The Parish Council met on Tuesday 4th May with 8 Parish Councillors, Mike Fox-Davies, Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) Councillor and a large number of members of the public being present.
There has been a considerable amount of communications and comments regarding highway works on Harding Vale (Linden Phase 3) particularly with regard to the removal of the footpath that on the access road from Hanney Road.
Following a meeting held with the Chair, Vice Chair and Clerk of the Parish Council on Friday 14th May to discuss works undertaken at Harding Vale, Oxfordshire County Council and Vale of White Horse District Council officers have provided the following information.
“The Developer, originally Linden Homes now Vistry, submitted an application to Oxfordshire County Council (known as a Section 38 Agreement) for Harding Vale, Steventon with the intention of some of the roads within this development being adopted by Oxfordshire County Council, as the Highway Authority. As part of the review process for proposed adoption, the Highway Authority identified an issue with the safety and connectivity of the footway. In order for the Highway Authority to adopt a footway it needs to connect to a public highway pedestrian route or safely to a public destination.
The footway that had been installed along Harding Vale stopped in advance of the junction with Hanney Road, and did not connect into existing pedestrian facilities. There are also no existing Public Rights of Way in this area. The presence of a footway would imply that there is a prescribed route accessible and usable to all public users, including those with limited mobility, that would lead to a public destination or connect to other pedestrian facilities; which in this location, do not exist. Furthermore, there are no facilities at the junction or along Hanney Road that would enable all public users (including mobility impaired users) of this footway to join an existing public footway leading to the bus stops in the village. The Highway Authority had concerns over the safety of the footway stopping short of the junction, as this would direct pedestrians into the junction and require them to continue east along Hanney Road verge without pedestrian facilities accommodating these movements.
Officers consider there is an alternative pedestrian connection between the new development of Harding Vale which is more accessible and usable for residents and the public that connects into existing pedestrian facilities in School Close. This route consists of formal, level footways with street lighting and is planned to be adopted by the Highway Authority. This route can be used to access the village centre and the bus stops on Hanney Road and is considered to be more convenient and is suitable for all users.
Given the above and following agreement by both Oxfordshire County Council and Vale of White Horse District Council, Vistry Homes were advised that, due to safety concerns and lack of inclusive connectivity, that the roads and footways on the Harding Vale development would not be adoptable should the footway along the first section of Harding Vale remain in place. Considering the presence of alternative pedestrian/cycle route and requirement to ensure user safety, Vistry Homes subsequently removed the un-safe footway. From a highway and planning perspective the development maintains acceptable and safe pedestrian connectivity through School Close that makes the village centre and bus stops accessible to residents”.
At the meeting officers agreed that the pedestrian access/egress to Miller Homes from Abingdon Road situation was “bonkers” (their words) and the best they could do at the time.
Planning permission for Miller Homes was granted on 8th December 2015 and Planning permission for Harding Vale was granted on 16 June 2016.
The outside Gym equipment will be installed on the big Green during week commencing 14th June.
The Vale of White Horse District Council’s new lottery, the White Horse Community Lottery will launch in June with a special virtual event.
Organisations from the district’s voluntary and community sector will be invited by the council to attend the event on Monday 14 June to find out how they can benefit from income raised through the Vale’s new community lottery.
The event is to be held online due to Covid-19 restrictions, welcoming volunteers, staff and trustees from local voluntary organisations, as well as Vale of White Horse District councillors and the team from Gatherwell who will run the lottery on behalf of the council.
The lottery will have a weekly jackpot of £25,000 and will be available for residents to play online. The draw will take place every Saturday, with a jackpot going to anybody who matches a sequence of six numbers. The other prizes are £2,000, £250, £25 or three free tickets.
Residents can get involved by buying tickets which will cost £1 per week with 50p going towards the player’s chosen local good cause. 10p of the remaining money goes into the central community fund, 20p to the prize fund, 17p towards the administration of the lottery, and 3p on VAT.
Proceeds from the White Horse Lottery central community fund will be spent on providing vital support to a wide range of local organisations and community initiatives which have a beneficial impact on the local community.
The first draw for the White Horse Community Lottery will take place in September.
Any community groups and charities operating in the Vale of White Horse wanting to register their interest and find out more are being asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next Parish Council meeting is on Tuesday June 1st 2021 at 7pm in Steventon Village Hall.
Dr Chris Wilding – Chair