Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Group to remodel centre of village

A WORKING party is to be established to remodel the centre of Sonning Common.

A WORKING party is to be established to remodel the centre of Sonning Common.

It will comprise five parish councillors, Stuart Howe, Jane Diwell, Leigh Rawlins, Tom Fort and Stan Rust, and other people will be invited to join.

The parish council has budgeted £100,000 for the project.

The Sonning Common neighbourhood plan, which was approved in a referendum last month, outlines a vision to modernise the area with a new car park, good bus services, free flowing traffic along Kennylands Road and Wood Lane and a focus on retail.

It says: “Residents have consistently commented that parking and traffic issues need to be resolved to help the village centre to thrive.

“While many of these problems are caused by inconsiderate behaviour by motorists, especially parking on pavements, the village hall car park (32 spaces) is the only public car park in the village centre.

“Sonning Common is currently a service centre for the surrounding villages through provision of education, health and retail facilities. The proposed additional housing is likely to bring further parking pressures.”

Councillor Barrie Greenwood, who led the village’s neighbourhood plan working party, said: “This should be a permanent agenda item and it’s important to kick it off by setting up the working party.”

Councillor Rawlins said a report on traffic in the village should be compiled and presented to Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority. “We need joined-up thinking,” he added.

Councillor Diwell said she felt the village didn’t have a centre at the moment.

Councillor Howe said: “I live within spitting distance of the centre. It’s a massive concern for me if nothing is done.”

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