Things are starting to hot up. We have to look at all the options, including developments with enough houses to fund a new Primary School, an essential requirement to further development as the current one is full and cannot expand, which means at least 750 new homes.
We think that this could be done without ruining the village. There are two possible sites, one to the west built off a new ‘western bypass’ linking the A40 and B4449, the other north of the A40. In both cases all traffic (including during construction) should go only onto the main roads while access on foot or bike goes directly into the village. There will be a new Primary School and community facilities to supplement existing ones. There will be new allotments and play areas; more people bring more trade for shops, more members for Eynsham’s many clubs and groups.
A good case can be made for Eynsham expanding - arguably we need homes for local young people who can’t afford anything nearby, for skilled staff that local businesses need to keep going or expand and homes for older residents to downsize into so they can stay in the village.
On the other hand, we could go for minimum expansion - at least 250, probably 400, new homes but with fewer extra facilities and using existing roads more.
It’s something Eynsham has to respond to because an outline plan for up to 1200 houses north of the A40 has already been put forward.
Our thinking is that the Neighbourhood Plan should get in first and set the rules, such as:
To go north of the A40 we would require safe pedestrian crossings to properly link the two halves of the village without new junctions that would slow down the A40 traffic.
To the west we would insist a bypass is built first so no construction traffic goes through the village and no road traffic would go through Thornbury Road.
The first thing we need is confidence that a majority of the village is prepared to contemplate an expansion of the village provided it is done well and without spoiling things for existing residents.
You are not asked to approve anything specific now - just be prepared to consider plans including a large development on its merits when the details are worked out.
However, if residents want to fight all proposals for large developments come what may, as many nearby communities are, then there is no point in preparing a plan that considers such possibilities.
Because this is so important and we have to act soon, Eynsham News have distributed a special insert in this edition which gives you the opportunity to express your opinion about which way we should go. It will be a huge help if you complete the form and return it as instructed so we can be confident that we are preparing a Plan that has the support of the village.
Our detailed questionnaire is still open or please contact us direct at [email protected] We are keen to come and talk to any group, club or society to explain what we are doing and answer questions - please contact Angie Titchen at the email address above or on 01865 464132.