Dame Judi to perform for Dunsden and much more!


Looking good! Dunsden’s fabulous new village hall

The first users of our new hall were the Monday Club and they were hugely impressed with the new facilities. The new floor, lighting and bright new kitchen in the main hall look stunning, and the underfloor heating will be perfect for an ever-growing number of exercise classes. There’s a lot more work to do, and we urgently need a few more generous supporters to help us complete the work. All donations large or small will be very gratefully acknowledged. If you think you might be able to help, please call 0118 969 3633 or email chairman@eyedunsden.org

Gladman Homes appeal against defeat

The inspector’s inquiry into the building of 245 houses near Dunsden will take place in Henley Town Hall at the beginning of May. SODC will be putting up a top barrister to fight the proposal, together with help from CAGE Dunsden which successfully persuaded councillors to oppose the scheme. However, SODC will only be arguing on the narrow grounds of their decision at the Planning Committee.

We need as many people as possible to write by December 8 to the Inspector with their views. The parish council believes that the development would constitute an inappropriate and unsustainable bursting of the boundary of Reading into the South Oxfordshire Chiltern landscape. One immensely useful submission has been submitted by Caversham & District Residents Association and is available as a PDF here.

Coppa Club still operating illegal car park

The Coppa Club in Sonning was refused retrospective planning permission to operate a car park at Frizer’s Farm, Sonning Eye. The matter is in the hands of SODCs Enforcement team. The Coppa Club’s owner’s hope to buy Cedar Cottage, a property next to the Great House, in Sonning, in order to provide the 60+ parking spaces they need.

 

Dame Judi Dench set to entertain for the hall

The hall committee is enormously excited to report that Dame Judi Dench has very generously agreed to appear at a special gala matinée at the Mill at Sonning on April 22, 2018, with all proceeds going to the village hall transformation appeal. She will be joined in conversation by actor Simon Williams and there will be a raffle with fabulous locally donated prizes. Tickets are £100 to include lunch. Earlybird ticket reservations for local people are now being accepted at the Mill box office: 0118 969 8000.

Award-winning music from Ninebarrow

Don’t miss this stunning duo who will be playing in our new hall on 26 January. Award-winning folk duo Ninebarrow, have been described as ‘stunning’, ‘damn fine’ and ‘perfection’ by critics including The Telegraph, Radio 3 and Mike Harding. Tickets are just £12 from our online box office, including snacks with a full bar featuring Loddon Brewery ales. You can listen to some of their tracks here:

Book now and don’t miss a real treat!

THERE’S a warmth on stage tonight that goes far beyond the heat of the stage lighting. Dorset folk duo Jon Whitley and Jay Labouchardiere are the most genial of hosts, who whisked the Barrington Theatre audience away to a special place of folklore, fun and incredible music – Bournemouth Echo

Whizz, bang, ahhh!

Have you booked yet for the fireworks?

Our family bonfire night, with professional fireworks, is a week today, on Friday 27th. The display is thanks to the generosity of Sonning Fireworks, an award-winning local company with a reputation for spectacular displays. The weather is forecast to be fine.

It’s a small-scale, family-friendly event with hot-dogs and other snacks served in the small hall. The rest of the hall is fenced off during the current building works. There’s a licensed bar serving wine and Loddon Brewery ales. Parking is at Dunsden Farm.

You can now book tickets quickly and easily online. They are also on sale at Binfield Heath Stores and at the Shoulder of Mutton in Playhatch. The event begins at 6.30pm.

More village hall news

Don’t forget, there’s also a great programme of musical performances at the hall coming up in the next few months, starting with the fantastic Whalebone on Saturday 11 November. Theirs is a unique style of eclectic acoustic music, which you can sample here. Tickets are just £10 from our online box office, including snacks with a full bar featuring Loddon Brewery ales available. Don’t miss it!

On 26 January we will be hosting a show by award-winning folk duo Ninebarrow, who have been described as ‘stunning’, ‘damn fine’ and ‘perfection’ by critics including The Telegraph, Radio 3 and Mike Harding.

The hall’s exciting programme of re-building works is on track for completion before Christmas. The new extension to the main hall, with its attractive terrace and fully-equipped kitchen will be a great asset for social events of all kinds.

The hall’s management committee is looking for new people to help them run the building. Experience is not necessary, and the time commitment is not heavy, but the work is very rewarding. With the new hall heading for completion before Christmas, now is the perfect time to get involved! If you are interested, please contact Ginny.

 

Raising the Playhatch Road

Oxfordshire has not been successful in its bid for funding for the next stage of this project, which was to prepare a complete design scheme. Locals in Sonning Eye were concerned that the scheme (which is intended to keep the road open in times of heavy floding) could make their flooding worse, and cause considerable disruption during its construction. The Parish Council is to poll residents for their views on this issue and on the Third Thames Bridge.

Proposed Third Reading Bridge

A group led by Reading East MP Matt Rodda continues to press for a new bridge. The scheme has the active support of representatives of Reading and Wokingham, with South Oxfordshire and Oxfordshire representatives keeping a watching brief. The scheme’s objective is to get 55,000 vehicles out of Reading, with onward routes including Caversham Park Village and the B481 through Sonning Common. What are your views? Look out for our online poll.

Henley Road closure

The work is on schedule and on target, expected to be completed by the end of the first week in November. New views have opened up across the fields as a consequence of the installation of shuttering which should prevent the road breaking up in future.

Gladman Homes appeal against planning defeat

Gladman Homes have appealed against the refusal of planning consent for 245 houses in fields close to the AONB near Dunsden after a long campaign by the group CAGE Dunsden. The process will run to a strict timetable which has yet to be announced.

SODC Councillor offers grants

Our District Councillor, Paul Harrison has around £500 to offer for a specific project in the parish. The council will discuss this at its next meeting, but possibilities include the conversion of the phonebox on Dunsden Green to an information point and book exchange, or the installation of a defibrillator in the village hall.

Tarmac gravel extraction

A liaison group was told this week that gravel extraction is expected to begin next week. Oxfordshire’s monitoring officer will be visiting the site on a regular basis to ensure compliance with the planning permission. Kevin Browne is the local plant manager who can be contacted concerning problems with the work.

Autumn news from Eye & Dunsden

Full steam ahead for a brighter hall

Dunsden Village Hall’s exciting transformation continues apace, with the old foundation stone now set into the wall of the new sun room extension. The work should all be done by the end of November.

Meanwhile, there are some excellent events coming up at the hall, including the ever-popular family bonfire night, with professional fireworks, which this year is on Friday 27 October. You can now book tickets quickly and easily online.

There’s also a great programme of musical performances at the hall coming up in the next few months, starting with the fantastic Whalebone on Saturday 11 November. There’s is a unique style of eclectic acoustic music, which you can sample here. Tickets are just £10 from our online box office, including snacks with a full bar featuring Loddon Brewery ales available. Don’t miss it!

The hall’s management committee is always looking for new people to help them run the building. Experience is not necessary, and the time commitment is not heavy. Now is a perfect time to get involved! If you are interested, please contact Ginny.

Gladman Homes defeated at SODC Planning

A scheme to build 245 houses in fields close to the AONB near Dunsden was thrown out by SODC’s planning committee on September 6th, after a long campaign by the group CAGE Dunsden. As reported in the Henley Standard, so strong were feelings that two coachloads of protestors attended the meeting, with the support of local MPs John Howell and Matt Rodda. An appeal in the next six months is now possible.

Dunsden fly tipper caught on camera

SODC have successfully prosecuted a repeat fly tipper who was dumping building waste in Church Road, Dunsden. Reading-based Sam Smith carried out four substantial fly-tips, and was ordered to pay more than £5,000 after being repeatedly caught on CCTV.

Snowdrops at All Saints

This periodic event at All Saints Church, Dunsden provides a good opportunity to see inside the church where the young Wilfred Owen was assistant to the Rector. For more information see the church website.

Sunday 26 February, Church Open Day, 10 am to 5pm

  • Guided tours of the church and grounds
  • Live music and readings
  • Learn about the Wilfred Owen Trail
  • Refreshments, including mulled wine,
    tea, coffee and home-made cakes
  • Large off-road car park
  • Free entry

County Councillor publishes objection to Gladman plan

Councillor David Bartholomew has lodged his objections to the Gladman Developments plan for 245 houses in Eye & Dunsden parish.

Register your views on the SODC website now.

Objection

  1. The county boundary was revised in 1977 to reflect the actual boundary of the built-up area of Reading. This proposed development straddles urban Reading and rural South Oxfordshire thus compromising the county boundary and destroying the clear distinction between urban and rural areas.
  2. The development would cause severe harm to the rural character of the area.
  3. The development would clearly be part of Reading in practical terms, but would fall into the Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire District Council and Eye & Dunsden Parish Council areas of administration. This would present serious issues in terms of funding and management of resources for all councils concerned.
  4. There is little employment in the immediate area and it is highly likely most residents would need to cross Reading Bridge or Caversham Bridge to get to work directly or via the mainline railway station. Most of this travel would be by car. Reading Borough Council has already identified both these bridges as being used well beyond their capacity and the increase in congestion would be substantial, conflicting with the objectives of sustainable development.
  5. This area is not scheduled for major development in the SODC Local Plan.
  6. The Sonning Common Neighbourhood Plan has been ‘made’ and while this site isn’t within the area of the plan, it is immediately adjacent to it, so should be taken into consideration. The rural character of the site is as important to Sonning Common residents as it is Emmer Green residents.

Development to swamp Eye & Dunsden parish?

The population of Eye and Dunsden could triple if developers are given the green light to build along its border with Emmer Green. Gladman Developments have applied to SODC for outline planning permission for a minimum of 245 houses on land in the parish adjoining Emmer Green.

The village of Dunsden, together with Playhatch and Sonning Eye, between them consist of just 140 houses. There is a church and village hall but no shop, school or health centre in the parish, making the application unsustainable, according to a group of representatives of all the adjoining parishes and residents’ groups that met this week.

There are concerns about the impact on narrow and already overcrowded local roads and about the added pressure the development would place on Sonning bridge.

The housing is proposed for an attractive green field site directly adjoining Emmer Green, with the main access on to the rural part of Peppard Road. At a meeting of local parishes and residents’ associations, strong objections were expressed to breaking into unprotected ancient countryside. Attendees were concerned that the application might eventually lead to piecemeal development linking Emmer Green to Sonning Common which if unchecked could possibly connect as far as Binfield Heath and Shiplake.

The development company Gladman has a turnover of £200m nationwide with a record of active promotion of speculative green field development. The company is working with the Phillimore Estate, which owns over 1,400 hectares of land in the area with potential for tens of thousands more houses.

“We fear this is could be the thin end of an unstoppable development wedge,” said David Woodward, Chairman of Eye & Dunsden Parish. “This beautiful countryside offers Emmer Green a green window on to the Chilterns. Its development would cast a blight on Eye & Dunsden that would overwhelm a much valued landscape for ever.

“This threat should not just be allowed to slip through because of the current weakness of SODC housing supply. It would not meet South Oxfordshire’s housing needs. We urge anyone who cares about this lovely landscape to go on to the SODC website and register their views as quickly as possible.”

SODC planners will consider the application on February 1. Register your comments on the SODC website now.

 

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