Oxford

Great Western Park residents angry over lack of facilities

Great Western Park Image copyright Bill Nicholls

Residents of a 3,300-home development in Oxfordshire claim they have been "cut off" after promised community facilities did not materialise.

The first residents moved into Great Western Park, Didcot in 2011, but a planned shop is lying empty and a bus shelter is yet to be built.

A new primary school, due to open in 2015, has also been delayed by a year.

The developers said it hoped a shop and post box would be provided shortly as the number of residents increase.

John Ord, a Didcot town councillor who was one of the first residents to move in, said: "Lots of things have been promised but very little delivered. We're cut off.

'Dormitory existence'

"There's no pub, no school, no shop, no community centre... no postbox, this isn't good enough.

"People like the houses, what we don't like... is the lack of facilities, we lead a dormitory existence."

Outline permission for the development, which will see 3,300 homes built by 2026, was granted in 2008.

South Oxfordshire District Council has stepped in to fund a new community centre despite no obligation to deliver the facilities promised by the developers.

A council spokesperson added: "We have also created a role within the council to work directly with the community and the developers to speed up the delivery of community facilities."

A spokesperson for the consortium of developers said: "The small retail unit has been marked for some time now, however, the market feedback has been that there are not yet quite enough residents... to make a viable business.

"Royal Mail similarly advise that until a sufficient number of people live on a development, that they wouldn't consider providing a post box, however, we are hopeful that this trigger may occur around the time that the district centre area is opened up in the next nine to 12 months."

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