Archives – November, 2014

The Wrong Goodbye – Premier

The Wrong Goodbye - Premier
At the Unicorn Theatre this week from Wednesday 19th – Saturday 22nd November there is a new play by an Abingdon author, Stephen Rees, called The Wrong Goodbye.
The Wrong Goodbye - Premier
It is the story of a man suffering early onset dementia, with his brother giving up his job to try to care for him. The play is put on by the Abingdon Drama Club.

When I see the headlines on the perspex newspaper stands nowadays, I am struck by how often there is a front page headline about a new cure or way to prevent Alzheimers. Alzheimers is the scariest condition facing people in later life. It can mean the loss of independence, dignity and a devastating impact on loved ones.

2 Comments November 21, 2014

‘Future of the Vale’ Consultation meeting in Town

Future of the Vale Consultation meeting
There was a public meeting in the Guildhall in Abingdon this evening to hear about the ‘Future of the Vale’ draft local plan to 2031. The presentation involved initially an expanation of two leaflets you may have seen:
1. The Future of the Vale
2. Supporting growth in the Vale.
Future of the Vale Consultation meeting
After that a lot of people had questions.

The panel included Cllr Matthew Barber, leader of the VWHDC (Vale of White Horse District Council), and Cllr Mike Murray, head of planning, and two council planning officers.

One major concern was the loss of Green Belt from Abingdon and villages near Oxford. The panel said the green belt had not been reviewed for a long time and some of the green belt did not meet all 5 green belt criteria. They went on to say that Oxford is looking to reduce the green belt even further on the other side.

One passionate lady said ‘it’s disgraceful building on the green belt‘ and asked for a show of hands of people opposed to building on the green belt. There were a lot of hands.

Somebody from Kennington was worried about that the ribboning of Kennington being accentuated by the new plan.

The good people of Appleton and Cumnor had got the ‘The Future of The Vale’ leaflet through their doors, They also recently took part in a separate consultation about removal of land from the green belt. It ended in complete confusion.
Future of the Vale Consultation meeting
Traffic was a problem for people living off the Dunmore Road where 800 more houses are planned the other side. Already they can’t get out of Boulter Drive and Alexander Close in the morning. A recent safety change to the Wootton Road roundabout created a further new pinch point. One person said that the new developments would add roundabouts, and pedestrian crossings, and bring the road to a standstill.

Somebody else said, about Twelve Acre Drive, where 200 houses are planned, that the selling of land from Peachcroft Farm could result in no local Turkeys or Geese at Christmas.

The one big road improvement that could be allowed by all this development is a full diamond interchange onto the A34 at Lodge Hill. It could be funded by what is called the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) – so long as the council officers are successful in getting grants from central government as well, and get Highway Agency approval.

CIL is a levy on land which developers pay that goes towards infrastructure.
Future of the Vale Consultation meeting
Most people left the Guildhall more dazed and confused than they had entered. They had been told they could now take part in three different public consultations:

1. Draft Local Plan to the Secretary of State. Whether to keep green belt or not etc.
2. How CIL should be spent.  A34 and Primary School and what else would a local community need? To be considered by VWHDC officers.
3. Vale Design Guide, How future developments in your area will look. To be considered by VWHDC officers. Should all new Abingdon houses have traditional gables?

6 Comments November 19, 2014

An Abingdon Church Hall Built in 1926 and demolished in 1988

Abingdon Church Hall
This Abingdon Church Hall was featured in the 1927 Hooke’s Abingdon Almanack and Directory – to show the workmanship of P.A and G Randall, Builders and Contractors of Swinburne Road. It was built in 1926 – funded by public subscription.
Abingdon Church Hall
The Church Hall would have been situated about where the road runs in front of Abbey House, and was demolished in 1988 when the Abbey House Council Offices were built. Demolition allowed access to Abbey Close avoiding the Abbey Gateway – which in our times need protection from passing traffic.

The church hall was used for the WI Market, church youth clubs, blood donor clinics, church socials, jumble sales, dances, and performances on a small stage.

3 Comments November 19, 2014

The Future of the Vale

On 15th October the VWHDC (Vale of White Horse District Council) Council voted through the draft local plan until 2031.

The draft plan does appear at odds with recent central government advice that “councils must protect our precious green belt land“. The plan would remove land from the Green Belt between Oxford and … Abingdon and neighbouring villages such as Cumnor, Kennington and Radley.
The draft plan will be submitted to the Secretary of State for independent examination, and local people have received a leaflet, called ‘The Future of the Vale‘. asking for comments about whether the plan is appropriate, achievable and in line with the government’s policies on planning.

You can read how to enter your comments here – until 19th December 2014.

I suppose that if the plan is seen to be inappropriate, unachievable, or out of line with central government’s policy on planning, then the wild-west world of predatory developers – that has become such a feature of the coalition government – will continue.

23 Comments November 17, 2014

Terry Wogan and The Reindeer at The Bookstore

Terry Wogan
Terry Wogan will be at The Bookstore, Bury Street, on Saturday 22nd November, signing copies of his latest book  called ‘Little Book of Common Sense: Or Pause for Thought with Wogan.’
Terry Wogan
Ian, from The Bookstore, was busy creating a Christmas window display most of today.
Terry Wogan
With the lights, purple sheets, snow, and reindeer, he has created something to wonder at.

2 Comments November 16, 2014

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