We must work together to improve Carterton

First published in Letters

Sir – I agree with Tim Sampson’s letter about the Shill Brook (February 12). It’s already a conservation target area but Carterton would really benefit from an AONB on its doorstep.

It’s a great town but its image lags behind the rest of the district. To address that, the town needs new attributes that will assist with promotion and tourism. Image is intangible but real. It’s inescapably vital in shaping reputation, plus creating a feel-good factor and sense of well-being for residents.

The main style issue is the RAF family housing. It has served its purpose admirably over many decades but it’s now beyond its design life, old-fashioned and too dominant within Carterton.

Relatively small changes can set an area on an upwards path. Witney was transformed within a decade.

If the planned replacement of the RAF housing with more stylish homes commenced, people would view Carterton in a different light. Hopefully, empty retail units would attract businesses and available derelict land within the town would be developed for betterment.

Paving the way for the planned development of REEMA North and Central is no doubt a priority for West Oxfordshire District Council, Carterton Town Council. the Ministry of Defence and its development partner.

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It’s in line with the aspirations of the Gateway Programme and wider government objectives. It just needs a sense of urgency. The outcome will be better housing for our servicemen and their families and private residents too, plus an improved town for all.

In truth, the heart of the town needs a new vibe before it can grow in stature but a golden opportunity to bring this about is there for the taking.

At the same time it would be a positive step to protect the Shill Brook for appreciation and use by the vibrant town of the future we all hope for.

Justine Garbutt, Alvescot Road, Alvescot

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