McCarthy Stone Retirement Apartments planning application – statement from Councillor Andy Crawford

Councillor Andy Crawford is both a member of Wantage Town Council and of the Vale of the White Horse District Council.

In relation to the planning application from McCarthy Stone for retirement apartments to be built on Kingsgrove, in the plot previously allocated for a pub, Councillor Crawford has contacted the planning team and has “called in” the application, meaning that it will be decided at the Planning Committee, rather than by the planning officer.

Below is his summary of his reasons:

  • Outline permission in 2015 made it clear that a pub (or perhaps something sufficiently similar) was a requirement for the development.
  • The application does not provide sufficient detail to determine whether commercial viability has definitively been ascertained.
  • No consideration seems to have been given to investigating mixed use development which would still meet at least in part the intent of the outline permission (e.g. mixed commercial including a pub/restaurant/social space or mixed use with for example residential units over a licensed premises).
  • The absence of such a facility on Crabhill [Kingsgrove] will deprive the sizable development of a focal community space and force residents to travel into central Wantage or beyond adding to car use and other environmental implications.
  • The outline permission was not given with a caveat that the public house would need to evidence that it is commercially viable simply rather that it should be delivered.
  • Residents now occupying the Crabhill [Kingsgrove] community were specifically told by St Modwen that their new community would include such a facility.

To be frank some of the ascertains of the applications are little short of laughable. For example, to suggest a population of 100,000 is required to justify the establishment of such a community facility implies that a town the size of say Reading would only support one such public house.

Councillor Andy Crawford (June 2024)

Deadline for comments

The deadline for comments on this application is Wednesday 3 July 2024, i.e. tomorrow!

The application can be found at:

Advice on commenting effectively

If people are interested in commenting on the application, and I strongly advise that you consider doing so, I have found to be extremely useful to make sure that your views count.

All the e-mails will be sent from Kingsgrove Residents <> just in case you need to check your “Spam” folder.