The Parish Council held a “virtual” meeting on Tuesday 3rd November with 9 Councillors, Mike Fox-Davies, Oxfordshire County Council Councillor, and 3 members of the public signing in.
We hope that everybody has coped with the current lockdown without too much more distress and you have all kept safe. Collins dictionary has named ‘lockdown’ as its Word of the Year 2020. It defines lockdown as ‘the imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction, and access to public spaces’. Hopefully the emergence of and availability of vaccines will lead to a return to a more normal life by early Spring next year.
We have been informed by the Director of Community Safety and Chief Fire Officer that after some investigation of their systems, they are testing a solution that will resolve the issue of prompting their crews regarding contact with the rail network i.e. fire engines will get a warning screen on their mobile data terminal whenever they attend any location that might be affected by the railway level-crossings and provide necessary guidance.
Michelle Plowman a member of the Road Agreements Team at Oxfordshire County Council has informed us that she has taken over the Vistry development at Hanney Road, Steventon from an Officer in Road Agreements. She has informed the Parish Council that:
“ She is aware there have been issues relating to this development (Linden Homes Phase 3) and that she is in close communication with the Developer with the joint agenda to have the highway works delivered and completed, as well as the internal residential roads signed off.
In relation specifically to the access of Phase 3 onto Hanney Road, it seems that in the draft Section 278 plan it shows a footway along part of Hanney Road. However, upon further investigation the delivery of this footway was never agreed and secured through the Planning Decision or through a Section 106 Agreement. In addition to the Developer not being obliged to deliver a footway along Hanney Road, there are complications of actually constructing the footway (telegraph poles, trees, driveway paving, driveway walls requiring removal). The Hanney Road itself is a busy, fast road with HGV traffic and is less likely to be used by the new residents than an alternative, adoptable pedestrian connection within the development that is along a desire line and into School Close.
She has discussed this with members of Transport Development Control at Oxfordshire County Council and Planning at South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils. It was unknown where the footway on Hanney Road may have originated, but it was not the understanding of either team that it was being delivered. Both teams were in agreement that the internal footway link to School Close was preferred. We are actively working with the Developer to progress this development to conclusion.”
An acknowledgement now of “Hanney Road itself is a busy, fast road with HGV traffic” is a sad indictment. The Parish Council at the time pushed for a link footpath on Hanney Road, pushed for a pedestrian crossing at Barnett Road into the David Wilson Development and pushed for a footpath and pedestrian crossing on Abingdon Road by Miller Homes Development . The result being no footpath on Hanney Road, the Parish Council paying after an up-hill struggle for the installation of a pedestrian crossing on Hanney Road by Barnett Road and no footpath and pedestrian crossing Abingdon Road leaving residents at risk.
I would like to thank all those who helped clearing the ditches. The parties consisted of John Clark, Dave Wall, Martin Reade, Steve Wall, Lesley Hotchin, Ken Organ and Andrew Kerr for their time and efforts in clearing within the Village in October and November.
May I wish you all a Merry Christmas.
The next virtual Parish Council meeting is on Tuesday 1st December 2020 at 7pm. If you want to take part in Public participation please contact the Parish clerk who will send you an invite.
Dr Chris Wilding – Chair