please stand as I and the 1000’s of Wantage/Grove residents will support you. Richard of Wantage
  • Score: 15

6:49pm Thu 30 Jan 14

asbomick1 says...

The is great news for my grandchildren & Great grand children as they might get jobs etc and Not move out of Wantage to better them selves .I personally at 77 years old have given up on Wantage as A pleasant place to live .The town has nowhere for us old folk to seat and have a cup of coffee with our friends (look at the new seating all away along the Shopping Arcade in Abingdon).
Will there be a public path/cycle way between Upthorpe Drive (at the bottom of the hill where the small green is preferably) and the new neighbourhood centre, a primary school, a central park, allotments and sports pitches so we do not have to drive in our cars to use them . I agree with the Idea off opening the Grove Railway station to accommodate the hundreds of folk who will move into the area to fill the 5000 houses. Because if the Local NIMBY'S (You know who you are) have there way they will not be the jobs for them and they will travel out to where there is work for them and there children
Cheers
Mick
The is great news for my grandchildren & Great grand children as they might get jobs etc and Not move out of Wantage to better them selves .I personally at 77 years old have given up on Wantage as A pleasant place to live .The town has nowhere for us old folk to seat and have a cup of coffee with our friends (look at the new seating all away along the Shopping Arcade in Abingdon). Will there be a public path/cycle way between Upthorpe Drive (at the bottom of the hill where the small green is preferably) and the new neighbourhood centre, a primary school, a central park, allotments and sports pitches so we do not have to drive in our cars to use them . I agree with the Idea off opening the Grove Railway station to accommodate the hundreds of folk who will move into the area to fill the 5000 houses. Because if the Local NIMBY'S (You know who you are) have there way they will not be the jobs for them and they will travel out to where there is work for them and there children Cheers Mick asbomick1
  • Score: -2

6:51pm Thu 30 Jan 14

asbomick1 says...

The town has nowhere for us old folk to seat and have a cup of coffee with our friends ...OPPPS Typo ...Sit....
Cheers
Mick
The town has nowhere for us old folk to seat and have a cup of coffee with our friends ...OPPPS Typo ...Sit.... Cheers Mick asbomick1
  • Score: -5

6:43pm Fri 7 Feb 14

clarkey7 says...

The proposed Crab Hill development is an absolute scandal!

Why has this beautiful and productive farmland been chosen to build houses on? There is a massive brown field site which is non productive less than a mile away in the form of the old Grove airfield, land which has been earmarked for development for years and yet suddenly they want to spoil Crab Hill.

The local planners and politicians should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this scheme to get this far. It is obvious that they are using Crab Hill as a sweetener to House Builders to get funding for a road which will ultimately allow the airfield to be developed at a later date anyway!

Have they no vision? Why not build a road alongside the main railway to link up with Milton to Challow station. That way they could develop the long awaited Railway station as well as linking up with the airfield for future development and ease the congestion on the A417 with very little local impact.

I would urge the local planners and politicians to think again as clearly this breaches the first rule of planning. Is there a suitable alternative location?
YES
The proposed Crab Hill development is an absolute scandal! Why has this beautiful and productive farmland been chosen to build houses on? There is a massive brown field site which is non productive less than a mile away in the form of the old Grove airfield, land which has been earmarked for development for years and yet suddenly they want to spoil Crab Hill. The local planners and politicians should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this scheme to get this far. It is obvious that they are using Crab Hill as a sweetener to House Builders to get funding for a road which will ultimately allow the airfield to be developed at a later date anyway! Have they no vision? Why not build a road alongside the main railway to link up with Milton to Challow station. That way they could develop the long awaited Railway station as well as linking up with the airfield for future development and ease the congestion on the A417 with very little local impact. I would urge the local planners and politicians to think again as clearly this breaches the first rule of planning. Is there a suitable alternative location? YES clarkey7
  • Score: 3

8:50pm Thu 13 Feb 14

We're all in this together says...

The headline: 'Ministers to give £3.8m for Wantage relief road' is slightly misleading. For the sake of accuracy, it should say 'Ministers to give £3.8m of taxpayers' money so developers won't have to stump up the entire cost of the Wantage relief road.'

Of course, it is quite easy to be generous with other people's money. The article does later explain that the figure is 'up to £3.8m.' Unless my grasp of the English language has deserted me, 'up to £3.8m' includes any figure from zero, and hence is more or less meaningless.

Cabinet member for transport David Nimmo Smith, who can afford to smile broadly because 5,000 houses are not being dumped on Henley, says the money is a 'significant proportion' of the amount needed. Well it would be, but his colleague Matthew Barber is only 'reasonably confident' that all the cash could be found, but it is not yet 'in the bank'.

Richard of Wantage (you'll get my vote, Richard, go for it!) raises a valid point when he asks what happened to Localism. Remember Localism? Not to mention the Big Society - no-one does mention it any more) and not forgetting Democracy, which sounds like a great idea, why don't we give it a try?

Richard is lucky to get a reply from his councillor. I wrote to mine but did not even get an acknowledgement. Perhaps Oxford Mail readers could enlighten me:

If 5,000 houses and 13,000 extra people for our already overstretched services to cope with is a done deal, where do you think these people are going to come from? Oxford? London? Further afield? Not fair on us, not fair on them.

The Government says half these houses must be affordable or social. Great, more people will be able to buy their own property. The downside of that is existing property values plummet as the supply is diluted. Had they thought of that?

Most of these dwellings are to be built on the flood plain. You may think, I’m safe, I live on a hill. But insurers go by postcode area, having thousands of homes at risk is likely to drive up insurance costs for all.

Council Tax - apart from all these extra people placing demands on local resources, recent press coverage suggests that councils will have to pay for flood defence at the cost of guess who, the local council tax payers. As the BBC man said, tough on those not at risk, but so be it.

As a card carrying Nimby (a term of abuse invented by those who would push us around, better than Pleb, I suppose) I hate to disabuse you, Asbomick1, but bringing 13,000 people into an area does not create employment, quite the opposite, in fact. The politicians tell us we need all these people to fill jobs in the so-called Science Vale. What jobs? you may ask. All the jobs that will be created as employers flock to the Science Vale, goes the reply. And why, you may ask, would all these employers flock to the Science Vale? Well, runs the argument, we've got all these people moving in...
The headline: 'Ministers to give £3.8m for Wantage relief road' is slightly misleading. For the sake of accuracy, it should say 'Ministers to give £3.8m of taxpayers' money so developers won't have to stump up the entire cost of the Wantage relief road.' Of course, it is quite easy to be generous with other people's money. The article does later explain that the figure is 'up to £3.8m.' Unless my grasp of the English language has deserted me, 'up to £3.8m' includes any figure from zero, and hence is more or less meaningless. Cabinet member for transport David Nimmo Smith, who can afford to smile broadly because 5,000 houses are not being dumped on Henley, says the money is a 'significant proportion' of the amount needed. Well it would be, but his colleague Matthew Barber is only 'reasonably confident' that all the cash could be found, but it is not yet 'in the bank'. Richard of Wantage (you'll get my vote, Richard, go for it!) raises a valid point when he asks what happened to Localism. Remember Localism? Not to mention the Big Society - no-one does mention it any more) and not forgetting Democracy, which sounds like a great idea, why don't we give it a try? Richard is lucky to get a reply from his councillor. I wrote to mine but did not even get an acknowledgement. Perhaps Oxford Mail readers could enlighten me: If 5,000 houses and 13,000 extra people for our already overstretched services to cope with is a done deal, where do you think these people are going to come from? Oxford? London? Further afield? Not fair on us, not fair on them. The Government says half these houses must be affordable or social. Great, more people will be able to buy their own property. The downside of that is existing property values plummet as the supply is diluted. Had they thought of that? Most of these dwellings are to be built on the flood plain. You may think, I’m safe, I live on a hill. But insurers go by postcode area, having thousands of homes at risk is likely to drive up insurance costs for all. Council Tax - apart from all these extra people placing demands on local resources, recent press coverage suggests that councils will have to pay for flood defence at the cost of guess who, the local council tax payers. As the BBC man said, tough on those not at risk, but so be it. As a card carrying Nimby (a term of abuse invented by those who would push us around, better than Pleb, I suppose) I hate to disabuse you, Asbomick1, but bringing 13,000 people into an area does not create employment, quite the opposite, in fact. The politicians tell us we need all these people to fill jobs in the so-called Science Vale. What jobs? you may ask. All the jobs that will be created as employers flock to the Science Vale, goes the reply. And why, you may ask, would all these employers flock to the Science Vale? Well, runs the argument, we've got all these people moving in... We're all in this together
  • Score: 0

11:29pm Thu 13 Feb 14

asbomick1 says...

You make a good argument for not Building all these house's so I will know who to blame when My 3 Grand children & 2 Great Children move out of Wantage because of lack of homes and employment. I actually moved to Wantage from deepest Walthamstow (LONDON E17) because I was offered a good job and housing on the Harwell Estate. I worked at Harwell, Rutherfords, Culham, (Jet Project),Also CERN in Switzerland. So I'm proof that in today's jobs and housing market its wise to move. I'm retired now and busy looking for a new built in oven....Off cause I'm off to Homebase in Abingdon...unless anyone knows where I can inspect an oven in Wantage ...Nope thought not
Cheers Mick
You make a good argument for not Building all these house's so I will know who to blame when My 3 Grand children & 2 Great Children move out of Wantage because of lack of homes and employment. I actually moved to Wantage from deepest Walthamstow (LONDON E17) because I was offered a good job and housing on the Harwell Estate. I worked at Harwell, Rutherfords, Culham, (Jet Project),Also CERN in Switzerland. So I'm proof that in today's jobs and housing market its wise to move. I'm retired now and busy looking for a new built in oven....Off cause I'm off to Homebase in Abingdon...unless anyone knows where I can inspect an oven in Wantage ...Nope thought not Cheers Mick asbomick1
  • Score: 0

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