To support the Didcot Garden Town plan, Oxfordshire County Council has submitted a £250m application to the government for a package of road improvements.
It would fund what’s called “essential infrastructure” for the Garden Town’s wider area of influence which includes Long Wittenham and neighbouring villages. The road improvements are for the Didcot-Culham Science Centre link road across the Thames which is estimated to cost more than £100m; a bypass for Clifton Hampden, duelling of the A4130 Didcot ring road and a new bridge over the ring road and railway.
The county council expects to hear if its bid has been successful next Summer. Much hinges on road improvements if the Garden Town proposals and South Oxfordshire District Council’s Local Plan for thousands of new homes and jobs are to be achieved between now and 2033.
The head of the Garden Town plan Gerry Brough said there was “fierce competition” for government funding from 236 applications nationwide. He said: “Only ten applications will make it through but we have had some good soundings from government sources which have given a lot of weight to our Garden Town plan.”
Mr Brough’s optimism was supported by the leader of the district council John Cotton who added: “Our Garden Town project is unique in that it provides not only more houses but jobs too. We are optimistic of getting government support for infrastructure improvements which are necessary if the Garden Town is to be a success.”
Mr Cotton and Mr Brough were speaking at a meeting of town and parish councillors from South Oxfordshire at the Howbery Business Park near Wallingford on 1st November. Councillors were brought up to date with progress on the Garden Town proposals and the district council’s Local Plan which runs alongside and includes the Garden Town.