Didcot Garden Town Newsletter - Summer Edition

Didcot Garden Town Newsletter - Summer Edition

Welcome to our summer edition of the Didcot Garden Town newsletter

Show your appreciation for local volunteers

Firstly, we'd like to convey our heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in helping to support residents living in and around the garden town during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can show your appreciation too by nominating someone, who has a made a big difference to you or someone you know, for a national award.

Find out more about how to nominate someone on the governement's website here.

SOFEA's community support
We've heard about many local groups helping our residents during the coronavirus outbreak, but wanted to make a special mention to SOFEA.

SOFEA are working flat out to deliver 3,000 food boxes a week to help vulnerable and disadvantaged families across Oxfordshire. The Didcot based charity continues to work with local groups to help provide vital food supplies to vulnerable and shielded residents - well done SOFEA!

Affordable Housing News

80 new affordable extra care homes are set to go ahead on Great Western Park in Didcot, thanks to £2.4 million of support from the Oxfordshire Housing Growth Deal.

The scheme will be delivered by Housing 21, a major specialist provider following planning consent by Vale of White Horse District Council in March.

The proposed apartments will be fitted out for older people to help them live independently in their own home, with care staff on hand to provide any extra support they may need.

The development is set to be built near the shops and community facilities on Great Western Park, and will help contribute towards the growth deal's affordable housing targets, particularly getting the right mix of affordable housing into the right areas of growing communities.

You can take a look at the plans here.

Transport improvements agreed

You may have seen in the news that some significant road improvements in the Didcot Garden Town area will soon be getting underway now that £218 million of government funding has been formally agreed.

The new infrastructure provides more routes for cyclists and pedestrians in the garden town area, and includes traffic demand management measures to prioritise non-motorised traffic, where appropriate. It also provides new opportunities to connect areas of local employment and housing for those on foot and bike using existing public rights of way.

A landscaping strategy will be implemented to include tree planting to make the routes greener and provide screening, helping to minimise their impact on the landscape.

You can find out more about the improvements for Didcot Garden Town here.

Make a leaf to celebrate Didcot's green future.

We've teamed up with Cornerstone to set all our garden town residents with a creative challenge.

We're asking everyone who lives in and around Didcot to design and make their own leaf using any material they have to hand. For inspriation take a look at the photos on the right on the fantastic artwork we've recieved already.

Click here to find out how you can create and send in your own leaf.

Active and sustainable transport update

Work begins on Science Vale Cycle Network

The Science Vale Cycle Network has already started in the Didcot Garden Town area at Harwell. The project aims to provide greater connections between our three main employment centres at Harwell Campus, Milton Park and Culham Science Centre for residents living in Didcot, Abingdon and Wantage.

Improving these routes makes active travel a safer and more attractive choice and benefits cyclists and pedestrians while commuting or just enjoying a leisurely walk or ride.

Once completed, the routes will help to:

  • encourage more people to switch from cars to cycling and walking
  • reduce congestion on roads
  • make Science Vale a more attractive place to live and work
  • support the future growth of Science Vale

Click here to for more details on the improving network.

Longer term plans for cycleways

Recent studies have backed the observations that the popularity of cycling has soared since the coronavirus outbreak in March.

Results show that air pollution has been reduced by as much as 64 per cent in some parts of the county during the last few months.

To help keep up people's enthusiasm for cycling, and to help support healthy travel, Oxfordshire County Council is planning to use a £2.9m government grant to transform residents' experience of cycling.

County council colleagues are working on an exciting programme, called the Local Transport and Connectivity Plan, to introduce structural improvements to support cycling and walking in Didcot, Bicester and Oxford before spreading out to the rest of the county.

We look forward to sharing with you more updates on the plans as they come forward.

Have your say at the next Didcot Garden Town Advisory Board meeting

Our first public board meeting is taking place on Monday 13 July - albeit slightly differently than originally planned.

The meeting will go ahead online and, because we won't be able to broadcast it live, we plan to record the meeting in full and publish it online afterwards.

At the start of the virtual meeting, we are offering a dedicated amount of time to answer pre-submitted questions from residents living in the garden town and surrounding villages.

If you would like to submit a question to the advisory board, please email the Didcot Garden Town team by Friday 10th July. Click here to find out more.

Science Vale Business Update

Harwell Campus

The UK's space sector has received a major piece of new equipment to help get larger, more complex satellites ready for launch. It was transported by six lorries all the way to Harwell!

Find out more!

Milton Park


Thinking of cycling to work at Milton Park? Owners of the park are offering a free e-bike to someone willing to commute regularly to Milton Park. Why not nominate a colleague?

Read more here!

Culham Science Centre


Coronavirus tests have been developed at Culham Science Centre and could be critical to the global fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

Find out more!

Posted: Tue, 07 Jul 2020 11:03 by Joanne Myers

Tags: Didcot Garden Town