A pan-Oxfordshire survey commissioned by CPRE, on current attitudes to the Oxford Green Belt, reveals that 76% of Oxfordshire’s residents believe the Green Belt should remain open and undeveloped, with 66% seeing new housing development as the greatest threat.
Respondents were asked to bear in mind that some people say the Green Belt is preventing development in the best places, but still only 12% of respondents felt that development in the Green Belt should be permitted at all. Sixteen times as many people (48%) strongly felt the Green Belt should remain open and undeveloped than strongly felt (3%) that development should be accepted. Opinions were effectively the same by gender as well as by social class, and amongst both home owners and non-home owners.
This research is a ringing endorsement that the general public are supportive of retaining the Oxford Green Belt and shows that our Councils are acting against the informed wishes of their own electors when they persist in pressing for housing development in the Green Belt, whether it be on the valuable countryside South of Grenoble Road, North of Abingdon, or three new satellite towns near Abingdon, Kidlington and Wheatley.
Even non-home owners, whose interests our Councils claim to be acting on, oppose them. It is time now for our local Councils to accept that the overwhelming majority of us want the Green Belt to remain open, and particularly not used for new housing development.
The CPRE Green Belt survey is a wake-up call for all Councils with designs on Green Belt land.
We believe it is time for Council Leaders to abandon the proposed Oxford Green Belt Review and instead protect and enhance one of our County's most valuable natural assets.
See below for a copy of the survey report by Alpha Research Ltd, and for a copy of our Press Release, issued on 30 April.
CPRE Oxfordshire, 29 April