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Nice Words - Now Let's Have The Action

Thursday, 30 July 2020 10:38

CPRE Cherwell welcomes the intentions of the District Council in the draft Local Plan and will support its ambitions to carry out those concerning our countryside, our villages and our environment.

The Countryside

The plan stresses the importance of protecting ‘valued landsacpes’ and ‘areas of tranquillity’ and the need to identify areas ‘where development would be inappropriate’. CPRE welcomes these statements, as well as the Council’s suggestion that it ‘might protect those areas which are relatively undisturbed by noise and are valued for their recreational and amenity value’. The plan gives examples of Otmoor and the Ironstone Downs. We agree that these and other fine landscapes should be protected.

The Villages

CPRE welcomes the Council’s admission that some recent planning decisions have been controversial and that house builders might be encouraged ‘to do things differently in the future’. Many recent developments have been both ugly and in the wrong place. The Council must close the loopholes that allow developers to get consent for house numbers far in excess of those envisaged in the current local plan.

The Environment and Biodiversity

Cherwell District has declared a Climate Change Emergency. We welcome that. It also stresses the need to promote biodiversity and the natural environment. We welcome that too. But the measures taken so far - and those envisaged for the future - are inadequate for the purpose. ‘Sustainability’ means more than putting swift boxes in gigantic new warehouses. The reduction of carbon emission needs far more than planting a modest number of trees.

Too often in the past Cherwell District Council has claimed to promote pro-environmental policies which it has then failed to carry out - most notoriously in its huge and unjustifiable invasions of the Green Belt. Let us make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Words in defence of the countryside are good in themselves. But in this period so crucial for the future of the planet, action is what we need.

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“Planning for Cherwell to 2040 - A Community Involvement Paper”, is available to view on the Cherwell District Council website. Consultation opens on Friday 31 July and will close on Monday 14 September. 

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