Open Event for prospective county councillors

An Open Event for prospective county councillors is being organised to take place on Wednesday, 14th September from 7.00pm – 9.00pm at County Hall, New Road, Oxford. 



The event is aimed at members of the community who have an interest in, or are likely to stand for election as a member of the County Council in May 2017.


As part of the evening, we have arranged for a cross-party panel of existing councillors to take part in a chaired discussion focusing on what it’s like to be a county councillor.


Gladman Developments Ltd Burford Road 260 Houses Application

Statement re Gladman Developments Ltd

Burford Road 260 Houses Application

Witney Town Council is extremely saddened by the disappointing news that the Secretary of State has this week allowed the appeal by Gladman Developments which  will permit the building of 260 homes at the Burford Road site.

At a Witney Town Planning Committee meeting in September 2014, when the application was first considered, 60 residents voiced their feelings to Town Councillors. The Town Council was extremely concerned that despite this strength of feeling the agents failed to engage in any consultation with the Council.

Despite the fact that both Witney Town Council and West Oxfordshire District Council unanimously opposed the plans, Gladman appealed to the Planning Inspectorate and the Secretary of State has made a ruling in their favour.

Whilst Witney Town Council accepts that it is realistic to expect Witney to undergo some reasonable growth, it remains committed to protecting the historic character of the town. Any increase in speculative planning applications is a cause for concern for Councillors and residents in that that unchecked development may be detrimental to the market town character of Witney.

Witney Town Council considers that major development should not take place without provision of the appropriate infrastructure.

Chairman of Planning, Cllr Alan Beames, who summarised all the concerns raised by the Town Council Planning Committee in a speech to WODC when it was determining the application, commented;

“I am disappointed that the planning appeal by Gladman Developments against refusal to build 260 Houses North of the Burford Road Site has been granted after recovery by the Secretary of State. The loss of views over the picturesque Windrush Valley by the residents of Witney will be sadly missed.”

He continued;

“ notwithstanding the conditions attached to the permission, I remain deeply concerned with the sustainable impact this development  will have on local infrastructure provision; Schooling, Doctors, Traffic, Site Drainage, Utility provision and the Environment”


  • Witney Town Council objected to this application on the following grounds:


  • Lack of sufficient infrastructure to cope with the additional residents of 270 houses e.g. roads, schools, doctors, contrary to Policies BE1, T1 and T6 of the WOLP


  • No consultation with the Town Council, despite the developers claims to the contrary.


  • The proximity of Flogas is a major health and safety issue and the HSE would consider the proposed development area to be a major casualty zone in the event of an explosion.


  • The development poses an increased risk of flooding. Some of the houses on the proposed development would be category 3B in terms of flood risk. Any excess water will run down the valley and into the river.  This is contrary to Policies NE8, and NE9 of the WOLP.


  • Run off water into the river could also pollute the waterway which would be detrimental to native wildlife such as otters which have recently returned to the area, and water voles, which is contrary to Policies NE15 and NE7 of the WOLP.


  • Amenity space and the obstruction of the view should also be taken into account – this is contrary to Policies BE2, B E4, H 2, H12 (ii) NE1. NE2and WIT3 of the WO

Road Closure – Curbridge Road – Update


According to Oxfordshire County Council the Curbridge Road closure will remain in place for a further 3 weeks from Friday 19th August and is now due to reopen on Friday September 9th.

curbridge road closure





Curbridge Road - Road Closure



Notice of Temporary Traffic Order

Witney, Curbridge Road – Prohibition of Through Traffic

Date of Order: 6 June 2016

Coming into force: 13 June 2016


This Order is being introduced because of drainage works which are anticipated to take 7 weeks to complete.

The effect of the Order is to temporarily prohibit any vehicle proceeding in that part of Curbridge Road on the Curbridge side of Thorney Leys Road.

Appropriate traffic signs will be displayed to indicate when the measures are in force.

Exemptions are included for emergency services and for the works and for access to premises which are only accessible from the closed section of road.

The alternative route for traffic is via Main Road, Curbridge and Downs Road to Witney, Range Road, Deer Park Road and vice versa. 

This Order will remain in force for a maximum period of 18 months or until the works have been completed whichever is the sooner.

Traffic Regulations Team (Ref JaC) on behalf of the Director for Environment & Economy, Speedwell House, Oxford OX1 1NE. 0845 310 1111.


Langdale Hall – Witney Town Council Press Statement

Langdale Hall SideWitney Town Council is currently exploring options with regard to the future of Langdale Hall.  Previously, under sale contract, purchasers failed to obtain the planning permission they were seeking, which would have retained and improved the existing building.  As a result the purchasers have indicated they do not wish to proceed. 

 The former Drill Hall was put on the open market in July 2014 through property agents Bidwells. In November 2014 an unconditional offer was accepted from Iceford Ltd, trading as Neptune Homes, a bespoke home improvements company which would have brought significant benefits to the town.

 Sharon Groth Town Clerk, said;

 It is a shame that an application to register the hall as an Asset of Community Value delayed the proceedings by 6 months, and subsequently changed the original offer to that reliant on Neptune Homes getting planning permission.  However, the Town Council is now able to use this opportunity to re-evaluate the needs of a growing town, especially in light of the feedback received from the Corporate Plan survey carried out earlier in the year.


Town Hall Food Bank Collection Point

foodbank itemsFollowing a meeting of the Community Services Committee on 18th July, the Town Hall is now an official collection point for Oxfordshire West Food Bank.  You will find a box in the downstairs lobby where you can leave your items. Our location at the top of Market Square and close to the bus stops means we are a convenient drop off point for many people.  Like their HQ at Cottsway, the Town Hall is only open from Monday to Friday, so I am afraid we cannot take items over the weekend but there is another collection point in Waitrose that opens at weekends.

The food bank is currently suffering a bit of a shortage – here is their post from last week so if you can help out please do.

You can see our shelves are running empty – we’re having a Summer shortage!

We need your help now more than ever to restock on: Tinned Pies and Meat Stews, Long-life Juices and Squashes, Instant Coffee, and “Treats” (such as candy, crisps, snacks).

Treats are more important than you think – while the majority of items we give out are nutritious and are part of healthy meals, a treat or snack or even dessert at the end of a day can make a massive difference to morale and mental health.

They are also offering a challenge to see if you could feed yourself or your family on one of their emergency parcels. The list is here or you can find it on their Facebook Page.



The Oxfordshire Comet – Bookable Transport Service

This service is run by Oxfordshire County Council.

The Oxfordshire Comet can be booked for any type of trip. Whether it’s to meet friends in town, travel across the county, attend an appointment or pop to the shops. The service is available 10.15am – 2.30pm Monday to Friday (not Bank Holidays).

For Oxfordshire residents who don’t have access to suitable public transport, wheelchair users or those with mobility issues.

It can be booked by

  • individuals
  • groups
  • schools
  • organisations
  • local communities.

You do need to register before you can book the service – full details are on their website – click below.


The Oxfordshire Comet




Splash Park up and Running!

It’s the news we have been desperately hoping for. The Splash Park and toilets at the pavilion are all up and running again. A huge amount of gratitude and thanks to Chris Marshall at C&C Pumps UK ltd, the Techlec boys and to our very own John Hickman who has been on site since early this morning to make sure this all happened! Best news! Take care in the sun and have fun!

Splash Park Latest Friday 22nd July

We have some heroes working really hard to get the splash park up and running. The team of electricians at Techlec have successfully identified an electrical fault and new equipment for that is on its way. The pump that has failed is a specialist item that we cannot just get off the shelf. A new one has been ordered but in the mean time Chris Marshall at C & C Pumping UK Ltd has amazingly built a makeshift pump from our broken one and spares that he had at his depot. This has involved him making 5 hr round trips to and from Newark on the last two days for us! Once the electrical equipment is here we can try the makeshift pump out and hopefully get the splash pads toilets and showers at the Pavilion up and running while the new pump arrives. We are doing everything we can and will continue to post updates even over the weekend so if there is good news you will find it here. Thank you all for your patience and to the guys at Techlec and C& C pumping for their determination to fix things!


Splash Park – the latest news

Splash Park Update. Although power has been restored in Station Lane there is an issue with a waste water pump further along in the systems that serve the Pavilion and toilets, the depot, and the Splash Park. The public toilets at the far end are still useable. The Adventure park is fine and useable. Specialist technicians are investigating and outside agencies working hard with us to resolve the pump problem. It is unlikely, however, that the water sprays will be in use again before the weekend but we will keep you updated once we know more.


Road Closure Advance Notice Witney, B4022 West End

west end closure 2016 map



Notice is hereby given pursuant to Section 14(2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act, 1984, that the Oxfordshire County Council



               LOCATION:         Witney, B4022 West End

                REASON:            to facilitate carriageway maintenance

                DURATION:         Starting on 25 July 2016

                The anticipated completion date is 29 July 2016


 ACCESS:   limited access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles and for frontages within the closed section of road, subject to the progress of the works


The “No Waiting” restriction means that wherever there are in place yellow “No Waiting” cones, you will not be able to park vehicles on the highway.


SUGGESTED ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: Via B4022, Farmers Close, New Yatt Road, Broad Hill, A4095 Woodgreen and vice versa.


Mark Kemp, Deputy Director – Commercial

Environment & Economy                                                               Date 20 June 2016


Take our Lake & Country Park Survey on the App for entry to our Prize Draw

bird hideTo be eligible for the prize,

Download the Witney Town Council App

Click the ‘More’ tab and complete our short survey about Witney Lake and Country Park to be entered in the draw to win a Bird Hide Access Key worth £10.


Google QR

apple QR


or search Witney Town Council in your App Store

(Terms and conditions apply)
Prize Draw Rules

The survey is also available online but entries made here are not eligible for the draw

Lake and Country Park Online Survey




Sanctuary Housing Best Garden on Windrush Valley Estate Competition

Garden competitionSanctuary Housing are running a competition to encourage residents of the Windrush Valley Estate to beautify the estate and to encourage people to get out into the fresh air and enjoy their gardens.  Witney Town Councillor Alan Beames  and Councillor Andrew Coles of WODC  are on the judging panel.  There is a first prize of a £50 National Garden Gift Voucher for the winner and there will be a celebratory event at Fettiplace Road on 15th September 1-3pm.

The competition runs from Friday 1st July to Friday 12th August 2016 so there is plenty of time to get involved.




The Wheels On The Bus Continue to Go Round!

bus infographic

Witney Town Council has agreed a proposal put forward by the Community Services committee to pledge £10,000 towards a Town Centre Circular Bus service. This will serve the residential areas of Madley Park, Smiths and Cogges estates after the termination of the existing Stagecoach 213, 214 and 215 services due to withdrawal of Oxfordshire County Council subsidies from 20 July this year.


This is the first stage in a process that will see the Town Council seeking partnerships with other local organisations and businesses to see what level of support and collaboration can be achieved.


Witney Town Council has worked closely with its Independent Transport representative who has assessed the needs of the bus users including the town’s most vulnerable residents and has identified a suitable timetable that provides for these needs.



Cllr Suzanne Bartington, Chair of public Transportation Working Party, commented


‘’I am delighted that Councillors have responded to the concerns of Witney Bus Users and pledged funding to support a future Town Centre circular bus service. Provision of an effective and reliable service is vital for our most vulnerable residents, particularly those who have limited mobility. We hope that both existing and new passengers will support the service and recognise the wider benefits of public transport for reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality.


It’s been a privilege to work with Stagecoach to find a solution. They have been incredibly helpful and supportive .I’d also like to pass on thanks to other local bus companies for their vital input ”


Further information about a likely start date and any additional information about the new service will be published as it becomes available. If you would like to be involved in the Witney Bus User Group please contact the Facebook page: or contact and we will pass your contact details on to Cllr Suzanne Bartington and Cllr Laura Price


Raising of the Armed Forces Flag

dOn the evening of Tuesday 21st June the Armed Forces flag was raised to mark Armed Forces Week.   The flag was raised by the Mayor’s cadets from Witney Air Training Corps 2120 Sqn. and the Witney Detachment Army Cadet Force.  Representatives from both forces along with Deputy Mayor Cllr Chris Woodward, Town Councillors and Officers were also in attendance.




Armed Forces Day – Flag Raising Tuesday 21st June 19.00 hrs


All are welcome to join Deputy Mayor Cllr Chris Woodward, representatives of Oxfordshire Battalion (The Rifles) Somme Coy – Witney Detachment ACF, 2120 Squadron (Witney) Air Cadets, Councillors and staff.

Please gather beneath the Town Hall for 19.15. The Union flag will be lowered and replaced by the AFD flag which will be raised by the Mayor’s cadets.


Tesco Funding for Outdoor Space Projects – Closing Date Soon

bagsGroundwork South, an environmental and community charity, are working in partnership with Tesco to administer their Bags of Help community grants scheme, funded by the 5p carrier bag charge.  The grant scheme funds a wide range of outdoor space projects that provide community benefit.


They’ve received lots of applications but the scheme is currently under-subscribed in our area, so we are making sure groups have  heard of this opportunity who might be interested in applying.

Elligible projects include  local spaces such as play areas, woodlands, community gardens/allotments, public parks, school grounds that need improving.

Llocal groups or charities who have or are involved in outdoor areas might also be interested? – Environmental groups, schools, assisted living facilities, scout and guide groups, etc. within Witney?


The application process is pretty straightforward – you will need to apply online at

This website has loads of information about the funding scheme.


The deadline for you to submit your application has been extended until 19th June so you have plenty of time to fill it in. If you need help or would like to run a project past please get in touch for anymore more information; with


Katherine Davies

Green Spaces Supervisor &

Community Enabler (Tescos Local Community Grants Scheme)

Groundwork South (Thames Valley Area)

Direct Dial:     07702 532755