All information and images reproduced with the kind permission of Taylor Woodrow Property Company Limited and South Oxfordshire District Council.
The information is produced from the pamphlet handed out at the exhibition (7, 8 & 9th Oct). Additional images shown at the exhibition are at the bottom of the page.
Comments on the proposals should be sent to Mr Mike Butt, Deputy Chief Executive, South Oxfordshire District Council, PO Box 21, Crowmarsh, Wallingford, OX10 8HQ. or by e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on the images for a larger version
Q Where will The Orchard Centre be located?
A The site is set in the heart of Didcot and comprises approximately 18 acres bounded largely by the Broadway to the south, the railway line to the north and Station Road to the west.
Aerial Photo of area.
Q Will there be much shopping in the scheme?
A Provision of new shops is the key element of the scheme and will be anchored by a new Sainsbury store along with a further 30 shops to meet the requirements of the local community.
The scheme has been designed by Oxford Architects Partnership who have sought to create an attractive pedestrian shopping environment which will incorporate open-air cafes, meeting areas, landscaping and attractive street furniture. The centre will be accessible to all modes of transport including buses and bicycles, and of course those on foot. In addition, a new town centre car-park is provided.
At present, Didcot loses a good deal of its shopping trade to the surrounding centres and it is anticipated that the development will encourage residents to shop locally rather than travelling further afield.
Q Does the scheme include public facilities?
A Yes. A vital element of the scheme is the civic amenities which will create not only a stronger sense of community but also a true "heart" for Didcot.
Q Will the scheme include any housing?
A The scheme includes provision for 28 new flats and apartments to be built on the east side of the existing Station Road, complementing the residential premises opposite.
Q Is the scheme developed to encourage car-use in Didcot?
A The development has been specifically designed to encourage people to use alternative methods of transport. Comprehensive cycle routes will be built to accompany the pedestrianisation of the town centre.
The development does, however, recognise that the needs of motorists must also be catered for. Construction of the new town centre will allow the second phase of the Didcot/Milton Heights Link Road, running to the north of the project, to be completed.
As a result, through traffic on the Broadway will be significantly reduced. This will provide environmental and health benefits, as well as allowing public transport and parking improvements. The congested traffic bottleneck at the junction of the Broadway and Station Road will disappear with the intended closure of Station Road to through traffic.
Q Will the scheme be accessible by public transport?
A The development provides for a public transport interchange connecting the scheme to the surrounding towns and villages including Wallingford, Reading and Oxford. It will also allow for improved links between the town centre and Didcot railway station.
Q When will this happen?
A Taylor Woodrow hopes to commence construction on the site next year with completion expected during 2002.
Q Will any businesses have to be relocated?
A The development involves the demolition of the Station Road Industrial Estate. South Oxfordshire District Council is building new units at Southmead on the north west side of the town and will offer the existing occupiers the opportunity to move into these new premises.