Planning Applications Under Consideration

Planning in action

The Parish Council is currently considering the following applications:

P14/V0559/HH – Stone Barn, The Greenway. WHPC has responded with No Objections.

P14/V0603/HH – Manor Croft, Manor Lane. WHPC has responded with No Objections.

P14/V0542/HH – Twilley Springs, Manor Lane. WHPC must respond by 24th April.

Full Details of planning applications are available on The Vale of White Horse District Council website. Here’s the link to their home page

Once the council has made it’s response, it will be available to view on the ‘Responses to Planning Applications’ page.

Hand writing

Community Governance Review

Vale of White Horse District Council

 Notice of Community Governance Review – draft proposals

Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007

Local Government (Parishes and Parish Councils) (England) Regulations 2008

 Section 79 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 allows the council to undertake a community governance review (CGR) of the whole or part of its area. Council agreed to undertake a CGR in July 2013. It published terms of reference in November 2013 and undertook an initial consultation until 31 January 2014. Council agreed draft proposals for consultation at its meeting on 19 February 2014.

Vale of White Horse District Council is now undertaking the second consultation period of the review process on its draft proposals and residents and interested organisations are therefore asked to give their views on the proposals. Council agreed to extend the consultation period until 31 May 2014 to allow more time for respondents and give more time to analyse the responses and make final recommendations, which will come to Council at its meeting in July.

Copies of the proposals can be obtained by contacting Jeanette Cox on 01235 540303 or  viewed at the council offices, Abbey House, Abbey Close, Abingdon OX14 3JE during normal office hours, or on the council’s website at:

If you wish to submit any comments you may e-mail your submission to

Alternatively please send hard copy written representation to:


Vale of White Horse District Council

Legal and Democratic Services

Benson Lane

Crowmarsh Gifford

Wallingford OX10 8ED.

The deadline for submissions is 31 May 2014.

David Buckle

Chief Executive

Hill End

Celebrate Hill End’s Past, Present and Future

Hill End is an special place for many children of Oxfordshire, often giving them their first experience of spending a night away from home. This summer Hill End is celebrating its past, present and future with a special family open day on Saturday 31st May from 11am-4pm.

Entry is free and families can bring a picnic to really enjoy the surroundings of Hill End’s 65 acre site. There will be a history trail and visitors can bring their Hill End memorabilia to share their memories, whilst discovering Hill End’s 80 year history. Explore the present day with storytelling, bushcraft and willow workshops and a craft fair. There will also be outdoor cooking, an open dormitory and the opportunity to look in to the future!

Click here for a leaflet with contact details  Celebrate Hill Ends Past Present and Future – A4


Volunteer as an assistant Lock Keeper

For the last three years volunteers have been assisting  Lock Staff on the Thames at the 45 locks along its length between Lechlade and Teddington.  The Environment Agency, which is navigation authority for the Thames, is now recruiting for the 2014 season and are looking for volunteers who can commit to assisting at least one day a week between May and the end of September. Volunteers can agree their hours with lock keepers but need to be available at least from 11 to 5.  Volunteers are particularly needed along the river between Reading and Lechlade.  Volunteering is a great way to meet people and to find out more about the Thames, its history, wildlife and management. At the same time volunteers know that they are doing something worthwhile that is really appreciated.

The Volunteer Assistant Lock Keepers work alongside paid lock keepers. They help boats pass through the lock safely: taking ropes, directing traffic, and operating sluices and lock gates. They help maintain the site: painting, tidying and gardening. They provide information to visitors, be they on foot or afloat, so that they can make the best of their time on the river. Visitors really appreciate the local knowledge that volunteers can provide.

All applicants are invited to an assessment at a local lock. Here they will have the role explained to them and be shown what it involves in practical terms. They will also be assessed to decide which site may be most appropriate for them and to ensure that they have the physical capabilities required. After successful completion of the assessment, they attend an induction course which focuses on safety and preparing them for the lock side.

On the lock side the volunteers follow a documented training programme before being signed off to take charge of the lock on their own. This will only be for short periods, while the paid keeper is at lunch for example. The volunteers are there to augment the service provided by paid staff rather than to replace them.

Volunteers are provided with some uniform and can claim mileage for travel to and from a lock local to them. They also receive a monthly newsletter which keeps them in touch with what is going on along the river and other activities of the Environment Agency.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering on the Thames and to receive an information pack and application form, please contact the Volunteer team on 01491 828360 or email


Sobell House

Sobell House needs you…..

 Volunteers crucially support Sobell House in providing high quality, personal and compassionate care to the Oxfordshire community – Will You Join Us?

 Sobell House is a hospice which provides expert care and support to those suffering with an advanced, progressive disease for whom prognosis is limited.  We work with patients, their families and close friends to enable the patient to minimize the effects of their disease, maximise their quality of life, and where possible, to prepare for their death.  Sobell House commits to listen and work in partnership with each patient so that their unique situation and individual preferences can be understood.

There are many volunteering roles across Sobell which are undertaken by individuals who can offer varying skills, experience or time.  Could you be a volunteer driver, ensuring that patients can access the hospice services and relieve the pressure of organising transport?  Mileage incurred throughout this role is financially reimbursed.  Are you green-fingered and wiling to join our team of volunteers to keep the gardens vibrant and welcoming?  Are you able to listen sensitively to patients and families, or organise activities for the Day Services?

Sobell House are looking to recruit new volunteers for roles across the hospice.  We provide a structured induction programme, including communication skills training alongside the shadowing of experienced volunteers, and ask that each volunteer commit for at least 12 months.  Travel expenses are available.  Support your local hospice, develop new skills, join our friendly team.

To express your interest please call Rebecca Norris on 01865 225868 or email  You can find out more about Sobell House on our website:



Planning update from Ed Vaizey

Since I sent my last email update, I have asked the Planning Inspectorate for assurances that the key changes to planning rules made recently by the Government – such as not building on the flood plain, and the need to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is provided to support new development – are carefully applied to all cases they consider in the Wantage and Didcot Constituency.

I have now received a reply from the Planning Inspectorate confirming that Inspectors will apply the planning practice guidance referred to in the letter to all decisions, which had not been issued at the point of publication of the guidance (6th March 2014).

You may also be interested to know that on 14th March the government published regulations introducing a number of new permitted development rights for change of use (The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment and Consequential Provisions) (England) Order 2014, available here.)  These will come into force on 6th April 2014 and will be brought to the specific attention of Inspectors.

The reforms include:

  •  Allowing for retail to residential change of use, outside key shopping areas like the town centre and main high street.
  • Providing new homes in rural areas by a limited agricultural to residential change of use. These reforms will make better use of redundant or under-used agricultural buildings, which should help us develop brownfield sites in the area.  This change of use will not apply in protected areas such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
  • Extending access to education and childcare: extending the existing permitted development rights for change of use to state-funded schools to cover new registered nurseries. Agricultural buildings up to 500 square metres will also be able to change to state-funded schools and registered nurseries.


The Government is also bringing in further changes to help town centres:

Town Centres

  • The proposal seeks to streamline the use classes order to significantly increase flexibility of the use classes to allow change of use between more high street uses.  These changes will support flexibility, vitality and innovation on the high street.
  • Permitted development rights make it quicker, easier and cheaper for buildings to change use, and create more flexibility within the planning system. Introducing more flexibilities in the A1 use class will help to create a more responsive and adaptable planning system.


Warehouses, light industrial & sui generis uses

  • The Government will also consult on liberalising changes of use from warehouse, light industrial and certain sui generis buildings to residential use, where suitable. Again, this could help us develop brownfield sites.


Ed Vaizey MP

Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries

Member of Parliament for Wantage and Didcot | | 0207 219 6350

Draft Rights of Way Management Plan

The Parish Council is currently reviewing this plan from Oxfordshire County Council.

Parish councils and members of the public have until Midday on 18th April 2014 to make representations to the County Council.

All documents and a consultation questionnaire are available at the website at

You are recommended to take the time to read the full version of the RoWMP before responding as it provides much more information and context than is possible in the summary document.   Representations may be made in writing through the website, by email, by fax or by post to the address below.

Background information as well as the consultation draft plan are available to view and download immediately from OCC website at