News index


Concern over Greystones development

A planning application to demolish the house at Greystones, the Slade, and replace it with eight new houses has caused concern among local residents.

The application has been lodged by "Avoncroft Homes (Charlbury) Ltd", a Stratford-based property developer. The plans entail demolishing the great majority of the trees, with access to the area through both Wychwood Close and The Slade. (One of the houses will have its front door on the Slade itself, which will entail removing part of the historic drystone wall.)

A previous plan for nine houses rather than eight, which was eventually withdrawn, attracted a 60-name petition from Charlbury residents. The new proposal has attracted similar concerns, based on the density of the houses not being in keeping with the area; traffic implications for the Slade and the (narrow) Wychwood Close; and the visual impact of the trees.

Further details are available from:

  • West Oxfordshire District Council planning department website here (note that this part of the WODC site will, pretty abysmally, not work in any browser other than Internet Explorer)
  • Avoncroft Homes' page about the development

Objections to this plan must be received by https://West Oxfordshire District Council by 22nd December. The Town Council can also be contacted, by 19th December.

Richard Fairhurst · Thu 15 Dec 2005, 17:47 · Link

First keeps train franchise

FirstGroup has retained the right to run Charlbury's trains for the next 10 years. The train and bus company has won the 'Greater Western' franchise (combining the Great Western inter-city operation, the ex-Thames Trains local fleet, and regional trains in the south-west) against competition from National Express and Stagecoach.

First Great Western's announcement (click here) promises improvements in many places but relatively few on the Cotswold Line. Those changes which might be relevant include:

  • Refurbishing the High Speed Trains ('Inter-City 125's)
  • Off-peak trains from the Cotswold Line will call at Slough
  • All evening peak trains will call at Honeybourne and Pershore
  • A new waiting facility at Oxford including new toilets, waiting areas and refreshment facilities. Additionally, waterproof cycle storage, a combined ticket office and travel centre, improved helpdesk and refurbishment of the subway

There will also be 124 new ticket machines... perhaps we might get one in Charlbury?

FirstGroup will be paying the Government £1,131m for the right to run the region's trains.

Richard Fairhurst · Tue 13 Dec 2005, 09:43 · Link

Shoppers' Survey

At the Farmers' Market on the Playing Close this Saturday December 10th, volunteers with clipboards will be approaching people with a questionnaire about their thoughts on shopping in Charlbury. Organised by the Charlbury Chamber of Trade and Commerce, the shoppers' survey is the first step to understanding what local people really want from their local market and shops.
If you would like to help carry out the survey, come to the Playing Close this Saturday before midday and find someone who already has a clipboard. Or call Cally Robson 01608 811227. And of course, if you're there shopping, we look forward to gathering your opinions.

Cally Robson · Thu 8 Dec 2005, 20:04 · Link

Cameron's elevation - the view from Charlbury

The elevation of our local Tory MP, David Cameron, to the leadership of his party has been extensively covered in the national media.

But Charlbury-based journalist, SA Mathieson, has taken a rather different approach - writing about him from a West Oxfordshire perspective for the Guardian. You can read the article here.

Richard Fairhurst · Thu 8 Dec 2005, 18:36 · Link

Charlbury Street Fair 2005

WOW – what a Street Fair. This year we were able to give the Corner House and Memorial Hall Committee £10,000!! This truly was a bumper year and we would like to say a big thank you to all of you who so generously gave of your time, money etc to make it such a success. There are too many people to thank – but you know who you are, so a BIG thank you from all the Street Fair Committee

Next year’s Open Gardens will be on Sunday 4th June and Street Fair will be on Saturday 16th September 2006 – so don’t you dare be away! The first meeting to organise next year’s fair will be on 30th January at 8pm in the Garden Room.

Some of the existing committee are standing down this year, so we do need lots of help and new ideas in organising the fair; it’s not too much work if we have lots of people to help – and its good fun too (we go to the pub afterwards!). If we are to continue the success of Street Fair we really do need help. So to all of you, who enjoyed this year’s fair, please think about even giving just a few hours of your time. Please don’t just read this, and say well maybe I will help – and then forget about it. Contact me NOW! I look forward to hearing from you all. Please contact Susie Finch if you are interested in helping – even if it’s only on the day. Phone number is 01608 810861 or by email at

Susie Finch · Wed 7 Dec 2005, 09:46 · Link

Statement from Centre Stage and Street Stage

"CENTRE STAGE and STREET STAGE - to all parents with children attending the above.

"As you are probably aware, there have been operational difficulties experienced with The Shed Building, which is used by all the youth theatre groups as well as a number of other arts based organisations in the area.

"In order to help resolve the issues, Tim Crisp and Stuart Parker, as interested parents who between us have children at Centre Stage, Street Stage and Shed Theatre and who have enormous respect for the tremendous achievements of all youth theatre groups in the area, have accepted the joint chair of Centre Stage and Street Stage.

"We are at the present in the middle of discussions with the team at Shed Theatre to try to resolve these operational difficulties and to ensure that all interested parties can continue to use the facilities at Charlbury Youth Theatre.

"Yesterday, for reasons we do not fully understand, the locks had been changed on the Charlbury Youth Theatre Building and 16 children attending the regular Centre Stage slot were locked out with no access and no alternative accommodation.

"We apologise for this which was completely beyond the control of Centre Stage and Street Stage. We are trying to arrange further meetings to resolve the access issue and in the meantime understand that Anneke Hay as artistic director of both groups will try to make alternative arrangements so that this level of youth theatre service can continue.

"We will keep in touch with parents during this difficult period and hope to arrange a meeting shortly.

"Stuart Parker and Tim Crisp."

Richard Fairhurst · Tue 6 Dec 2005, 15:58 · Link

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