It has been revealed this week, that LUC - a planning, impact assessment, landscape design and ecology consultancy, has been employed by Oxfordshire County Council to do an 'assessment' of the Oxford Green Belt.
In a Press Release issued on Wednesday 20 May, LUC stated:
"LUC has been appointed by Oxfordshire County Council (on behalf of the Oxfordshire Local Authorities) to undertake an assessment of the Green Belt within the County.
The findings of our assessment will inform the consideration of future long-term growth options for the county and form part of the evidence base for Local Plan preparation. The study will draw on LUC's previous work on the landscape character and historic setting of Oxford, including key views of the spires from surrounding landmarks."
CPRE is currently trying to find out more about the Green Belt review. For example, when was the decision made to commission it and how much will it cost? What are the terms of reference for this review and the time-table for the work? And most importantly, will there be any public consultation?
CPRE Oxfordshire fears that the only reason for commissioning such a review is to remove land from the Green Belt (if not, why bother?).
The essence of the Oxford Green Belt is its permanence and a recent CPRE survey shows that a massive majority of the public puts maintaining the Green Belt above development in it, especially housing.
We believe that to review the Green Belt for the explicit purpose of development is not only environmental vandalism, but clearly contrary to the public interest.
CPRE will be posting more information about the review on our website as it emerges.
What can you do?
- Write to your local councillor asking for more information about the review.
- Write to the local press asking for greater transparency around the review process.
See the April 2015 CPRE Green Belt Survey.
CPRE Oxfordshire, 21 May 2015