UPDATE: 16th June 2016
On the Langford Village Community Group Facebook page, Pamela Roberts has stated that the deadline for comments on this application is 23rd June, which is 21 days following publication in the Bicester Advertiser. Please take advantage of this extra week to send in your objections.
Original article: 14th June 2016
Calling all residents of Langford Village, we only have until this Wednesday midnight, 15 June to object to the monstrous warehouses being proposed along the A41. Permission has already been granted on Skimmingdish Lane for 520,000 sq ft of warehousing and an application is in for 570,000 sq ft on Howes Lane; now this latest application is for a further 685,000 sq ft. If you don’t want Bicester to be known as Warehouse Town then please either download the draft letter (DOCX file or PDF) and post. Alternatively, go to the CDC website and planning applications and enter reference number 16/00861/HYBRID to view the details and to file your objection on line. The more objections the stronger the chance of this application being turned down. The Symmetry Park Masterplan can also be downloaded here. (Symmetry Park is the new title for the former Akeman Park warehousing development, which was featured here in January.)
Thanks for your help – Langford Village Community Association
Following a recent meeting with LVCA committee members Carole Hetherington & Richard Kingshott, Gillian Munday of CDC’s Bicester Delivery Team has sent details of a new electricity use study which may be of interest to Langford residents.
The METER project is a five year programme launched by researchers at the University of Oxford to provide a better understanding of what we use electricity for, especially at peak times. The aim is ultimately to encourage people to be flexible with use of electricity and, where possible, to shift use away from times of peak demand.
Residents are invited to take part in an online survey at www.energy-use.org. Participants will receive a special “eMeter”, which can be easily fitted in their home, and need to record activities for one day only, using a diary or smartphone app. There is also the chance to win a year’s free electricity.
Further details can be found here.
Bicester police sergeant Steve Willis has sent the following message to the LVCA with a request to pass this on to Langford residents:
As the Sergeant of the Bicester Town Neighbourhood Policing Team, I am committed to providing team members who the community can recognise and work with to resolve the policing issues that matter most to them.
Neighbourhood Policing is a collective effort and involves a range of partner agencies and local residents working together to direct the police response. Its success relies on the public telling the police what its concerns are. Through public engagement, we are seeking to identify the top three priorities that the community of Bicester would like the Neighbourhood Policing team and partners to tackle over the next twelve months.
Over the next year we will as a team be focusing on the newly set priorities and will be providing regular community feedback on the progress being made by the police and our partners. However, a new strand of our problem solving approach will be to encourage community resilience and we will be looking at setting up initiatives such as Community Speed Watch and involving community volunteers on a greater scale.
Any feedback on what you feel the three policing priorities should be for Bicester will be gratefully received and will help shape our service provision over the year to come. Residents comments can be sent to BicesterTownNHPT@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk
PS 4981 Steve Willis, Bicester Town Neighbourhood Policing Team.
Address: Thames Valley Police, Bicester Police Station, Queen’s Avenue, Bicester, Oxon OX26 2NR.
Sign up for Bicester Neighbourhood Updates via Thames Valley Alert at www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk
Residents and businesses are each being asked to take part in a short questionnaire regarding the future growth of Bicester to help identify what is important to locals.
Cherwell District Council has composed two similar questionnaires to consider what issues residents and businesses consider important to Bicester and how they currently receive updates about the town.
The survey – which consists of less than ten questions – also gives participants the opportunity to sign up for regular updates on key projects within the town.
Cllr Barry Wood, leader of Cherwell District Council, said: “These two surveys effectively contain the same questions except one has been tailored to residents and the other toward businesses. Over the next 15 years Bicester is set to undergo some major changes and this questionnaire will help us to consider what is important to residents.
“This survey will help us to get a better understanding of what changes people might like to see and which channels of communication are the most effective so we can ensure they are properly utilised. It will also give people the chance to subscribe to updates so any information will be sent directly to their email inbox.”
Each of the surveys contains multiple choice questions with an opportunity for participants to expand on any of the key issues.
Both surveys are running simultaneously the results will then be used by members of Cherwell’s Bicester team to communicate future project updates.
To take part in the residents’ survey visit http://tiny.cc/bicesterquestionnaire
To complete the business users’ survey visit http://tiny.cc/businessquestionnaire
Further to the earlier post on proposals for the development of South East Bicester, a planning application covering part of this area (referred to as Akeman Park) has now been submitted to CDC. This application is for the erection of giant warehouses on farmland bordering the A41 at the southern end of the Bicester 12 development area (see here for location plan). Outline details of this development, shown at an exhibition held in November, can be viewed here (13Mb file – may be slow to download).
Details of the major development at Bicester 12, a separate proposal for 1500 homes opposite the A41 by Langford Village and referred to as Wretchwick Green, were shown at an exhibition held in October and can be viewed here. The planning application for this development is still awaited, and further details will be posted on the LVCA website when available. Representatives of the Wretchwick Green developers attended an LVCA meeting in November and were receptive to concerns raised by the LVCA committee, together with District and Town councillors, about some details of the proposals.
Full details of the Akeman Park application can now be viewed on the CDC website. Go to the CDC Planning Applications webpage and enter “15/02316/OUT” in the Search box; further details of the application can accessed via the “Documents” tab. The last date for submitting comments and objections to CDC is Monday 25th January.
Among opponents to this Warehouse development are LVCA committee members and Bicester Town councillors, who regard it as inappropriate for this site. These huge warehouses range in size from 100,000 sq ft of floor space to over 300,000 sq ft and because warehousing is increasingly automated employment potential is limited. More than 200 parking and docking spaces for HGV’s provide an indication of the additional traffic that could be using Bicester’s road network 24 hours each day.
Bicester Heritage, which aquired Bicester Airfield from the MOD in 2013 to develop a business park dedicated to historic motoring and aviation, is holding a public event on 3rd January 2016. At this “Sunday Scramble”, visitors will be able to view classic cars, motorcycles and other vehicles and also see some of the restoration and other specialist businesses on site. This is an opportunity to see Bicester Gliding Centre in operation, and food and drink will be available from various catering outlets. For further information see the Bicester Heritage website.
Advance tickets can be obtained online. These are normally £5.00 each, but a 50% discount is available for local residents living in postcode districts OX26 and OX27. Adult (16+) tickets are £2.50 each (plus a booking service charge), and children under 16 are free when accompanied by an adult ticket holder. Parking is also free. Click here for the link to discounted ticket booking. Full-price tickets may be available at the gate on 3rd January, though this cannot be guaranteed if the event is sold out.
The Winter 2015 Langford Life newsletter #70 is now available for download.
A report published by the Care Quality Commission on 10th December shows that Langford Medical Practice received a “Good” rating in all the categories examined during an inspection carried out on 6th October 2015.
The practice has now been taken out of the special measures that were imposed following an earlier inspection in February 2015, which resulted in an overall rating of Inadequate. Although inspectors rated the practice Good for being caring and responsive, at that time they found that there was a lack of compliance with some of the required policies, procedures and record keeping. Following the report, the practice has worked hard to address all of the concerns raised and the Care Quality Commission now acknowledges that significant improvements have been made.
A summary of the new findings can be viewed here and the full report here. Details of the earlier inspection and report were posted on the LVCA website in May 2015.
Message sent via Thames Valley Alert on behalf of Thames Valley Police:
There was a burglary in Turnstone Green sometime between 17th and 23rd November, with entry gained by smashing patio doors.
If you saw anything suspicious or have any information that may help with police enquiries please telephone Bicester Neighbourhood Police Team on 101. Alternatively if you have information that could help but wish to remain anonymous, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Future alert messages relevant to Langford residents will continue to be posted on the LVCA website, but if you wish to receive emails about these and other messages from Thames Valley Police you can register online at https://www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk/
At the LVCA AGM in September, Carole Hetherington and Richard Kingshott – key members of the Wretchwick Way/Peregrine Way subcommittee – spoke about the continuing campaign for safety improvements at the Langford junction. This has been the site of numerous accidents, including the death of a motorcyclist in September 2009 when he was hit by a car at this junction, and only last week there was a further collision involving a car and a motorcycle.
Many local residents are concerned for their safety while waiting to turn right from Wretchwick Way into Peregrine Way because of the risk of oncoming vehicles overtaking or speeding along this 50mph stretch of road.
In past discussion with police and county councillors, a number of proposals put forward to improve safety have failed due to lack of available funding. Oxfordshire County Council does not consider Wretchwick Way a priority, though is currently looking for highway improvement funds from local developments at Gavray Drive and Wretchwick Green.
Current proposals for a Wretchwick Way traffic calming and road safety scheme include further improving the 50mph signs, which previously did not comply with required standards, and adding new road markings to Wretchwick Way approaching the junction from either direction to indicate that overtaking is not permitted. New junction splitter islands would help protect traffic waiting to turn right into Peregrine Way. Full details can be seen in the diagram here.
A recent Bicester Advertiser report on the Wretchwick Way campaign, featuring Carole and Richard, can be viewed here.