Didcot Garden Town - an exciting opportunity to get involved
An exciting opportunity has arisen for local residents, business and community group leaders to become actively involved in shaping the whole garden town area.
A new Didcot Garden Town Board is being set up with a unique structure and members are inviting groups and individuals to attend an event on 21 November to join one or more working group.
Working groups will be formed for different sectors including environmental, leisure and culture, science and innovation, education and health. Each group will be self-directing and will use their expertise to provide ideas and suggestions to form the garden town strategy and directly influence the town’s future. Plans formed will feed into the strategy group and members of the board to support the housing, population and community growth expected.
Gerry Brough, Interim Head of Development and Regeneration, from South Oxfordshire District Council said, “We want people who live and work in Didcot and the surrounding villages to help the Didcot Garden Town Board plan for things that go with new housing - roads and cycle paths, schools, leisure and health centres, community centres, shops whilst making sure we develop accessible and new open spaces for all ages to use and enjoy.”
He added, “It is a fantastic project and we are eager for residents and local groups to directly influence the future community of the garden town by joining one or more of the working groups. If you know a group of like-minded individuals, you could even set up your own working group.”
People can find out more information on how to join the working groups by registering to attend a presentation on 21 November at Cornerstone in Didcot. The event will have two sessions 12 – 2pm and 6.30 – 8.30pm with some of the new board members attending.
There will also be a drop-in display on the board and governance structure available for everyone from 2.30 – 5.30pm on the same date.
Didcot was awarded garden town status in 2015 by central government, one of only 10 UK garden towns.
Didcot Garden Town Delivery Plan was adopted by South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse Council on 5 and 6 October respectively.
The masterplan has recommendations for new schools, health and leisure centres and other services and plans to work with the working groups and other agencies and councils to ensure services delivered are of the highest quality.
The Didcot Garden Town Board structure is unique and will comprise of the following representatives:
- Didcot Garden Town Chair - independent
- Community representative
- Business Leader
- Parish representative
- Didcot Town Council
- Oxfordshire County Council
- Vale of White Horse District Council
- South Oxfordshire District Council
- Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership
- Housing Communities Agency
- Strategy Group Chair
- Delivery Group Chair
Projects already outlined for the Didcot Garden Town area
£6.2 million was secured from central government to complete the northern perimeter road to help reduce congestion in the centre of Didcot and we will be conducting a traffic flow study in the town to help manage future traffic movements.
Currently a brand-new hotel at Milton Park is being built that includes vital conference facilities for businesses as well as a leisure facilities for visitors to unwind.
Orchard Centre phase two is due to open in spring 2018 with new high-street stores to complement the town’s independent traders and new restaurants to boost the night time economy.