CPRE Calls on Newly Lib-Dem led Oxfordshire Local Authorities to Scrap Local Plans and Growth Deal

Oxford Mail

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has urged the South Oxfordshire]– and Vale of White Horse – to scrap controversial housing plans.

Oxfordshire branch has leapt on the Lib Dems’ dramatic victories at last week’s local elections and called on them to ‘take the plans off the table for a rethink’.

Both councils were previously Tory-led before a dramatic turnaround at the election.

And now CPRE has appealed to new councillors to reassess the controversial Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal and proposed growth across the county.

All of Oxfordshire’s councils agreed to pass the £215m Growth Deal in early 2018.

Part of the deal was that the district councils had to submit finished Local Plans for housing based on Government-backed housing targets.

The plans could involve development on the Green Beltaround Oxford, most notably in South Oxfordshire.

Six of that council’s seven strategic sites for thousands of new homes would be built on the Green Belt if it is approved by a planning inspector.

But new councillors could withdraw the plan – despite the Government explicitly saying under the terms of the Growth Deal that it had to be submitted for assessment this year.

The county’s councils have also agreed to look at future development in Oxfordshire ahead of 2050 – with the possibility of hundreds of thousands of extra houses being built.

Helen Marshall, CPRE Oxfordshire’s director, said: “It’s time to set a more appropriate level of development, in line with natural growth and migration, not arbitrary targets.

“Then we can concentrate on looking after our wonderful landscape and supporting local communities, which are actually critical to economic success.”

 

Oxford Times

THE new Liberal Democrat leaders of two Oxfordshire councils have been urged to scrap controversial housing plans for the county.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Oxfordshire branch has leapt on the Lib Dems’ dramatic victories at last week’s local elections and called on them to ‘take the plans off the table for a rethink’.

The party thrashed the Conservatives to take control Vale of White Horse District Council on Thursday, and in South Oxfordshire looks set to lead a coalition with independents and Greens.

Both councils were previously Tory-led; now, just 24 of 74 councillors on South and Vale were members before Thursday.

The CPRE has appealed to the new councillors to reassess the controversial Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal and proposed growth across the county.

All of Oxfordshire’s councils agreed to pass the £215m Growth Deal in early 2018.

 

Part of the deal was that the district councils had to submit finished Local Plans for housing based on Government-backed housing targets.

The plans could involve development on the Green Belt around Oxford, most notably in South Oxfordshire.

Six of that council’s seven strategic sites for thousands of new homes would be built on the Green Belt if it is approved by a planning inspector.

But new councillors could withdraw the plan – despite the Government explicitly saying under the terms of the Growth Deal that it had to be submitted for assessment this year.

The county’s councils have also agreed to look at future development in Oxfordshire ahead of 2050 – with the possibility of hundreds of thousands of extra houses being built.

Environmental campaigners and residents have attacked the housing plans for years – now the new Lib Dem leaders are being challenged to defy the government-backed targets.

“Then we can concentrate on looking after our wonderful landscape and supporting our local communities, which are actually critical to our economic success.”

The local plan figures are only around 100 /annum units less than the standard method with 2014 based hh formation, the difference being the employment plus element, so there is absolutely no advantage on withdrawing the plan and having to resubmit under the New NPPF, what is worse they will require memorandums of understanding.

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