Gravel Inspector Tells County to Buck Up!

Bernard Stone of Wallingford Town Council had a conversation with Helen Wilson the Inspector’s programme officer. She told him that the Inspector is encouraging/advising OCC to either (a) suspend the Core Strategy to give themselves time to do all the work necessary to bring the strategy to the point it could be taken to the EIP or (b) withdraw the strategy.  To me there sounds little difference between the two suggested courses of action.  Of course the Inspector cannot force OCC to do either. It sounds that as the strategy stands at present it would fall at the first hurdle !
Helen also told Bernard that OCC have now commissioned an aggregate assessment.  If they had not previously undertaken this it is difficult to see how, without this information, they could have complied with their duty to cooperate with other counties.
The EIP will definitely not now be in May and the earliest it is likely to be is September.  If the strategy is withdrawn presumably the delay will be considerably longer.
None of this means that Cholsey is out of the picture as regards the potential pit. I have always felt that the county had a hidden agenda on this, led by certain personalities, and there is no reason to believe that having pushed this far they will give up now. However, it does show that our decision to fight this is completely vindicated.

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