District Councillor's Reports
Members of the parish council met our MP, David Johnston, together with residents from Stockham on Feb 25th. We are all concerned about the call last May for new sites for development, many of which are in the immediate area surrounding the village which is highly disconcerting. We are currently particularly concerned about a possible housing development between the village and Wantage (Stockham) which would remove the historical gap between the settlements. We expressed our concerns to David who sympathised and he has expressed the same view publicly that too many houses are being built and without the appropriate community facilities. Building small clusters of houses cleverly avoids this, which is a requirement for larger developments. He has also been speaking to Michael Gove about insisting that environmental standards are applied at the time of build and not those agreed at the time when the planning application was approved. The environmental issues, both in terms of further reduced biodiversity and localised flooding were highlighted..
The land housing supply was discussed as these seem to indicate that in this part of the Vale, in the villages west of Wantage, more houses have been built than were allocated. The rate of take-up of new houses has also dropped off with new houses standing empty and highly competitive deals being offered by developers. Clearly demand has changed in the last few years and we hope that small developments breaking out everywhere like a rash is a thing of the past.