Community Workshop

21 Nov 2013

To add to the feedback we have received as part of the public exhibitions, on 12th November we held a Community Workshop, inviting representatives from South Oxfordshire District Council, local Churches, Parish Councils, sporting groups, environmental charities, South Oxfordshire Housing Association, business organisations and Didcot Town Council.

The workshop offered a chance to cover the steps taken so far and an explanation of the draft masterplan. Planning principles behind the plans such as consideration of flooding and drainage, green infrastructure, the proposed schools, highway access, bus routes, integration with Ladygrove and with the wider area, and the need to provide community centres were also explained and discussed.

We’ve taken away some useful points from the workshop and are looking at how they can be incorporated into the final proposal. Of particular note was the ability to make sure the proposal is ‘future proofed’ – with sufficient parking, good cycle & pedestrian connections, sufficient junction capacity, adequate flood defence, telecoms connectivity, facilities that are relevant to future generations etc.

There was also a call to ensure the continued involvement of the new residents and representatives. Could local people manage and maintain the new community facilities for example? Perhaps the development should set up a Community Steering Group early in the development process?

Finally, it was important for all in attendance to note that nothing was ‘set in stone’ – the upcoming planning application by the North East Didcot Partnership would only be for Outline planning permission with only the accesses considered based on an illustrative masterplan – the precise details would be subject to further and a number of separate Reserved Matters planning applications for various phases of the scheme, leaving plenty of time for community ideas to be incorporated in the details.