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.

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Tree Expert Banned In Quarry Row

A world-renowned tree expert has been banned from investigating ancient trees on land threatened by the quarry plan near Clifton Hampden.

Bachport – an alliance of local villages and individuals – has drafted in leading arboriculterist David Lonsdale to study the site but Hills has refused him access.  Mr Lonsdale has identified 40 trees for further investigation.

The presence or absence of veteran or biologically important trees must be considered under national planning policy guidelines.  Hills says it has “not identified any veteran trees”.

Bachport spokesman Giles Baxter said: “What have Hills to hide?  The survey would take less than a day and would not be intrusive or damaging.  Hills should have nothing to fear from one of the country’s leading experts on trees visiting the site.”

“Maybe the company is worried because the trees are important, protected by national planning directives.  It looks as if Hills has failed to take it into account the trees in their scheme.”

Mr Baxter says Hills has been wrong before.  The company said that following an archaeological survey by professional consultants the site contained nothing of archaeological importance.  Historic England disagreed and designated 25 hectares of the site as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Oxfordshire County Council has launched a third round of public consultation with a deadline of 3rd August.  The council’s planning committee might discuss the issue at its September meeting but may not have collated sufficient feed-back in time and the issue could be pushed back towards the end of the year.

Bachport urges people to write to Oxfordshire County Council even if they have written before.  The group adds: “In your letter, please refer to the new information and state that it does not address your concerns and your objection still stands.”

Bachport argues that Hills do not address the issue of traffic through Abingdon and the A415 through Clifton Hampden.  The protest group says Hills is required to make a commitment not to route any quarry traffic through the centre of Abingdon.

Protestors say Hills has not met its obligations on traffic issues and continues to ignore the impact a quarry would have on an already congested road network.  Bachport says the company should conduct an analysis of the impact of quarry traffic on Clifton Hampden junction.

In Hill’s latest submission, the bunds around the site needed to protect local residents from dust and noise have been increased to 10m, the height of a three-storey house.  Protesters say these will be “visually intrusive, difficult to maintain, and prone to slumping”.

Bachport says the new information shows that there will be a much higher loss of high-grade agricultural land than previously indicated.   Natural England has challenged Hills to justify the loss, which is against national planning policy.

The deadline for objections is 3rd August.  The reference is MW.0039/16. Send objections to: mary.thompson@oxfordshire.gov.uk or by letter to Mary Thompson, Oxfordshire County Council, County Hall, New Road, Oxford OX1 1ND.

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Playground Campaign Nears Target

More than £6,550 has been raised for new play equipment at Bodkin’s Field in Long Wittenham and the campaign organisers say they hope children will be playing there next spring.

A grant of £7,300 has been secured from South Oxfordshire District Council but one of the conditions is that the campaigners have to match-fund the grant.  Supporters say they are £737 short of their target but are confident of hitting it by the end of the year.

So far £6,554 has been raised including a donation of £2,500 from the parish council.  The Wittfest music festival at The Plough pub raised £1,600 and the village Fun Run £700.  Wittenham Warriors and Safari Supper each gave £500 and a women’s social party £419. Continue reading

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200 Club Winners

The Long Wittenham 200 Club is pleased to announce the winners in June and July.

June 2017

The £50 prize goes to:
198    K. Whitehead

£10 each goes to:
120    R. & B. Edwards
86      M. & S. Duff
19      A. Ainsley
54      J. Peckham & J. Davies

July 2017   Continue reading

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Neighbourhood Plan Referendum

Below are details of the forthcoming referendum for the Neighbourhood Development Plan and a summary of the Plan itself.  It is purely factual as the Parish Council is not allowed to campaign during the run up to the election.

The Referendum

The referendum date for the Neighbourhood Development Plan is Thursday 7th September 2017.  It is run by South Oxfordshire District Council along the same lines as any local government election.  Anyone registered to vote in a local election is eligible to vote.  Proxy and postal votes are available for those not able to vote in person. Forms are available from:

https://www.gov.uk/apply-vote-proxy
OR
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-for-a-postal-vote. Continue reading

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Ride & Stride for Churches – 9th September

Oxfordshire Historic Church Trust organises an annual Ride and Stride sponsored event to raise essential funds to repair, restore and improve the county’s churches.  This year’s event takes place on 9th September and local families are encouraged to take part.

Ride and Stride is a sponsored event whereby participants travel between our wonderful churches, enjoying their architecture and history which, let’s face it, we often take for granted.  The funds raised ensures their beauty can be appreciated by future generations. So why not get on your bike, feet, horse, tractor or any form of transport you choose to search out and support all the finest church architecture Oxfordshire has to offer?

Continue reading

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More Time Sought For Quarry Objections

Long Wittenham Parish Council and others objecting to plans for a huge quarry near Clifton Hampden are asking Oxfordshire County Council for an extension to the third consultation period which closes on 3rd August.

The council, Burcot and Clifton Hampden, Appleford and Culham parish councils are part of an alliance of organisations and individuals opposing plans by Hills Quarry Products.  The most recent concerns that the quarry would increase the risk of flooding along the Thames have come from the Environment Agency.

The county council opened another period of consultation to allow more time for Hills and objectors to respond.  Bachport – Burcot and Clifton Hampden for the Protection of the Continue reading

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Clifton Hampden Bridge To Close for Repairs

Clifton Hampden Bridge will be closed to motorised vehicles from 18th September through to 29th September 2017.   This is for work that is required following a road traffic accident last year that demolished a length of brick parapet.   A temporary repair was undertaken after the incident using concrete blockwork as this was the only way to allow the bridge to be quickly and safely reopened.  The bridge could not be repaired permanently as the bridge is listed and as specially manufactured bespoke bricks and copings are required.

The road closure is needed to undertake the work required as the bridge is too narrow to work safely without one.  A route will be available for cyclists and pedestrians throughout the works.  It is hoped that if all goes well that the work could be completed in less time Continue reading

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School Children Entertain Good Neighbours

Members of Long Wittenham’s Good Neighbours Club were entertained by children from the Long Wittenham primary school at the club’s July meeting in the village hall.  Twenty children from class four (nine, ten and eleven year olds) sang “It’s a Kind of Magic” one of Queen’s big hits and which features in the school’s play Historical Laughter which will be performed at the end of term.  The children were accompanied by teacher Fiona Smith and teaching assistant Tracy Eltham.  The Good Neighbour’s Club is supported financially by the parish council.

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Parish Council Meeting – Thursday 13th July

The Parish Council will hold its monthly meeting this coming Thursday evening (13th July) at 7:30pm in the Village Hall.

Download the agenda here.

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Neighbourhood Plans Vital To Fight Developers

Neighbourhood Developments Plans or NDPs are vital in the battle against developers trying to exploit the national housing crisis says the author of a new book on village life.  Retired journalist and now parish councillor Tom Fort was speaking in Didcot on Monday night at the annual meeting of the Oxfordshire Association of Local Councils.

He went on to warn delegates that developers would push to build on the fringes of communities if housing plans in central areas were thwarted by a village NDP.

Mr Fort, who’s a member of Sonning Common Parish Council, urged villages to draw up an NDP to give some protection against developers.  He said: “Villages can’t stand still.  New houses are needed for residents and newcomers who will bring fresh blood into the Continue reading

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