Long Wittenham and Clifton Hampden form part of the newly created Garden Town status project for Didcot which could yield road and transport improvements along with new homes and job opportunities over the next 15 years.
Didcot was awarded Garden Town status by the government last year following a successful bid by South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse District Councils. Oxfordshire County Council and the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership were also involved in the bid.
Over the next 15 years the project plans to deliver 15,000 new homes and 20,000 new jobs in Didcot and the neighbouring Science Centres at Culham, Milton Park and Harwell.
The interim head of development and regeneration at the district councils Gerry Brough said Didcot’s important infrastructure such as the Science bridge and northern perimeter road needed to be considered. Some major projects had already been funded and would be delivered in the next two years.
He said: “In other cases the funding has been applied for and we are waiting to hear if it has been secured. The proposed new link road from Didcot to Culham with a bridge over the Thames is seen as a vital part of an improved infrastructure programme but this scheme is in its early stages at the moment.”
Improving connectivity is seen as important including public transport which could benefit Long Wittenham and Clifton Hampden which lost bus services following the county council’s decision to end subsidies.
Mr Brough said: “We don’t want people to be reliant on cars. We want to see sustainable modes of transport and want to make moving around the town easier. Improved public transport is important and we will be talking with bus companies as we want to help communities in the area but we will not subsidise routes.”
The proposed boundary of Didcot Garden Town goes from Blewbury in the south to the Culham Science Centre in the north. Long Wittenham and Clifton fall in the eastern section while the boundary stretches west to include Steventon.
The public’s views are being sought about the proposals. Mr Brough said: “These are the early proposals. We have got to get the bones right and so it’s vital that we engage with the public at all levels so we can take on board what people think.”
Early 2017: Continuing dialogue with stakeholders and local communities plus detailed work on delivering the plan.
Spring/summer: District councils put draft Master Plan out for public consultation.
Autumn: Final delivery plan to go before both district councils.
Early 2018: Sufficient funding secure to implement phase one of the plan.
Estimated completion date: 2031.
More details and feedback at: www.didcotgardentown.co.uk
Telephone: 01235 422473.