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Parish council news

Public meeting: a chance to shape the area’s future with a Neighbourhood Development Plan

Many parishes in South Oxfordshire have now completed  Neighbourhood Development Plans, helped with grants from the District Council and government funding. They aim to provide local communities with a chance to identify where any new development will go, and so avoid inappropriate development that might threaten to spoil their area. The process is not simple, but a rewarding one, and expert help is available. Once agreed, the plan provides the District with evidence it must apply when deciding planning applications.

The Gladman application for 245 houses was made more likely by the lack of a parish plan and without one, similar speculative applications for mass housing are more likely here. To complete our plan we need a group of volunteers from the community who are ready to commit to being part of the process. Your are cordially invited to an informal meeting on  Tuesday October 1  at 7.45 in the village hall to find out more. Refreshments will be available and there will be two short talks followed by socialising.  Why not come along and make a real difference to our community.

Name that road?

The road from Playhatch to Dunsden is currently nameless, which can cause confusion for delivery drivers and emergency services. Suggestions have included ‘Playhatch Road’ , ‘Lower Dunsden Way’ , ‘Wilfred Owen Way’, and two longstanding local names ‘Playhatch Hill Road’ and ‘Lea Hill Road’ . What do you think? Please contact Mandy Sermon, our parish clerk.

Third Thames Bridge

At the instigation of our County Councillor, David Bartholomew, Oxfordshire County Council has recently made a commitment to only supporting a new Thames crossing for Reading if the cost of mitigation measures on Oxfordshire are fully included in the costings.

In other words, unless money is spent on making Oxfordshire’s roads capable of dealing with all the vehicles that will be drawn to the new bridge, it should not go ahead. Another alternative OCC would consider is a bridge that was for public transport, cyclists and pedestrians only.


The parish council is concerned by noisy motorcycle racing on the Henley road and continuing high numbers of overweight vehicles crossing Sonning bridge and is seeking a response from the authorities. The Playhatch road in Sonning Eye was closed recently to make the surface less slippery in order to reduce the number of vehicles ending up in the ditch.


A planning application has recently been made for a fifth new house in Playhatch and another is being considered in Dunsden. If you are concerned about any roads or planning issue, please see for the date of the next parish council meeting. Attend and share your views. Your District and County councillors will often be at the meeting and can respond immediately.p

Professional stand-up comedy comes to Dunsden: October 5

In a first for Dunsden Village Hall, four fantastic professional comedians are coming to entertain us. The evening will be compèred by Chris McCausland of ‘Live at the Apollo’ and other TV fame. Doors and bar open at 7.30pm – the comedy gets underway at 8.00pm. We will have some hot snacks available to buy and there will be a fully licensed bar with wine and Loddon ales.

The headline act for the evening is standup comedian Chris McCausland who will be supported by Wayne the Weird, Marti and Earl Okin. 

For years, Earl Okin has headlined under the byline ‘Musical Genius & Sex Symbol.’ He first learnt his stagecraft in folk clubs. When they were replaced by comedy clubs, Earl moved effortlessly from one to the other and has been a headline act on the UK comedy circuit for decades, highly respected by all his fellow performers, young and old. 


Don’t like Mondays?

If you’re over 60, why not head to the village hall for a fascinating series of talks from invited guest speakers. The Monday Club meets on the first Monday of the month from 3 to 5pm. Convivial company and refreshments are included.

Previous speakers have included the work of HM Customs, guide dogs for the blind, caring for the vulnerable and a light-hearted talk about the perils of re-cycling. For more information call Gilly on 07341 385111.

Bonfire Night Friday November 1

This hugely popular family event will again be held this year. Sonning Fireworks will again provide the pyrotechnics and thanks to our dedicated team of volunteers, there will be the usual hot dogs, glow-sticks and licensed bar.

Tickets (including a special family ticket) will shortly be available from and from Binfield Heath Stores. They will also be sale on the door at a higher price, so book early!

Dunsden village hall’s first ever Christmas Fair: Saturday 30 November

This exciting new event will commemorate the laying of the main hall’s foundation stone, 150 years ago.  It will feature a good range of stalls selling attractive locally produced Christmas gifts. There will be mulled wine and mince pies, and plans for a choir performance and a visit by santa are being discussed. Look out for further details.

Want to put something back?

The hall needs new trustees to help keep our vibrant new hall at the heart of the community. If you have a few hours available a month please email the chair, David Woodward.


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