Wallingford Pool open

The heated outdoor swimming pool by Wallingford Bridge will open for the summer season tomorrow (25 May).
Riverside Outdoor Pool will be open from 7am – 8pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 7am – 6pms on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and from 9am – 6pm at weekends – until Monday 3 September. Jubilee Splash Park is already open on site for younger children to enjoy.
Riverside Park and Pools, located on the bank of the River Thames, is the perfect place to spend a lazy summer day. The site features a 23 metre pool, changing rooms, refreshments and a campsite.
A swim costs just £4.50 for adults, £2.90 for junior/seniors or £13.05 for a family swim (two adults and two children). Regular swimmers are also able to take advantage of a season pass for £71 for adults and £35 for juniors and seniors.
For more information about Riverside Park and Pools please visit the Riverside website or call 01491 835232.

Bank Holiday refuse collections

South Oxfordshire District Council is reminding householders of the usual changes to their waste collections during the week following the Spring Bank Holiday Monday.
There will be no waste collections on Bank Holiday Monday 28 May. Everyone’s bins will then be emptied one day later than usual for the rest of that week.
This includes households who normally have their bins emptied on a Friday – crews will be working on Saturday 2 June to catch up as normal on a bank holiday week.
In South Oxfordshire, this is a grey bin and food waste bin collection week.
See Bank Holiday collections for further information.
NEW! …we can now collect cooking oil placed in a plastic bottle (no bigger than 1 litre) inside your food waste bin.
To keep up to date then try Binzone, our great app, which is designed for smartphones so you can have all your collection dates at your fingertips all day, every day. Search for ‘Binzone’ on Google Pay Store (Android) or on Appstore (Apple).

A chance to perform at the Garsington Opera

Following the success of last autumn’s performance of Hospital Passion Play at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Garsington Opera are looking for enthusiastic local adults, who enjoy singing and performing, to join their Adult Company to take part in their next project, which is based on Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

Using music from the opera, the project will include a collaboration with the C&C Choir, a choir of residents from sheltered accommodation in North London. It has been created specifically for the Adult Company by Vocal Director Lea Cornthwaite and Director Hazel Gould. Rehearsals will take place in High Wycombe during June and July, with the performance in the award-winning Garsington Opera auditorium on the Wormsley Estate on 3 August 2018.

No audition or prior experience is necessary. To sign up, contact Julian Guidera at julian@garsingtonopera.org or 07812 955874. The schedule is on www.garsingtonopera.org/adult-company.

Garsington Opera strive to create work with their local diverse communities encouraging local adults to become part of their Adult Company. Recent projects have included performances at the Wormsley Estate, the V&A Museum and BBC Arts. giving members the opportunity to develop confidence, new skills and friendships.

Local Plan: update from your District Councillor

My name is Caroline Newton. I have been your representative on the District Council (SODC) since September 2017 when I stood for election following the resignation of the previous District Councillor, Steve Harrod (who remains your County Councillor and Chair of Great Milton Parish Council) . Having been born and raised in South Oxfordshire, I now live with my family in Britwell Salome.

I’m writing this briefing to let you know of recent changes at SODC and how they may affect you.

The District Council is responsible for many of the local public services you use from planning, to social housing and waste collection (while the County Council is in charge of social care, the roads, education).

One of the main focuses of the District Council at the moment is the creation of the Local Plan, our vision for the development of our district over the next 15 years. This Local Plan identifies where housing, retain and employment land should be located, as well as the infrastructure needed to support this growth – like new schools, roads, health services etc.

Just before Easter, my fellow councillors and I called for a pause to the Local Plan as we were concerned that the developments it proposed could not (and should not) actually be delivered within the 15 year time-frame of the Plan. The main concern for most of us was the inclusion of a proposal to build around 3000 on Chalgrove Airfield. I had, in any case been far from convinced that this was the right place to locate thousands of new homes. But in the months running up this decision to pause there had been two critical developments. Firstly, it had become apparent that there was a big gap in the funding available for the infrastructure necessary to make such a big settlement work (particularly the road-building infrastructure), and secondly we realised it was far from clear that the site would be vacated by its current tenants (Martin-Baker) in that time-frame.

Partly as a result of this concern about the direction of the Local Plan, councillors decided it was time for a new Leader at SODC. The Council is still run by a Conservative Administration, but in mid-April councillors elected Jane Murphy to replace the former Leader, John Cotton, whom many of you knew. As part of this reshuffle, Jane invited me to join her Cabinet where I am now responsible for Housing and Environment for the Council.

Under this new leadership, the Council has decided to look again at all available sites for major housing development in the district, as long as the extra time it will take does not significantly impact on a countywide housing growth agreement (the so-called Growth Deal).

We intend to reassess each of the main housing sites currently proposed in the Plan, along with previously-considered locations and some additional sites that have more recently been put forward by developers:

• Current proposed sites: Culham, Wheatley, Berinsfield and Chalgrove Airfield;

• Previously considered (but not progressed) sites: Thornhill, Wick Farm, Lower Elsfield, Grenoble Road, Northfields, Harrington and land at Great Western Park;

• Additional sites submitted by developers: land at Emmer Green, Reading, Reading Golf Club, Playhatch at Reading, land off Thame Road, North Weston.

The sites of greatest concern to residents in Great Milton will be Chalgrove, Harrington and North Weston. Chalgrove and Harrington are well known you. You may recall that Harrington was not considered a suitable site for such a large number of houses in the

most recent SODC assessment. Without wanting to pre-judge the work of the Council, I am not aware of any new factors that would change that assessment.

As for the North Weston, I understand that an outline proposal was put to the Planning team at the end of last year, much too late to be considered for the Local Plan as it then stood. I have asked officers for information about the site and will share that with you once I have it.

I work hard to represent the interests and concerns of residents of my ward amongst my fellow councillors and with officers. I try to come to Parish Council meetings where I update on Council business and am tasked to investigate matters relating the parish. But am also available between times so please don’t hesitate to contact me. I will respond as quickly and helpfully as I can.

Caroline Newton
caroline.newton@southoxon.gov.uk

07951 477144

Council plans to reassess housing sites to decide best way forward for Local Plan

South Oxfordshire District Council will look again at all available sites for major housing development in the district, as long as the extra time it will take does not significantly impact on a countywide housing growth agreement.

Councillors last night (15 May) backed Cabinet recommendations to do more work to determine the most suitable locations before finalising its Local Plan.

The Plan sets out where the main housing sites around the district should be up until 2033, as well as identifying the employment opportunities, schools and other infrastructure that will be needed to support housing growth.

The council intends to reassess each of the main housing sites currently proposed in the Plan, along with previously-considered locations and some additional sites that have more recently been put forward by developers:
Current proposed sites: Culham, Wheatley, Berinsfield and Chalgrove Airfield;
Previously considered (but not progressed) sites: Thornhill, Wick Farm, Lower Elsfield, Grenoble Road, Northfields, Harrington and land at Great Western Park;
Additional sites submitted by developers: land at Emmer Green, Reading, Reading Golf Club, Playhatch at Reading, land off Thame Road, North Weston.
Cllr Felix Bloomfield, Cabinet Member for Planning and the Council’s Deputy Leader, said: “When you’re talking about future housing in a rural district like ours, it’s very important that you get it right. By reviewing the housing sites, we’re looking to ensure the Plan we submit stands the best chance of a planning inspector finding that it’s a ‘sound’ plan and gives us a robust base on which we can build a better South Oxfordshire for everybody.”

This work will happen as long as there is no significant impact on the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal, agreed by all of Oxfordshire’s councils to bring £215m of government funding over the next five years to support housing and infrastructure growth.

If there is an indication that there will be a significant impact on the deal, the council agreed that Chalgrove Airfield should stay in the Local Plan as a strategic housing site for 3,000 new homes, with a reserve site or sites added following assessment work.

Further information about the Local Plan and the steps taken so far can be viewed via the Local Plan page. More information about the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal is available on the Oxfordshire Growth Board website.