Two well-known Canterbury residents’ associations, Oaten Hill & District Society and South Canterbury Residents Association, merged in November 2016 to form a new community group, Oaten Hill & South Canterbury Association (OHSCA – pronounced ‘Oscar’). The Association covers an area south-east of the city walls from Rhodaus Town to Lady Wootton’s Green, Pilgrims Way and east to Lichfield Avenue along the New Dover Road, and south to Ridlands Farm, including South Canterbury Road, Nunnery Road and Oaten Hill. See Map below.
The Oaten Hill and District Society originally came into existence in April 1974 when a planning application was submitted to convert the house known as The Shrubbery, located at the junction of Oaten Hill and Upper Chantry Lane, into offices. If successful this would have led to the many fine trees in the garden being pulled down. Local residents went into action and the trees were saved and the Oaten Hill and District Society was born.
The Society has raised money for and carried out effective tree, shrub and flower-planting in public spaces in our area and an energetic Local History Group has made a key contribution to the understanding of the social history of our area and amplified public awareness of our group through its publications.
The South Canterbury Residents Association has been representing local residents over the past five years ensuring the City Council was aware of the opposition to the Ridlands Farm schemes, to oversized and inappropriate residential developments, the reduction in councillor numbers, and to concerns about the Draft Local Plan. The Association has organised many community events like walks and plant swaps.
The strengths of the two memberships have now been brought together in OHSCA, and will enable us to arrange more community activities for our members, and by representing an area which includes more than 2000 households, we hope to increase our influence on the planning and environmental decisions that local government takes that affect us personally. Wider environmental issues like air quality are an increasing concern of the Association and it is active and effective in its scrutiny of local planning applications. OHSCA members are kept well-informed about planning issues through our weekly emailed alerts.