Saturday, 19 June 2021

Chairman begins with referendum on plan

A NEW chairman of Watlington Parish Council has been appointed just weeks before a referendum on the town’s neighbourhood plan.

Matt Reid has taken over from Ian Hill, who has been made vice-chairman after more than eight years leading the council.

The referendum will take place on June 28.

Councillor Reid, who was elected to the council in May 2015 and immediately became vice-chairman, said: “I’m extremely honoured to be given this role at what is obviously such a critical time for not just our community but also for our immediate neighbours and the wider district.

“I’d especially like to thank Ian for guiding the council through a period of profound change over the last three years and for successfully bringing the neighbourhood plan to conclusion.

“I hope the huge debt of gratitude that we owe the many volunteers responsible for drafting the plan in both its initial and rebooted guises is rewarded on the day itself with a great turnout.

“For my part, I will do all I can to have the council remain a relevant, fair and continued force for positive change.”

Councillor Hill said he had been chairman for long enough, adding: “It’s not always enjoyable, but most of the time it is.”

The plan names three sites for up to 260 homes as follows:

• Between the B4009 Britwell Road and B480 Cuxham Road, which could take 140 homes with a small amount of employment space.

• Off Pyrton Lane, which could accommodate 60 dwellings and could also provide space for Watlington Primary School or for Icknield Community College to expand.

• Off Cuxham Road and Willow Close, which could take between 38 and 60 homes.

The document also includes provision for an “edge road”, or bypass, in order to help alleviate congestion in the town centre.

The referendum area includes a number of properties in Pyrton parish to the east of Watlington.

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