New village facilities - Public Consultation January 2016
At a meeting on 16 January, held in the village school, the new facilities and housing development by Thomas Homes was discussed. The planning application is now before the Vale for consideration and we were all encouraged to comment. If you were unable to come to the meeting, there are some things to look at here:
The presentation was filmed and has been split into three sections - scroll down to view each section. It lasts about 30 minutes in total.
The interior of the proposed hall is still very much in draft form so we still have an opportunity to influence the layout. All views on the hall will be taken into account but it will be a community consensus that decides the final format. You may also commment on the overall plan.
Update August 2014
Yet another new plan
The Anson Trust has told some village groups, including MCG, that it is resolved to sell the football field for housing and that it wants to do this quickly. We were also told that its outline plans are not confidential and can be passed on to others.
The sports fields and MSSSC building would be replaced by new pitches some half a mile outside the village, and a pavilion with only changing facilities. The Trust would not build or run a village hall. The money from selling the football field would be split three ways: setting up an endowment fund for the Trust, replacing the sports facilities, and funding other village facilities. The Trust would invite different ‘legally constituted’ village groups to put in competitive ‘bids’ for money for village facilities − All Saints’ Church PCC, the Parish Council, the Friends of Marcham School and MCG were mentioned as suitable groups. These groups would be expected to take full responsibility for building and operating community facilities. The Anson Trust would not allow a village hall to be built on its land, leaving it to the village to find and purchase an alternative site, or possibly to purchase an area on the remaining part of the Anson field. It also plans to sell the Institute in a separate deal that would not provide funds for community facilities.
The Trust proposes to send out formal letters at the end of August setting out its plan.
The MCG committee can see a number of difficulties with the outline plan as presented to us so far.
MCG and other local groups will need to decide how to respond to this plan and whether to participate in a wider group of village organisations that would develop and implement a village plan for new community facilities in Marcham. Members will be asked to vote on these issues and on the future role for MCG at the AGM in September.
The Anson Trust’s plan will be the main topic discussed at the Open Meeting that will be held with the AGM on 25 September.
Update July 2014
We have now heard that the latest proposal, described below, will not go ahead.
This is yet another setback in a process that began nearly three years ago when Taylor Wimpey and the Anson Trust unveiled their initial plan. In the light of the continuing difficulties in developing a proposal into a viable project, MCG will be looking at other options to try to find a solution that works.
New proposal for leisure facilities - October 2013
Taylor Wimpey unveiled a new proposal on leisure facilities and housing in a leaflet distributed in the village and in an exhibition that was held on Saturday 5 October 2013.
This new proposal is a package that has four linked parts:
A modest village hall but no houses on the Anson Field. The Anson Trust would continue to hold the entire field in trust for community use.
92 houses built on Hyde Copse.
New sports pitches and a sports pavilion on leased land north of Hyde Copse.
Two new classrooms for the school.
MCG asked those who came to the Taylor Wimpey exhibition to complete a questionnaire giving their views on the proposal overall and on its different parts, and detailing their concerns about the effects of the proposal if it went ahead. Of the 98 respondents, only 16 rejected the proposal outright, 7 expressed no view on the proposal as a wholeand the remaining 75 either didn't mind it, quite liked it, or definitely lliked it.
For more details, see the full summary of the results.
MCG Open Meeting 26 September 2013
This meeting discussed the new Taylor Wimpey proposals. For details see the meeting presentation.
Proposed leisure facilities
The planning application Taylor Wimpey submitted on 1 February 2013 (see below) was withdrawn on 3 April.
MCG is working with other village groups for a community solution
MCG’s remains committed to developing a solution that the community will support. MCG is an active member of the Joint Users Planning Group (JUPG), an organisation of village groups with over 20 member groups that was formed last September. It is working with other JUPG groups to draw up a viable community scheme.
New planning application for proposed leisure facilities
Taylor Wimpey submitted a new planning application to the Vale District Council on 1 February 2013. It has the planning reference P13/V0243/FUL. The deadline for comments is 6 March.
The application, made on behalf of the Anson Trust, is for consent to build new leisure facilities on land to the east of Hyde Copse and the northern part of Anson Close.
Click on the link for the planning application.
Open Meeting on 16 October 2012
The MCG Open meeting on 6 October 2012 had been planned to decide on MCG's future role, given that the Anson Trust was about to implement its plan to sell half the village-centre sports field to Taylor Wimpey for housing and buy land north of Hyde Copse for new leisure facilities. In the event, the meeting provided a forum for a lively discussion on the Anson Trust's sudden and surprising change of plan - see following item.
The meeting did also decide that MCG should review the impact of the latest proposals, review future management options with other village groups, work to protect the remaining village-centre green space and the proposed 'new' green space, and continue to organise and encourage community activities. Members present voted for these options by 34 votes to 2, with 4 abstentions.
Download the chairman's presentation
Anson Trust change of plan
In a last-minute announcement in mid-October 2012 the Anson Trust said it was changing its plans. The proposed new community leisure facilities would now be built on a field to the east of the village behind Anson Close instead of the site to the north of Hyde Copse in the planning application that had been accepted by the Vale District Council (see below). The Trust and Taylor Wimpey initially said they would submit a new planning application before the end of October. They now say they hope to do this before the end of February 2013.
No details are available yet on the exact position of the site or of access to it for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.
There has been no local consultation on the new planning application.
Planning committee decision
The Planning Committee of the Vale District Council accepted the revised Taylor Wimpey application at its meeting on 15 August. Formal planning permission will be granted when the remaining technical issues are resolved. The target date was 29 August.
The main points that the committee took into account were:
(1) the requirement for the District Council to meet housing targets, and
(2) the fear (based on a recent precedent) that the Vale would lose an appeal against a refusal and have to pay the applicant's costs.
There was an acknowledgement that the school would need to be expanded and the Planning Officer reported that discussions on this were in progress.
Village-wide consultation in May on the Taylor Wimpey Oxfordshire / Anson Trust planning application
This consultation, organised by District Councillor Jane Hanna and Marcham Parish Council, took place during May and had a response rate of 62% within the village. Of those voting, 54% were against the application and 46 % for. (There was no ‘undecided’ option in this vote.)
For full details see the Parish Council website www.marchamparishcouncil.gov.uk/TWOconsultresults.pdf
MCG has sent comments to the Vale District Council on the planning application.
Download MCG’s comments on original planning application
Users Forum on 9 May
Internal changes to the proposed community building are possible for a few more weeks and MCG organised a second Users Forum, held on 9 May, to consider these. In preparation, some groups had drawn alternative layouts. The Forum looked at and discussed all the suggestions and came to a consensus on a number of recommendations. These have been detailed in a report, including layout plans, which was sent to Taylor Wimpey and the Anson Trust on 14 May. Download the report
Open Meeting on 24 April
MCG held an Open Meeting on 24 April to discuss the Anson Trust / Taylor Wimpey planning application. Members voted by almost two to one to support the principle of the planning application - raising the funds to build new community facilities on the edge of the village by selling half of the Anson Field for housing development. Members agreed broadly with the internal layout of the proposed community building but with the proviso that there will need to be some changes. There was strong support for the expansion of the school if the development does go ahead.
Download the meeting report including the question and answer session and the voting results
Current Anson Trust/Taylor Wimpey Oxfordshire proposals
Taylor Wimpey Oxfordshire has submitted a single planning application to the Vale of White Horse District Council that covers (a) building houses on half of the Anson Field and demolishing the Sports, Scouts and Social Club building and (b) creating new leisure facilities on the edge of the village north of Hyde Copse. The consultation period has closed but you can see the application, and the comments sent in, on the Vale website http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/java/support/Main.jsp?MODULE=ApplicationDetails&REF=P12/V0854
MCG Users Forum on 29 February 2012
The Users Forum was part of the consultation facilitated by MCG on the details of the layout of the proposed community building. Representatives of many village groups discussed three alternative layouts drawn up by Taylor Wimpey and how these would work for the activities they would use a new hall for. They were joined by interested individuals who contributed to the discussions. Some common themes emerged from the workshop session, the need for more storage being a universal comment. There were suggestions for several improvements to the layouts proposed.
A report on the detailed feedback from this meeting, and other input to MCG, has been sent to the Anson Trust and Taylor Wimpey. We have proposed some specific layout changes to respond to the concerns raised.
For more details see the report.
MCG Open Meeting and General Meeting on 23 February 2012
The Open Meeting was preceded by a very short MCG General Meeting that allowed the present directors to ask members to endorse them in their role. They may need to represent MCG on planning issues related to the current Taylor Wimpey Oxfordshire (TWO) proposals until a board is elected at the first AGM. Members present supported the motion. Results of vote.
The Open Meeting examined the pros and cons of the ‘bird in the hand’ and ‘two birds in the bush’ views of the current Anson Trust/TWO proposals. The main ‘pro’ is that a new facility could be built in the near future. The related ‘cons’ are its less convenient location at the northern edge of the village and the loss of village-centre green space and the existing sports facilities. The discussion following Jim Asher’s presentation highlighted shared concerns about the capacity of the school, increased traffic and possible future housing developments making both these problems worse.
Points made in favour of the proposals were that a new community hall could be built now, there would be opportunities for youth sport, and the Anson Trust would have an endowment fund that it could use to support the proposed community building and for other charitable purposes.
In an indicative vote, a majority of members (with a significant number of abstentions) supported the ‘bird in the hand’ approach, provided that the proposed community building adequately met community needs.
For details of earlier MCG meetings use the links below.
Input to design specification including responses to questionnaires (Downloadable PDF file)
MCG's input of 14 December 2011 on the design specification for a new community building. It includes the full analysis of the responses to MCG's recent questionnaires on village facilities This document has been given to both the Anson Trust and Taylor Wimpey.
Presentation on 24 November 2011 (Downloadable PDF file)
Jim Asher's full presentation from the MCG Open Meeting on 24th November 2011. Topics: the pros and cons of the Anson Trust/Taylor Wimpey scheme and the MCG alternative, and MCG's response to the Anson Trust's invitation to contribute to the design specification for their proposed new building.
Notes of meeting between MCG and Taylor Wimpey Oxfordshire on 22 November 2011 (Downloadable PDF file)
MCG had a meeting with Taylor Wimpey Oxfordshire on 22 November 2011 to ask about their timing and plans for developing their planning applications and for consulting the community.
Interim Housing Supply Policy
The Vale District Council is not going ahead with the Interim Housing Supply Policy. For details, and the Vale’s alternative approach, see