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Proposed Martyrs’ Garden, High Street, Ascott under Wychwood
The suggestion that an area of land adjoining the current Cowsheds site be planted with 16 trees to represent the Ascott Martyrs, was put forward at a public consultation held by the developers of the Cowshed site at the eastern end of the High Street, in November 2018. Reference to this suggestion was included in the planning application submitted in 2019.
The Ascott Martyrs Educational Trust subsequently provided Bloombridge, the developers, with more detailed information about the Martyrs to enable them to better understand the context for the tree planting suggestion. This inspired the developers to commission a detailed ‘concept’ design for what the designer called a ‘Garden’. The Trust was given to understand that the proposal to create a community space was not dependent on the planning application for the Cowsheds site.
Acknowledging that any community space needs to be managed and maintained, Bloombridge approached the Trust with a view to them taking on this responsibility. AMET is primarily an education trust, maintenance and ownership of land is not in our remit. At the meeting on 20th March the Trustees agreed to seek a meeting with the Parish Council to bring the proposal to their attention. Our understanding was that the concept garden design was one potential option and the Trust was not aware that an Outline Planning Application had been submitted that included the concept design, and was open for public consultation.
The Trust feels strongly that any proposal for the future use of this land should be supported by the local community, and developed following the principles of community co-creation and is happy to take a supporting role, if appropriate, at a later date.
The Outline Planning Application (ref. 21/00651/OUT) which includes the concept design for the Martyrs’ Garden/Orchard can be viewed at Simple Search (westoxon.gov.uk)