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Expressway madness - What the District Local Plans don't tell you...

Tuesday, 17 October 2017 12:52

CPRE Oxfordshire, August 2017 CPRE Oxfordshire, August 2017

The Local Plans for the Vale and South Oxfordshire are out for consultation - but they fail to acknowledge in any detail the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway and Growth Corridor.

In a Press Release issued today (see PDF below), CPRE calls on our local District Councillors and Officers 'to come clean' on what is being proposed for Oxfordshire's countryside.

Expressway madness -

What the District Local Plans don’t tell you…

The Local Plans for South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse are out for consultation, giving the public a last chance to comment on how many houses should be built in the area over the next 15 years, and where they should go. But what the Plans fail to acknowledge in any detail is the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway and Growth Corridor - by far the biggest planning proposal the Districts are likely to face in the time scale of the Plans, potentially slicing through open countryside and imposing another 100,000 houses on Oxfordshire.

Although it is mentioned in passing in the Plans, the potential magnitude of the proposed Expressway Growth Corridor is not indicated, nor its potential impact on the Oxford Green Belt, the environment or local communities. (See below CPRE map of proposed routes).

If the Expressway goes ahead, the National Infrastructure Commission says it will facilitate 1 million new houses. For Oxfordshire, this would imply 100,000 houses (two more cities the size of Oxford), some 10,000 houses per mile. The 100,000 houses appear to be over and above the targets proposed in the Local Plans, yet the public are not being consulted on whether or not they are needed or desirable for a county that boasts being the most rural in the South East.

Helen Marshall, Director of CPRE Oxfordshire said:

“Councillors and officers are well aware of this proposal, but there is a general conspiracy of silence throughout Oxfordshire – the opposite of Open Government – to keep the public in the dark about what is being planned to destroy their environment and amenity.

“We know there are lots of conversations going on behind closed doors, but we fear that by the time the public are consulted it will all be a done deal.

“It’s vitally important that people understand now what a huge impact such a route could have across a vast swathe of Oxfordshire, not just in terms of the road but the massive development that it is intended to create alongside.

“It is time for the District Councils to come clean on what is being proposed.”

Helen Marshall concluded:

“CPRE is unconvinced of the need for, and is opposed to the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway. As recent CPRE research has shown, new roads have consistently failed to deliver the promised economic benefits or to reduce congestion. 

“We understand that the NIC will be issuing a final report in the late autumn, so we need action now whilst there is still time.”

CPRE Oxfordshire is calling for the District Councils to use the Local Plans to set out the magnitude of the proposed Expressway and associated growth, and the approach they will take to considering the issue.

CPRE Oxfordshire also remains concerned about the current level of housing proposed in the Local Plans, which is vastly above the level of need recently suggested by Government, and which will have a negative impact on our local environment without addressing affordable housing issues. 

ENDS

See: our website for further information on CPRE Oxfordshire’s views on the South Oxfordshire Local Plan and the Vale of White Horse Local Plan Part 2

 

CPRE Oxfordshire, 18 October

Downloads:

© CPRE Oxfordshire, 20 High Street, Watlington, Oxfordshire OX49 5PY - phone 01491 612079 - email campaign@cpreoxon.org.uk 

CPRE Oxfordshire is a registered charity, number 1093081, and company limited by guarantee, registered in England, number 04443278

Registered Office: CPRE Oxfordshire, 20 High Street, Watlington, Oxfordshire OX49 5PY