‘Hands in the Air’ the MHCLG new CaMKOx Anthem

We want ‘hands in the air’ ‘no hard deadline’ as Ministry Apologises for @kitmalthouse CaMkoX letter

Hands up in the air,
Hands up in the air

A million homes over here,
a million homes over there

Cause we just don’t care
Cause we just don’t care

CaMKox Corridor

We just want More!

We just want more

Cause we just want more

Expressway over here, expressway over there

Joining up with Garden cities No

Cause we just don’t care

A million homes over here,
a million homes over there

Cause we just don’t care
Cause we just don’t care

They can go anywhere

Regional Planning No they can go anywhere

Hands up in the air,

If you want shires hot air

It just aint fair

It just aint fair

Growth Deals are spare
Growth Deals are spare

Put your hands in the air if you want it anywhere

Innovation Corridor
Oh waht a bore

In the CaMKoX corridor its just home more more

Hands up in the air,
Hands up in the air

For Nimby Suicide put your hands up with pride.

Is Interministerial Infighting Heart of the CaMKoX Corridor Hot Mess? @iainastewart @kitmalthouse

We have had no announcement of an inter-ministerial lead on CaMkox, despite Iain Stewart the corridor champion handing his report in recommending this several months ago.

No announcement this summer on route of the expressway, no announcment on stage 3 funding for east west rail?

The LPAs like Central Beds say tell us the route and well tell you the locations?

Stand off?

Knowing government the Treasury will say we wont release the money for the  infrastructure till we know we will get the housing and jobs.

Knowing DoT they will not want to hand anything to a minister in MHCLG.

In past times there might have been a cabinet sub chaired by the PM, like there was for Thames Gateway, I presume she is busy.


We want ‘hands in the air’ ‘no hard deadline’ as Ministry Apologises for @kitmalthouse CaMkoX letter


Housing minister Kit Malthouse wrote to local authorities and businesses on 26 July to reiterate the government’s ambition to see one million homes built in the region by 2050.

Malthouse said “detailed analysis” would soon begin to identify sites for new settlements in the corridor and invited councils to submit “ambitious proposals” for growth.

Local authorities were asked to respond with proposals by 14 September. “I want to see swift action”, the housing minister said.

The letter prompted concerns among some councils that local plans could be undermined and that the proposals could see new settlements imposed on the area from central government.

It has since emerged that Rachel Fisher, deputy director for regeneration and infrastructure at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), wrote to councils in the days after the Malthouse letter in an attempt to defuse councils’ concerns.

In an email, understood to have been sent to planning chiefs in the region, Fisher apologised for “any confusion” caused by the letter and for “the delay in sending out this further information”.

“We are aware of concerns which have been expressed about the timings involved”, she said.

Fisher advised that the call for new settlement proposals by 14 September “does not reflect a hard deadline” and said the government sees the invitation as “a very first step in what is likely to be a long term process”.

She acknowledged that developing full proposals before the deadline would be “logistically impossible” and “would not provide the kind of robust proposals which will need to be tested both legally and democratically in the future”.

Instead, she said MHCLG was looking for a “hand in the air” from interested authorities “with an understanding that this does not commit either side to anything concrete at this stage”.

A spokesman for MHCLG said: “We are committed to building the homes our country needs and our Oxfordshire housing deal is an important part of this.

“It is important we plan the homes and transport people need together. We are working closely with other government departments to maximise the potential of the Oxford to Cambridge corridor.”

It adds

other councils in the area have raised similar concerns to the two Oxfordshire authorities that the local planning process is being undermined. Jason Longhurst, director of regeneration at Central Bedfordshire Council and chairman of the Central Corridor Group of local authorities in the area, said the call for new settlement proposals “seems slightly out of sync with wanting to have a plan-led approach”. Opening up a separate process to identify sites appears to presume that “somewhere out there someone has forgotten to mention that there is a significant growth opportunity,” he said. Councils are willing to plan for growth, said Longhurst, as soon as they receive clarity from the government over the infrastructure to be provided. “We’re still waiting for a commitment to the expressway and the East-West rail,” he said. “You commit to that and tell us the route; we’ll tell you the potential added value that will bring.”

The route of the new expressway was due to be announced this summer by Highways England but the government agency is now aiming to confirm details later in the year. Both Murphy and

Cox in their letters said any new settlement proposals would need to be informed by the details of that decision and expressed surprise at the government’s call for expressions of interest before the preferred road corridor was known.

Rob Hopwood, planning partner at consultancy Bidwells and their lead on the Oxford-Cambridge arc, said: “How can local authorities identify their local plan allocations then suddenly at the end of this year, there might be a corridor announcement? If that’s different to what their local plans are proposing, they would need to change them.”

Another uncertainty raised by Murphy and Cox in their letters was whether the one million new homes by 2050 “includes the existing ambitious planned housing growth in the area”. A statement from MHCLG to Planning confirmed that the target includes those homes that are “already planned”.

Martin Tugwell, programme director at England’s Economic Heartland, a partnership between councils and local enterprise partnerships in the area, said the ministerial letter was looking beyond current local plan timescales. He said: “There’s clearly a pressure on local authorities to move forward with their local plans and it’s important those local plans get delivered as quickly as possible. The Kit Malthouse letter is looking towards the longer term. The most appropriate way forward for meeting future growth pressures is still something to be debated by partners across the corridor. It might be that new settlements are the way forward but there may also be alternative ways.”

However, central government needed to take a lead on planning for the area, Tugwell added. England’s Economic Heartland has called for a National Policy Statement setting out a strategic plan for the area. “Whilst we share the ambition to recognise the economic potential of the corridor, this requires a long-term commitment from the government,” Tugwell said.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said the call for new settlement proposals represents a step too far, too soon. It believes the case has still not been made for the level of growth proposed by the National Infrastructure Commission and backed by ministers. Paul Miner, head of strategic plans and devolution at CPRE, says: “We don’t really get the sense at the moment that the government has looked seriously at the environmental implications of building one million new houses and a major new road.”

Meanwhile, the many different parties involved in the region’s development and the uncertainty over the timing of both the expressway announcement and the call for new settlements, has led some to wonder who is in charge. Last December, the MHCLG announced that Iain Stewart, the MP for Milton Keynes South, would become the new “champion for the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor” though he would not have any decision-making powers. In February, the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge Corridor All-Party Parliamentary Group, which Stewart chairs, was launched. However, Stewart has since called for a minister or cabinet member to lead on plans for the growth arc. 

Hopwood said: “Of the three or four big issues, leadership keeps coming up. At the top level, we’re not getting anybody.” MHCLG, the Department for Transport, and the Treasury all have a stake in the process, said Hopwood, but it’s not clear who is leading the project. “We need someone to take control.”

Three to Five Garden Cities in CaMKox Corridor – where might they go – will local authorities support them? @iainastewart @kitmalthouse

Sajid Javid in Sunday times March this year

Up to five new garden towns are to be approved for the corridor between Oxford and Cambridge under government plans to launch a “housing revolution” this week.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Sajid Javid, the housing secretary, said he would give the go-ahead to at least two new towns in the next few weeks and could push for up to three more. The decision comes after ministers agreed to fund a high-speed rail line and an “expressway” for cars between the two leading university towns.

“Along that corridor there’s an opportunity to build at least four or five garden towns and villages with thousands of homes,” Javid said. The first step will be to establish “new town development corporations” for the chosen sites,…

Government will also soon begin detailed analysis to explore potential locations for new settlements across the corridor, their alignment with transport infrastructure, and any environmental considerations.
Therefore, we now invite local authorities from across the corridor to bring forward ambitious proposals for transformational housing growth,
Iain Stewart Mp on Twitter to me
HMG has not finalised its response to the NIC report. The commitment was to do so by the time of the 2018 Autumn budget.

John Cotton commenting on this blog

Whilst I think the letter is more about smoking out the pockets of political support across the corridor (rather than the likely more widespread political opposition), the opportunity for strong local leadership is now. That leadership should mean a grown-up conversation with HMG, with pragmatism on housing numbers, timescales, locations and the cash to front-fund all of the necessary infrastructure – including the backlog.

The stasis on the corridor, followed by a letter that might have been diplomatically worded seems to be due to the changes in planning minister and SoS.  Brokenshire seems to far more localist than his predecessor – appointing a former CE of Localis (moe localist the Greg Clarke) as his SPAD and soft pedelling on the local plan naughty step just as it was beginning to work.   Opponents to the corridor know think they have numbers in Whitehall who will lend a sympathetic ear, and perhaps are gambling on cuts to infrastructure projects under a Boris premiership – although he would create the worst of all possible worlds – high housing growth with no infrastructure.

With possible disagreement in government the theory that this letter is a smoking out exercise is a good one – after all it has predictably smoked out South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse – the Science Vale or the Say No Vale?

Reading some blogs a rather mixed up theory has taken route, the government want to build a motorway – through Otmoor which will cause riots in Middle England  (no this isnt the preferred route but none wants to shout this from the rooftops as Oxford CCs leader and South Oxfordshire fiercely oppose it] and along this will be 1 million homes in a motorway side sprawl.  The year it has taken the government to even make a preliminary announcement on the next steps to choosing major growth locations has only heightened this.

The gap between the ‘1 million’ by 2050 and whats in current local plans is well over 700,000.  Where might this go?  When you use the self defined definition of the region (the England Economic Heartland LEP boundary, latest OAN figures and a realistic need from ‘land constrained areas’ (i.e. London), the figure rises to over 1.5 million).  Lets also remember the reason the Treasury are interested isn’t primarily houses or transport, it productivity and economic growth, the potential to spur the growth of 3 of the four fastest growing cities in England.

Where might you put an extra 700,000 homes in 5 places the corridor?  Some clues

First they would would have to be net new – so not the existing Garden Towns of Bicester and Didcot.

Second the size – Homes England at a conference has said 50-100,000 homes – so these alone would only reach 500,000 max, there would have to be 200,000+ at urban extensions elsewhere in the corridor.   Its better to think in terms of population, that’s up to 226,000 population, Milton Keynes design size was originally 250,000.

So where could you put 5 MKs?  Remember Javid wanted to make an early announcement also this is trying to be the opposite of sprawl that swallows up every village, South Cambridgeshire style, but concentrating it in locations easy to commute to Cambridge, Oxford and Milton Keynes.

The final clue is that Javid wanted to make an early announcement – so it means places already studied, likely along the Oxford Cambridge – East-West Rail line.  Which rules out Northamptonshire and the Bedford Northampton Corridor – which the NIC completely ignored in their report.  And with the chaos in Northamptonshire it looks likley they will miss out on investment again, even though restoring the Northampton-Bedford Line as a BRT route and reopening Roade station on the WCML (possible after capacity is freed up by HS2) could support over 200,000 new houses alone.

Putting these clues together there are precisely 5 locations where you could build Garden Cities.

Lets Name them east to West.

  • Bassingbourne Barracks -Royston
  • Henlow Barracks, Biggleswade, Sandy
  • Forest of Marston Vale
  • Calvert
  • Grove

In a series of future posts ill look in detail at each of these, but you can check my own work here or in the NIC background studies by 5th Studio.

in terms of likely political support

  • Bassingbourne Barracks -Royston

On South Cambs North Herts border,  likely support from Cambridge City and Cambridgeshire CC and Combined authority, likely opposition South Cambridgeshire.  North Herts might surprise you with support – strong local lobby that New Garden City rather than accretion is the answer.

  • Henlow Barracks, Biggleswade, Sandy

Central Beds – they want to grow this area but the scale will frighten them.  They want to rush their local plan to avoid the OAN uplift by the NPPF. They may respond with something but the scale is uncertain.

  • Forest of Marston Vale

Already smaller scale in local plans.  Split Central Beds and Bedford (please put it all in Bedford following a boundary review), Bedford always more positive, Central Beds have warmed to it, they scuppered Garden town bids before but now some growth is in local plan.

  • Calvert – Aylesbury Vale

In the Pickles era they were very anti growth, withdrawing their local plan, reducing numbers, opposing growth of Milton Keynes etc.  Now they are overwhelmed by discoordinated extension proposals and no masterplan.   I suspect they will bite.

  • Grove

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse, no way, the local plans propose the minimum they can get away with here. Oxfordshire CC likley to support, especially if the four tacking of the GWR in the short missing gap to Swindon needed to support this was on the table.

There are of course other locations – but they depend on infrastructure which hasn’t been studied yet – such as restoring the Wycombe line in Oxfordshire east of Cowley, or further parts of the Great Central Railway.  This will depend on a major study.

So my best guess is that we will get positive responses from all of the above from one authority or another.  Though in a few places not necessarily all the districts.

The government will then announce this as ‘general support’ from the ‘majority’ of local stakeholder and local authorities.  It will then announce a major study on these locations and potential alternatives under a partnership board.

It all depends on whether Kit Malthouse has the lightness of touch to deliver the engagement and diplomacy – rather than be seen as barging in with both feet and panicking after a Daily Express Campaign and sensationalist TV of ‘riots’ on Otmoor.

CaMKox Corridor Champion @iainastewart – We still havn’t finalised our Next Steps – Wait for Budget

A partially useful tweet from Iain Stewart Mp in response to my last post on the corridor

HMG has not finalised its response to the NIC report. The commitment was to do so by the time of the 2018 Autumn budget. My appointment and work has been to help prepare for that. Re the Sunday a Times article…it was inaccurate…you should not believe everything in the press!

Except I didnt mention any press article?  I presume he means George Monbiot’s Guardian piece which kicked off the politics, nothing appearing headline wise outside paywall on corridor in the Times or Sunday times for several months.

He responded

Replying to @AndrewLainton

I haven’t seen a Guardian article…although I don’t read the paper. My firm view is that this vision needs proper long-term co-ordination between Government depts/agencies and between central and local Government. I have made many speeches on this. Eg built-environment-networking.com/iain-stewart-c…


Needless to say the [Sunday Times} article was nonsense, as is the Guardian one. The Corridor vision is much more than new housing and transport links.

Boles – Brexit and Screwing up Planning and Housing will be the reasons if we lose Election


Mr Boles, who has long advocated planning reform and more house building, also said that the Conservative government had so “completely failed to get to grips with the housing crisis” it may cost the party the next general election. “[If we lose the next election] the two biggest reasons will be one, that we will have basically screwed up Brexit and the second will be that we’ve failed on housing. Those will be the two hammer blows that will push us into opposition.”


Government is So Serious About CaMKOx it put its vision on the Dark Web @kitmalthouse @iainastewart @GeorgeMonbiot

Many of us were waiting so long for the announcement of the government vision/next steps strategy for CAMKOX  we wondered if we would be waiting forever.  After all Sajid Javid announced in March that there would be plan announced for 2-5 New Towns within ‘4-6 weeks’ ,

In fact the government had already published a vision (of sorts) for the corridor here.  though as someone who has followed very blink of news on the corridor I was surprised that has already on 22nd Nov on Budget day.    I was surprised when the always 100% thorough Simon Ricketts published a link to it.    indeed I was so surprised I used the web analytics service MoxZPRO which showed that there are no links outside the .gov domain.  There were no links in the red book. 

It is in the same typeface as the red book and looks for the world like a chapter which was edited out – not a good decision.

It was published in a list of budget day documents out of 71 published deep in page 2.  No links on The MHLG website.  Nobody noticed no body linked to it.  There was again a link in the deeply obscure document in December announcing Iain Stewart MP as corridor champion.  He published a link on his own website but presumably as it has so few visitors it did not show up on any analytics service,  so I did not know he was the champion. He needs better PR,

No local authority or LEP desperate for news on the corridor as they are published a link on their website.

So what do the document say?  Much of it just summarized the NIC report and repeated the red book and budget speech but it did say a couple of important things.

The government is also inviting local partners within the corridor to work with it on agreeing a more detailed, ambitious corridor-wide vision in 2018.

Ah right so that was the letter written then to all the local authorities which the government forgot to send instead sending it 9 months later when the oncoming minister realised that his predecessors had forgotten to send it.

The government is..inviting local partners within the corridor to work with it on agreeing a more detailed, ambitious. corridor-wide vision in 2018. The government invites local partners to work with it through 2018 to agree a long term vision for the whole corridor up to 2050. This will set out how jobs, homes and infrastructure across the corridor will be planned together to benefit existing and new residents, while balancing economic growth with the protection and enhancement of the area’s historic and environmental assets.
The government believes this long-term vision should be underpinned by a series of joint statutory plans across the corridor which would deliver the vision through the planning system.
As a first step, Oxfordshire has agreed, through its housing deal with government, to bring forward for adoption a joint statutory plan across the whole county. The government urges other areas in the corridor to propose how they will work together with a view to adopting a small number of joint statutory plans at the earliest opportunity to ensure that planning for business and housing is coordinated with the delivery of strategic and local infrastructure.

By what date to commission what studies?  Was there a deadline?  The lack of communication here is evidenced by the total lack of agreement on joint planning in Bucks, North Herts, Beds, and the bunfight between authorities and the combined authority Mayor in Cambridgeshire, as well as two Oxfordshire Districts vetoing every major additional growth proposal in Oxofordshire which involves them on a sustainable site- in their backyard.

As a starting point, the government expects authorities and delivery bodies in the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor to use existing mechanisms of land value capture,and the potential new mechanisms announced at Autumn Budget 2017 (subject to\consultation) to capture rising land values from the additional public investment in a fair way,having regard to the announcements made at Budget 2017.

Same as everywhere else.

As the NIC has recommended, the government will also consider opportunities for one or more major new settlements in the corridor. It will do so by bringing together public and privatecapital to build new locally-proposed garden towns, using appropriate delivery vehicles such as development corporations. The government will work closely with the Homes and Communities Agency and local partners to explore such opportunities further.

What work – who is expected to make the first move? How are regional studies and local initiatives work together?  Who is expected to take the lead.  If it is a central -local partnership what partnership, what announcements?  Nothing heard for 9 months.

This area is already amongst the most economically successful in the UK. The government wants to build on that success for the benefit of the whole of the nation. It is therefore right that the private sector should play a significant part in delivering this vision, through both direct investment and the reinvestment of land value increases created by strategic infrastructure, for the benefit of local communities. This represents an important announcement intended to have a wide-ranging effect on the delivery of the proposals, and those in the land market should take note.

The most important part,  Don’t inflate land values as you should expect to pay strategic infrastructure.  But because of Brexit we don’t have time to introduce a formal system so please read this buried document linked to by no one and take note.  Look what impact it has had on land values and viability studies!

There are various definitions for the dark web, such as no links form the web and no links from outside your own website.  This certainly fits into the latter.  No communications strategy, no press release, no website, no letter.

The government offered no money for studies and expected every one else to do the work.  No leadership, no direction, no money. Iain Stewart MP seems to have not lifted a finger, im sure he has had a lot of lunches but that is not communication.

As such the whole lackadaisical approach to the most important growth corridor in Europe has imperiled the whole project.  It now has months to finalise the vision and has not commissioned ANY new technical studies or signed ANY partnership agreement or MOU with the affected LEPS, Counties or LPAs.  It expects the corridor to sprout like magic.

Its just like the Thames Gateway, a project only recently back on track after 20 years of failure, a supposed growth area where the local plans actually met only a fraction on need effectively an anti-growth area (just like CaMKOx) no regional transport study or strategy (just like CaMKOx) a byzantine governance structure (just like CaMKOx)  expecting it all to be funded by land value capture without a simple mechanism to do so (just like CaMKOx), no communication strategy (just like CaMKOx) , no PMO (just like CaMKOx) , no clear milestones or targets (just like CaMKOx) no dedicated budget (just like CaMKOx), no institutional memory or learning (just like CaMKOx), failure leading to recriminations and risk a bored short attention span prime minister will just scrap it as a pet project (just like CaMKOx).

The MHCLG select committee needs to get involved.



How @kitmalthouse might have fixed his hot mess of a letter on Cam-MK-OX

It confused everyone – in what order are things happening – locally led or national/regional study led?  To be fair hes picking up on a predecessor who did nothing for six months on this issue, and got promoted for it.

Dear all,
The Government believes that the corridor between Cambridge and Oxford has the potential to be a globally significant economy. A combination of innovation, entrepreneurship and highly-skilled workers has established it as one of the most productive and fastest growing areas in the UK. It also includes some of the least affordable housing markets in the country.
The National Infrastructure Commission has stated that realising its full potential as a world class economic hub would require delivery of up to 1 million new homes here by 2050. The Government welcomes this ambition. Last year, we set out a significant programme of investment in infrastructure, housing and business to support it.
This will require a step change in housing provision from the figures in current and emerging local plans which cover a 15 year horizon, and emerging joint strategic plans, which are looking to determine housing and growth allocations on a 20 year horizon.  As new settlements will take many years to build it is reasonable to look over a 30-35 year horizon.  The figure of 1 million homes to 2050 in the NIC report was based on information available at the time and housing market areas/travel to work areas derived from the 2001 census.  It included an element of housing to meet the needs of land constrained areas such as London.  We will keep this figure under review according to the latest information and the new standard national method for determining objectively assessed need, to be set out in the autumn based on the latest population and household projections and the governments policy of meeting a target of 300,000 net new dwellings by the mid 2020s.  We will also keep under review the likely needs from land constrained areas in the light of the findings of the London Plan review EIP panel.  This letter has been sent to the authorities included in the housing calculations in the NIC report, however in the light of the emergent consensus on the  geography of the corridor through the forming of the England’s Economic Heartland Economic Alliance, and the discussion on a two unitary model in Northamptonshire I am also writing to these authorities on their growth plans.  The housing in these wider areas will be additional to the 1 million figure.  Realising the ambition of 1 million homes here will require additional action from central and local partners. It is important that local, strategic and national bodies work in step and in parallel. This action includes Government’s planning reforms, our national programmes such as the Housing Infrastructure Fund, the forthcoming national prospectus inviting proposals for locally-led new garden communities, and further work to understand the potential for housing growth across the corridor.
Government will also soon begin detailed analysis to explore potential locations for new settlements across the corridor, their alignment with transport infrastructure, and any environmental considerations.  We want this work to be carried out with maximum local input and involvement and so are looking for the initial views from local authorities and partnerships on where the best candidates for strategic growth locations should be.  It may be appropriate to set down options, with initial assessment of the main pros and cons of each.  We appreciate these assessments will be preliminary and may be affected by final choices on projects such as the Oxford-Cambridge expressway.  Such initial assessments will be prospectuses for areas for future study on feasibility and deliverability, and like areas proposed within the framework of the Garden Communities prospectus the announcements of government assistance does not in any way pre-judge the planning process, nor fetter the Secretary of State’s or local discretion in relation to statutory decisions such as the designation of a new town.
Therefore, we now invite local authorities from across the corridor to bring forward ambitious [proposals] prospectuses for transformational housing growth, including new settlements. [Proposals] Prospectuses should be led by the relevant local authority and/or joint partnership, working closely with partners including Local Enterprise Partnerships, universities and colleges, infrastructure providers and transport agencies and operators, landowners, businesses, and others. Where appropriate, these should build on any housing deal discussions that are already underway.
They should focus on:
 Economic rationale: how new settlements will support job creation and economic
growth; any propositions involving existing or new anchor institutions or industries.
 Transport and other infrastructure: connections to existing and planned transport networks; potential for new transport schemes; requirements for other forms of infrastructure to support housing growth (healthcare, utilities, education, etc); key challenges (inc. funding and planning).
 Geography and land: understanding potential locations; availability of land including ownership and physical and legal constraints; factoring environmental considerations
into any proposals.
 Delivery: proposed scale and pace of delivery; deliverability and commercial viability,
 Partnerships: how local authorities will work together and with other key partners; the role of central government.
 Funding: how proposals could be funded, including the role of private finance, and the potential for land value capture
Along with colleagues across government and corridor champion Iain Stewart MP, I want to see swift action. I know this feeling is shared across the corridor. Therefore, I would welcome your proposals by Friday [14 September] 9th October to avoid double submissions for the Garden Communities prospectus. Following this, I would be keen to discuss the most ambitious and deliverable proposals, and how the governments strategic analysis and emerging joint strategic plans to be aligned.  We expect early progress on joint strategic arrangements in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire.  The risk is that unless such arrangements are rapidly concluded they could lose out on future funding.  My officials will be in touch to discuss this further and stand ready to support you throughout this process.
I am also [sending this letter to the leaders of all local authorities in the Cambridge-Milton Keynes OXford corridor, and] copying [it] this letter to partners including Local Enterprise Partnerships, England’s Economic Heartland, universities and colleges across the corridor.


South Oxfordshire Respond to Kit Malthouse on Cam_MK_Ox Corridor


Dear Rt. Hon. Kit Malthouse MP,
RE: Ambitious Housing Growth in the OxCam Corridor
Thank you for your letter dated 26 July and the continued dialogue regarding the
proposed expressway.
I would welcome your clarification for the justification of the one million new homes proposed across the corridor and what, if any, geographical distribution is expected. I wish also to clarify whether the one million new homes by 2050 includes the existing  ambitious planned growth, particularly for the Oxfordshire authorities, who have signed up to a Housing and Growth Deal (2018).
Further to your invitation, we are currently undertaking a review of strategic housing sites for the South Oxfordshire Local Plan with a timetable that seeks to submit the plan for examination in March 2019. Officers have commenced work on the necessary review of sites which could be capable of providing a strategic allocation.
This timetable accords with the milestones set out in the Oxfordshire Housing and
Growth Deal agreed between the partner Oxfordshire authorities and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to accelerate the delivery of housing and help ensure we get “early” deliverability.
The timescales we are working to are focussed on preparing a Publication version of
the South Oxfordshire Local Plan and this does not appear to align with the expected
announcement of the OxCam corridor, now delayed to Autumn 2018. Until the route
of the expressway is known, I am surprised that your invitation for the identification of potential new settlements has been raised.

We are keen to continue working with colleagues to deliver the growth deal and look forward to preparing the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan for Oxfordshire – an avenue through which new settlements might be more appropriately explored.

I would like to seek an assurance from you that Government would not impose new
settlements and I would welcome further opportunities for engagement in the process and for further consultation on the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford Corridor.

The 100,000 figure in theOxfordshire Growth deal is just OAN from teh SHAM, the 1 million figure comes from the Savills Report commissioned by the NIC, have South Oxfordshire read it? It includes some London overspill in addition using a back of teh envelope method.  Its already out of date given MHLGs standard OAn method- which produces wierd results in Cambridge and Oxford due to the dodgy changes in assumptions on migration and attributable population change.  Expect the 1 million figure to need upgrading once the ministry retabulate the population and household projections to the 300,000/annum national figure.

What is needed here is clarification on early delivery through growth deals, and extra delivery through Garden Communities etc, which in part is linked to the corridor final route, though for S Oxon this is just an excuse as they know broadly what will be announced as does everybody in Oxfordshire.   That extra delivery may well be more than 1 million, as teh corridor was never clearly defined as Savills used 20 year old TTWAs.  Onc ethe London Plan EiP clarifies what is a realistic and not a unicorn housing delivery rate for London the number required I expect to rise considerably above 1 million.  The risk is that stalling tactics may just produce a later government imposed number well over 1 million.  This should be seen as a test setting up South Oxfordshire to fail – look we gave them an opportunity to plan for major growth- they failed so they cant be trusted to locally lead.  They are falling straight into the trap set.

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