Duty to Defy – South Oxfordshire’s Two Fingers to Oxford’s Overspill

Witney Gazette

Ignoring the overspill for Oxford – agreed by all other Oxfordshire Districts

Chalgrove Airfield is a stupid site – 30 miles from Oxford no Rail access.  South of Grenoble Road is a perfect site right next to Oxford and proposed for a restored rail access, right next to where the Oxford Cambridge Expressway will likely go effectively redefining the southern boundary of the site.

As for Culham Bridges, absolutely essential, the fact that the most direct Didcot-Oxford routes uses a medieval packhorse bridge and a narrow Georgian bridge is ridicules and throttle growth at Didcit and around Culham Science centre which has a railway station.  Like the Expressway crossing of the Isis its essential so lets get the best design creating a heritage asset of tomorrow.

Of course in the Autumn Statement will be announced the next steps in the Oxford-MK-Cambridge strategy process – this cant end well for the famous denialists of reality at South Oxfordshire who have stopped the world turning on Oxford’s needs for 20 years.  More on this soon.

THOUSANDS of new homes across south Oxfordshire are expected to be given the go-ahead when a council publishes the final draft of its local plan.

South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) is currently wading through the thousands of responses it has received to the draft local plan – the blueprint for development in the area – since it was published in March.

Councillors will then meet to discuss the responses at a series of meetings before a final draft is published on October 11.

The local plan outlines provisions to meet the urgent need for housing across the region up to 2033.

It includes plans for major new building sites in Culham and Chalgrove Airfield, bringing more than 6,500 homes and tens of thousands of people to the area.

Councillor John Cotton, leader of the district council, said: “Making sure we get this right is a great responsibility and one we take very seriously.

“There’s no silver bullet solution when talking about building thousands of houses in a rural district, but we are very confident our local plan represents the best possible balance of homes in effective, sustainable locations, supported by the right infrastructure and in a way that protects and enhances what’s best about south Oxfordshire.”

The public will have another chance to comment on the final draft of the plan after it is published and these responses will be passed to the government, along with the draft plan, at the end of the year.

All the documents will then be considered by the planning inspectorate who will conduct a public examination to decide whether the plan is sound or not.

Campaigners have previously raised concerns that the Culham development will encroach on green belt land and ruin the identity of the village.

Historic England also objected to a major new Thames bridge that would link the Culham site with Didcot because of the planned route’s proximity to historic sites.

The district council has previously said that without the bridge the number of new houses that could be built on the site would be limited to 750.

In response to some of the objections raised, the council is expected to reduce the number of houses allocated to some areas in earlier versions of the plan.

But it remains convinced that the huge new developments are the best way to tackle the urgent need for houses in South Oxfordshire.

In total 22,500 homes will be built in the region over the 22 year period although most of these have been granted permission or are already in construction.

As well as setting out new housing sites, the local plan explains how the new homes would be supported by roads, schools, shops, parks, leisure centres, community facilities and other infrastructure.


2 thoughts on “Duty to Defy – South Oxfordshire’s Two Fingers to Oxford’s Overspill

  1. They are persisting with a housing strategy based on the % of homes each town, major or small village had at the last census. They claim it is all ok as an assessment of settlements has been made to ensure that each one can take the proposed allocation. This assessment was, by the way, a list of assets carried out by each town and large village. There was no attempt to assess if each asset was adequate for existing demand, or capable of expansion and to my knowledge the LPA hasn’t even sense-checked the returned assessments.

    Chalgrove is a relatively isolated 13 miles from Oxford, not 30, yet a peak time journey currently takes around 35 – 45 minutes by car, and that will remain the only choice as no rapid expressways are planned. The future Chalgrove residents are theoretically to take advantage of the employment opportunities to be built out at Culham and Didcot. Yet the necessary bypasses and junction improvements for the scheme, and of course the bridge at Culham, haven’t even reached fag-packet costings. Far easier to just hop onto the M40 – yet another commuter town.

    Chalgrove exists only to raise money for the much-promised sale of MOD assets – over £220 million was mentioned for Chalgrove Airfield. How much will need to be spent though to help make a very unsustainable development merely unsustainable?

  2. Another fascinating blog, thank you.
    I have two questions –

    1. How will they control delivery of the new sites? I note no over-excitement about new town corporations and no mention of delivery vehicles such as we are seeing in the North Essex Garden Communities project.

    2. Will you be doing a blog on the NEGC project? Largest of its kind in the UK? I would be interested in your thoughts on the size and location of the three proposed settlements – particularly given your final sentence in the blog, ” How much will need to be spent though to help make a very unsustainable development merely unsustainable?”, which rings true for two of the three proposed here.

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