…SODC has a plan for housing. It is called the Core Strategy 2012. It was creating following endless rounds of consultation and analysis. It looked at and examined all the options. The Green Gap was included in all this and deemed the least appropriate of all options. It was reviewed, challenged (by Grainger of course) and approved at both local and national level.
Given the scale of the expansion of housing in this area and therefore the complexity of bringing forward these developments, SODC was very open and public about the fact that the delivery of the plan would get off to a slow start. Certain developers (hello Grainger) have exploited this to advance their own speculative schemes that were not part of the Core Strategy.
However, in the last few months we have seen the plan move forward really quickly. GWP is speeding up nicely, the power station is now well advanced as is Didcot Gateway. We are lead to believe that Ladygrove East is moving towards an end game that would get that move closer. And we are seeing sensible and proportionate additional schemes like Haddon Hill being proposed.
The biggest piece of good news though came yesterday when Didcot North East was submitted for outline planning approval. This is a major development of around 2,000 houses that brings with it fantastic infrastructure such as two new primary schools, a new secondary school, a new leisure centre, outdoor sports pitches and a proper swimming pool as well as major investment in roads. The very things missing from other speculative developments (hello Grainger again.)
We love it when a plan comes together. And SODC’s plan is coming together. So we’re with Ed Vaizey on this: “let’s stick to the plan”. So what role does The Green Gap does play a part in the plan? It delivers on SODC’s and the Government’s planning policy to protect the integrity and uniqueness of our distinctive town and village environments (goodbye Grainger).