More than thirty people attended last night’s village meeting to discuss plans by Vanderbilt Homes for the housing development on the corner of Fieldside and Didcot Road. It was the first time that villagers had an opportunity to talk to the developers.
For seventy-five minutes, Nathan Craker from the company and Guy Wakefield, for Vanderbilt’s planning consultants, fielded a range of critical questions from residents, many of whom attacked the proposals.
There were concerns about the size of some of the homes, the siting of a block of four affordable apartments, parking issues, including lack of parking spaces, and harm to views of Wittenham Clumps.
One villager described the plans as “unneighbourly” and out of character with a village environment. There were concerns that there was too much of an “urban” feel to the houses. It was said that there is a need for a greater mix of properties and more integration of market and affordable homes. One speaker said the site was over-developed and another that the plans were worse than the originals drawn up by Kler. There were also concerns about the quality of the homes and whether the designs conformed to the village’s Neighbourhood Development Plan.
Mr Wakefield said Vanderbilt had a reputation for building quality homes that would enhance Long Wittenham. Both he and Mr Craker told the meeting that Vanderbilt would take on board the issues raised by villagers and discuss them when reviewing the plans.
The public has until the 5th of December to respond to the proposals. The application documents can be viewed and comments submitted here:
We all need to get our individual comments back to SODC planning Department so that the Planners know what the village thinks about these plans.
It is rather optimistic to expect the Developer to take too much notice of our concerns unless we all make a fuss via SODC.
Lots of constructive criticism might just have an impact if there are enough of us.
Didn’t make any difference when we opposed the road being widened!!!
Having been through the published documents I actually find that there are a lot of positives to note. I think the plans have been done in a modern manner whilst being sensitive to both the local area and taking into account various stipulations by our village’s Neighbourhood Plan.
Whether we are for or against the development we should remember that we are lucky enough to have any say at all! We have a Neighbourhood Plan to help keep developers on the right track, and public meetings like this aid us in the discussions. Almost all the other local villages have had large housing estates ‘dumped’ on their boundaries where the local residents had no say.
Take the time to feedback any comments to SODC. Complaining after the 5th Dec will be too late!!