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News from the Parish Council – December update

There are a lot of things to report on this month, some very welcome and others less so.

Historic agreement for Radley Large Wood

We are delighted to announce that the parish council has signed an agreement which guarantees permissive rights of way in Radley Large Wood for the next 50 years.  The wood is a beautiful area behind the mobile home parks at the Kennington end of the parish, especially well-known for its bluebells in the spring. It has a fascinating history as an enclosed deer park owned by Abingdon Abbey dating back to the mid-13th century.

The agreement establishes a network of permissive paths through and around the wood. Signs will be put up to indicate the entry point to each path. The wood can be approached via an existing public footpath across the north of the area.

Radley Parish Council would like to record its gratitude to landowner Patrick Dockar Drysdale for his generous action in opening-up this area for the community to enjoy. It will give pleasure to Radley residents for generations to come. We would also like to acknowledge the hard work of local resident Chris Henderson in helping to bring the agreement about. Chris is a parish councillor but acted in a private capacity on this matter.

Church Road car park and pedestrian crossing

In another welcome development, we are pleased to report that we now have planning permission for a new pedestrian crossing over Church Road opposite the vehicle entrance to the car park, coupled with permission to move the vehicle access to the other end of the car park. This will be a major improvement for the safety of those approaching the school on foot.

We are hoping that Pye Homes will build the crossing and new access, partly at the parish council’s expense, in the first quarter of 2021. However, Pye cannot get ahead with the work until they have other planning permissions relating to their own development, currently held up in the planning system. Hopefully this can all be resolved by Christmas.

Primary school expansion

OCC have appointed Ashe Construction to design and build the primary school extension. OCC and Ashe are currently discussing design details with the school. The planned timetable is for off-site preparatory works to be completed in the Easter holidays 2021 and for the main construction work to be completed between July 2021 and March 2022.

The Parish Council has been approached for permission for construction vehicles to access the school site through the Church Road carpark. While wanting to help in every way we can, we have obvious worries about the safety implications for other carpark users. We will be talking to the OCC team over the next few weeks to explore if and how the dangers can be managed.  

Speed signs

Most people don’t speed through the village, but some do.  Most often this happens when we ‘creep’ over the speed limit without noticing. The Parish Council has installed a number of new ‘watch your speed’ signs that let you know if you are travelling at a safe speed.  It’s so important to keep below 30 in the village.  Just a few miles per hour over the speed limit adds many metres to your stopping distance and can be the difference between a near miss and an accident.

The signs we have installed use a rechargeable lithium battery and we are getting our heads around average battery life so please bear with us as we get to grips with them.  We also intend to move them to multiple locations to give us the best chance at encouraging sensible driving across the whole parish.

We hope the signs will encourage safe travelling in Radley and help drivers out if they accidentally ‘creep’ over the limit.  We’d welcome any feedback to help us decide how best to deploy the signs in future.

Flooding in Stonhouse Crescent

Progress has been made towards resolving the flooding which has blighted Stonhouse Crescent in rainy weather for some time.  Working with help from local residents, Oxfordshire County Council and their contractors have identified the cause of the problem and are making progress on clearing drainage pipes so that rainwater can drain away freely. The drainage engineer is seeking emergency funding to complete the work but the final stages may have to wait until the next financial year.

JCSL industrial estate

We heard shortly before preparing this report that the Planning Inspectorate has overturned the Vale’s decision to refuse planning permission for the continuing ‘temporary’ use of the JCSL industrial site at the end of Thrupp Lane. This means that the use of the site can continue. The Inspector’s report is a classic case of sophistry and myopia, and includes the astounding conclusion that ‘the development is served by a safe and suitable access’. Once again, the planning system has delivered a decision which will perpetuate the stalemate that has blighted the area for years.

Graham Leonard

We are sorry to report that our newest councillor, Graham Leonard, has resigned from the parish council. As many of you will know, Graham is about to move to a new position with Greene King in High Wycombe. The Parish Council thanks Graham for his interest and support. We have assured him of his welcome should he return to Radley.

Free tree giveaway
Radley Parish Council is giving away 2-year old hazel tree whips for free. Click here for details

Permanent link to this article: http://www.radleyvillage.org.uk/news-from-the-parish-council-december-update/