Plans for Oxford’s Green Belt are a Mess – But not Nearly as Messed up as CPRE Oxfordshire Suggest


We all know how the LPAs around Oxford can’t agree on where it should expand and roll back Green Belt.  Sadly a rational masterplan driven approach as suggested by Urbed is off the agenda for now.  A masterplanned approach would protect views of glittering spires, would provide new accessible public open spaces and ‘sponge’ infrastructure to absorb flooding. The extension can be served by dedicated pubic transport, services, employment and shopping areas.

This ain’t going to happen with each authority doing their own plan.  Why should we take it?  It isn’t like Cambridge where the City us surrounded by only one other local authority.

Given the mess individual local plan and call for sites come forward in a mess,  But it is scaremongering for Oxford CPRE to publish a map showing them all they wont all come forward.  The intention as the CPRE make clear is to scare not constructively contribute to the argument as to where the development should take place.  It is also disingenuous to say high density development is an option, in Oxford anything over 5 storeys causes a national and local uproar.  The aim is simply that politically the numbers or cumulative locations causes such a scare the plan making clock gets set back years, in other words it is a classic Numby tactic.  What they should be doing like URBED is getting their pens out and looking where an urban extension would have least impact – undoubtedly South East of Oxford.  Unlikely as that is where the greatest Oxfordshire Nimby politicians and donors – in South Oxfordhire live.

Oxford Mail

MORE than 17,000 homes could be built on Oxford’s Green Belt, with the protected land facing an ‘unprecedented’ threat.

The scale of what is proposed has been laid bare for the first time in new analysis produced by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

It shows a series of massive potential developments on the edges of the city, which are proposed in draft Local Plans by councils.

These include sites that could be earmarked for 4,400 homes around Kidlington by Cherwell District Council.

Others proposed in South Oxfordshire total 9,000 homes, but the district council has not yet decided which ones it will formally propose to take forward.

Potential developments are proposed south of Grenoble Road, between Cowley and Horspath, at Wick Farm, at Thornhill Park and Ride and at Wheatley.

Meanwhile, several other sites have been suggested in technical studies or schemes brought forward independently by developer.

Countryside campaigners have pointed the finger at Oxford’s colleges and other major landowners, claiming they will reap the rewards of a ‘financial bonanza’ if building is allowed on the Green Belt.

Helen Marshall, CPRE’s Oxfordshire director, said: “We need to stop this gravy train before it leaves the station.

“These attacks are unprecedented in the history of our Green Belt, which is designed specifically to protect our historic city from urban sprawl of this kind.

“It shows the flaws in the argument of allowing small parts of the Green Belt to be opened up to development – it is clear the merest whiff of an opportunity gets all the vultures circling.

“The colleges will claim altruism, but we don’t believe this will make any difference at all to those in housing need.

“The houses proposed are very unlikely to be genuinely affordable. In fact it is basic property speculation and will deprive existing local communities of access to the countryside and impact on their quality of life in other ways.”

The proposals for housing are emerging as local authorities scramble to agree how they will deliver thousands of new homes, in response to a report published in 2014 that said 100,000 were needed by 2032.

Of these, about 28,000 are needed to meet demand in Oxford but only space for about half will be delivered within its boundaries.

This is because Oxford City Council says it does not have enough space. It has asked neighbouring authorities to shoulder the other homes between them, calling for development to be allowed on the Green Belt.

However, campaigners claim it will lead to the ‘urban sprawl’ which the Green Belt was created to prevent.

Ms Marshall said more should be done to re-use brownfield land – sites already built over – such as Osney Mead industrial estate and developments made to a higher density.

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