In June 2016 the Parish Council approved the following key objectives for the remainder of the term of the Council (to May 2019)
- To provide an improved range of leisure and recreational facilities within the Parish.
- To support, manage and improve spaces, buildings and services that are the Parish Council’s responsibilities.
- To work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the redevelopment of Botley Centre proceeds with as little disruption as possible to the activities of residents and local businesses.
- To actively support the production and full implementation of an effective Neighbourhood Plan for the Parish.
- To support the setting up of a new charity enabling a range of services currently offered by Elms Road Children’s Centre to continue in the long term, following the withdrawal of County Council funding.
Progress update: November 2019
Objective 1: To provide an improved range of leisure and recreational facilities within the Parish. – COMPLETED– January 2019: installation of new play equipment for older children in the upper Louie Memorial Playing Field. IN PROGRESS: Following parish-wide consultation in April 2018, NHPC worked with community representatives to develop plans for a new multi-use community building to replace the outdated pavilion and scout hut. Planning permission was granted by Vale District Council in July 2019. All documents and the latest information can be found on the Louie Memorial page.
Objective 2: To support, manage and improve spaces, buildings and services that are the Parish Council’s responsibilities – IN PROGRESS – In connection with progress on Objective 1, the planning for Louie Memorial Fields has as a key focus the provision of new and improved Pavilion for which planning permission has now been granted.
In late 2017 NHPC signed the lease agreement for a new Seacourt Hall as part of the West Way development, and negotiated and managed a smooth transition to temporary hall facilities in June 2018. The construction of the new community hub is now nearing completion with a target move date of early January 2020. Councillors are engaged with the developers in regular “tenant gateway” meetings to agree the details of the fixtures, fittings and facilities of the new hall.
Objective 3: To work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the redevelopment of Botley Centre proceeds with as little disruption as possible to the activities of residents and local businesses. – IN PROGRESS – After a number of delays the sale of the West Way Shopping Centre to the Botley Development Company/Mace completed on 26th January 2018. The temporary relocation of the Co-op, Tesco, Lloyds chemist, the Seacourt Hall and Baptist Church completed in August 2018 and work on the construction is well underway with the community hub nearing completion.
NHPC continues to be involved in Community Liaison Group meetings and in direct meetings with Mace to gain clear and detailed information on the project management plans for implementing the Botley Centre redevelopment scheme to ensure that the revised plans meet community requirements during the works and on completion.
Objective 4: To actively support the production and full implementation of an effective Neighbourhood Plan for the Parish. – IN PROGRESS
The North Hinksey Parish Neighbourhood Plan was approved by the Parish Council in November 2018 and then submitted to the Vale who carried out the first stage of Independent Examination. The Examiner’s report contained suggestions for amendments some of which the Parish Council has disputed, mainly because they would weaken or completely remove two important policies. The first of these supported our position on the climate change emergency, and the second provided guidance for any redevelopment of the Brookes Harcourt Hill Campus. Discussions are ongoing before the finalised plan can be put out for a parish referendum.
Objective 5: To support the setting up of a new charity enabling a range of services currently offered by Elms Road Children’s Centre to continue in the long term, following the withdrawal of County Council funding. – COMPLETED 2016– A new charity named Botley Bridges was set up in late 2016, and funding of £5k from both NHPC and Cumnor Parish Council, combined with County Council start-up funds enabled it to begin providing key services in April 2017. Council representatives also provided support and advice as members of the charity’s Steering Group throughout the setting up process, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Read more in their April 2017 update.