Welcome to Long Wittenham

Welcome to the website for the village of Long Wittenham, Oxfordshire, England. Within these pages you will find information on the village, the Parish Council and its activities, a directory of local businesses and services, information on clubs and groups, and lots of other things too.

Complete the “Subscribe” option at the bottom right of this page to be notified by email when village news is posted.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Welcome to Long Wittenham

Earth Trust Plans

Plans for a £5m expansion of the Earth Trust’s facilities at Hill Farm at Little Wittenham have received a positive response from Long Wittenham Parish Council even though the development could generate an extra 1,000 vehicles a week passing through the village. But residents of Sires Hill have objected to South Oxfordshire District Council.

At the parish council’s October meeting the chief executive of the Earth Trust Jayne Manley said the Wittenham Clumps and surrounding area attracted 150,000 visitors a year and many came from within 20 to 30 miles. She said as the population of the area continued to grow more demands would be made on the area and the Trust needed to improve management of the site to cater for an increasing number of visitors.

The development is planned in three phases over eight years depending on funding. A new access road is proposed off Sires Hill, a car park for 185 vehicles, a café-cum-farm shop, an amphitheatre for plays and exhibitions and replica Stone Age roundhouses. The Trust’s centre is a popular venue for schools.

Dr Manley said the project was expected to generate about 20% more vehicles to and from Hill Farm – that equates to 1,000 extra vehicles a week passing through Long Wittenham. With Didcot’s north-east expansion of the Ladygrove estate and other housing developments planned in the area the pressure on Long  Wittenham’s High Street is a major concern.

Cllr Gordon Rogers said a 20% increase in traffic was the equivalent of about 1,000 extra vehicle movements a week through the village and he had concerns as the village already faced more traffic as Didcot continued to expand.

Cllr Peter Rose said he was happy about the building part of the application as it would be contained on the existing site and would not substantially affect views but he too had concerns about extra traffic through the village.

He said: “It would mean an additional 100 cars per day on average along the High Street, there and back. If there is an event at weekends it could be much more in one day.”

The parish council believes however that although more traffic would pass through the village the benefits of improved facilities at the Trust’s Hill Farm headquarters outweighs the disadvantage of some extra vehicles. Most of the extra traffic is expected to come from Didcot and the south of the county.

Cllr Sally Duff said that the Trust’s plans would ensure that Wittenham Clumps and surrounding areas would be protected for future generations.

She said: “Over the years the Trust has shown it is sensitive to the local environment in the way that Fison’s Barn was renovated, the planting of trees and the management of the land. All of this work has been a huge asset to our community.

“The Trust has had the foresight to realise that given the amount of new housing going up in the area, visitor numbers will rise. The increase in traffic through our village will happen whatever the outcome of the planning application as visitors will come what may. The Trust has taken into account the preferred route for construction vehicles to minimise traffic through our village.”

But the Sires Hill Residents’ Association has raised major worries about what it calls the Trust’s “ambitious project.”  It says the plan is not in keeping with the Trust’s aims of promoting for the public the conservation and protection of the natural and physical environment, wildlife, historical and archaeological features.

Wittenham Clumps, extensive woodlands, the Sinodun Hills together form a distinctive and prominent landscape feature which is visible as a landmark over a wide area. The residents say the Trust’s plans ignore guidelines and will neither conserve nor enhance the landscape.

They go on to challenge the need for a new access road to Hills Farm. It will, they say, add a new hazard to an already dangerous and over-used rat run. The junction between Hollow Way and Sires Hill is a significant hazard and the proposed access point has visibility issues even despite the plans to remove hedges and trees from the roadside.

The objectors say that neither junction falls within a 30 mph zone and no guarantee has been given that the speed limit area will be extended to include the new access road or to address speed limit enforcement.

The provision of an amphitheatre seems to be outside the scope of the Trust’s main aims. It may be an attractive feature but there are concerns about noise and light pollution from events going on at night.

The Residents’ Association objection concludes: “This plan is outside the remit of the Earth Trust and at odds with all main national and local planning guides. It is damaging to the ancient landscape, visually unacceptable and will cause additional safety concerns to an already dangerous road. We urge the district council to reject the plans.”

Posted in Parish Council | Tagged | Leave a comment

Quarry Set Back

There’s been a set-back in the fight to stop a quarry from being developed on green belt land near Clifton Hampden. An inspector examining Oxfordshire County Council’s minerals and waste strategy for the next ten years has concluded that the overall target for minerals should not be reduced.

The opposition group Bachport – Burcot and Clifton Hampden for the Protection of the River Thames – has been fighting plans by Hills Quarry Products to extract sand and gravel from what’s been called Fullamoor quarry. At the public examination Oxage – Oxfordshire Against Gravel Extraction – spoke out against the county council’s plan to increase the amount of aggregates extracted from sites in the county. Continue reading

Posted in Parish Council | Tagged | Leave a comment

Parish Council Meeting – Thursday 13th October

A reminder that the Parish Council has its monthly meeting this coming Thursday evening (13th October) at 7:30pm in the Village Hall.

View the agenda here.

Posted in Parish Council | Tagged | Leave a comment

Parish Council Comings and Goings

Long Wittenham Parish Council has recruited a new member – but has lost a councillor. The new recruit is Sally Duff who replaces Annie Eccles who has left the council after two years because of increasing family demands.

Sally, who lives in the High Street, is married to Mike Duff. She spent eight years as secretary at the village primary school and worked for a local authority before joining the school. She has since retired.

Sally was a co-founder of Wittenham Warriors and entered the Continue reading

Posted in Parish Council | Tagged | Leave a comment

Guy Fawkes Competition

This year’s Guy Fawkes Competition, as part of the Bonfire Night celebrations on Saturday 5th November, is sponsored by The Plough Inn.

All the details and how to enter are here.

Posted in What's On | Leave a comment

Villagers Reap Rewards at Apple Day Bonanza

Villagers reaped the rewards of a bumper apple crop when the fruit was crushed into drinkable juice at the first Long Wittenham Apple Day event.

Organized by the Wittenham Warriors charity fund raising group Apple Day attracted more than 200 people to the Sylva Foundation’s Wood Centre.

The event on 8th October also launched the Community Orchard which will contain 55 fruit and nut trees. The orchard is part of a grander scheme being developed by the Sylva Foundation to create a new forest with more than 30 different species such as oak, beech, birch and lime. Continue reading

Posted in Wittenham Warriors | Tagged | Leave a comment

Neighbourhood Plan Update

The leader of South Oxfordshire District Council John Cotton says he’ll examine Long Wittenham Parish Council’s proposed Neighbourhood Plan in a bid to un-lock the proposal which have come to a standstill with planning officers.

A referendum on the NP was planned for this autumn but feedback from the district council said some of the policies needed amendment to ensure they were robust and could stand up to scrutiny if challenged.

These amendments will not change the core policy of the Plan to get additional community facilities in return for some new housing. As soon as the Plan is re-drafted it will be presented at another village meeting. Continue reading

Posted in Parish Council | Tagged | Leave a comment

Bonfire Night 2016

Announcing Long Wittenham’s 8th Annual Bonfire Night on Saturday 5th November at 6pm on Ward’s Field (behind Pendon Museum).

Beer / Bar / Mulled Wine / BBQ / Sweet Treats
Firework Display / Guy Fawkes Competition.

A fantastic atmosphere and of course … a beautiful big bonfire!

Advance discounted tickets will be available from Monday 17th October from: LW School Office, Clifton Hampden Post Office and from Emma Newman and Sarah Bowden. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized, What's On | Tagged | Leave a comment

Long Wittenham History Group Publications

The Long Wittenham History Group is pleased to announce that their series of booklets on the history of Long Wittenham and surrounding area – The Chronicle – has been digitised and is available to read and/or download from the “History Group Publications” page of the website.

Posted in History Group | Tagged | Leave a comment

Kler Planning Application – Comments Deadline

Please note that the deadline for new responses to the amendments made by Kler to their original planning application for up to 36 houses on the field on the corner of the Didcot Road and Fieldside is 6th October 2016.

In summary the amendments submitted on 8th September are:

(1) A reduction in the amount of hedge along the Didcot Road that will have to be removed and a statement that the site’s tree cover will be maintained.

(2) A significant change to the proposed layout of the site from that in the original plan in an attempt to deal with comments made by the Vale of White Horse’s Landscape Officer Continue reading

Posted in Parish Council | Tagged | Leave a comment