Unsound PlansThat nearly 140 people attended the “No to Site B” meeting in the Village Hall on Saturday 8 January is testimony to the hostility that is widespread to the Core Strategy being promoted by the District Council. If implemented, it will join our village to Wallingford, boost the flow of traffic on the A4130 and produce untold impacts on our children’s schooling.
Wrong Choice of Site It is so obviously wrong to join the Wallingford to Brightwell-cum-Sotwell by building 400 houses on Site B. Evidence shows that the town should best expand to the south on Site E (Winterbrook). Building on Site E will not cause coalescence with Cholsey some 2km away. Winterbrook is closer to the town centre. Footpaths from Site B are less safe because they are unpaved and unlit. Site E would have two road accesses, one from the existing roundabout to Cholsey and the other on to the Reading Road. This contrasts with the hazardous T-junction proposed for access to the A4130 from Site B. Site E is flat and hidden by houses along the Reading Road, so that the buildings on it will not be visible. Site B rises up from the A4130: houses built there will seen over a wide area. There is a half hourly bus service along the Reading Road for Site E people and a bus to Cholsey once an hour. These are much better than the proposed, subsidised, Site B hourly bus to Didcot. Site B would be an isolated carbuncle cut off from Wallingford with a road outlet encouraging residents to shop in Didcot. But SODC has ignored these telling points in the past: will it be too late for a change when the composition of the Council alters after local government elections in May?
Consultation leading to the Examination in Public (EIP). The current consultation closed on 21 January and responses to SODC will go to the planning inspector conducting the EIP later in the year. It is hoped that many villagers have responded and will speak at the EIP if called by the inspector.
Proposals from Developers Plans recently submitted to SODC for Winterbrook by Wates and Berkeley Homes were rejected. However both firms are likely to appeal and if their appeals are upheld then development of Site E will proceed. PRUPIM is to hold an exhibition in the next month or so and is also likely to submit plans to SODC for Site B. The Parish Council asks you to attend this exhibition and register your objections.
The future for Brightwell-cum-Sotwell In the long history of Brightwell-cum-Sotwell, 2011 could rank as its most important year. Will it determine if the village and parish continue to be a highly desirable place to live and work, one with its own identity, or become a suburb of Wallingford submerged in traffic?
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