Newsletter Spring 2016
Goring & Streatley Amenity Association
Newsletter Spring 2016
Welcome to our Spring Newsletter ! It comes accompanied by the formal notice of the AGM on Tuesday the 5th of April and with news of two other important dates for your diary.
The first of these is on Saturday 5th March when the Goring Neighbourhood Plan will hold a further Open Day in Goring Village Hall from 10.0 am to 3.0 pm. Well done to those of you who turned out for their previous consultation in January ! However, March 5th is even more important, since you will be asked to comment on the criteria which will be used to judge the suitability of the sites on offer for development under the Plan. Note the change of venue and time from that given in the February Goring Gap News.
The second date is for Clean for the Queen, which coincidentally is on the same morning (Saturday 5th March). Volunteers in Goring are asked to collect their equipment from the Belleme Room from 10.0 o’clock onwards. There will be a similar effort in Streatley, meeting at the Morrell Room. In both villages, accompanied children will be welcome, and refreshments will be provided on conclusion.
The talk following the formal business will be given by David Bermingham, who is i/c communications for the Goring Neighbourhood Plan. He will update us on progress and review the next stages. A glass of wine will be on offer on conclusion of his talk. The formal notice of the meeting is attached.
Your committee has been actively seeking ways of building two-way contact with members, and have decided to produce a new website to replace the existing one. The new website will be more interactive, and we hope this will encourage you to bring up the issues that matter to you. We plan to have the new site operating by May. Let us know what you think of it in due course. Please note its new name: www.gsamenity.org.uk
In recent months, certain topics have attracted comment in the Goring Gap News and elsewhere, although not until now in our Newsletter. Our reports on three of them appear below, and are reproduced on our new website. In each of these, the benefits and the drawbacks have divided opinion in the community and your committee has therefore avoided taking one side or the other.
The grocery chain’s purchase of the old Queens Arms close to Goring station has raised a number of issues and has divided opinion in Goring. Many think that a Tesco Express would draw trade away from the village centre, but there is also a degree of support for a potentially useful facility.
The big concern is that by attracting traffic (including delivery vans) to this particular site, severe difficulties will be created at an already busy junction; access to the site is necessarily limited.
Erection of the necessary uprights and subsequent cross-girders has focussed attention on the visual impact of this on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, especially where the tracks are carried on embankments past South Stoke and over the river at Gatehampton. Older routes have used cables to support the overhead wiring, but the higher speeds now demanded (up to 140 mph) appear to require a more rigid and complex system with greater visual impact.
Not for the first time, Network Rail have created resentment by their lack of consideration for the communities and the countryside, but their options are limited. Perhaps they should spray the horizontal girders black as a one-off until people become acclimatised to the view.
The generation of power from the River Thames has the support in principle of many people, but there are many practical aspects which give rise to reservations. The risk of flooding upstream, the noise of operation and the economics of any scheme in a fluctuating world are amongst these.
The scheme aims to install three large Archimedes screws at Goring weir. As it has evolved, it has become clear that some associated structures are needed to house the equipment which converts the slow rotation of the screws into electrical power. An attempt to accommodate all the equipment behind each screw created an ugly structure which aroused many to protest. Part of it will now be located on the island beside the lockkeeper’s house, thereby reducing the visual impact.
Some expect that the latest cut in the subsidy for power-recovery schemes may prove to be the end of this one.