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The fight continues – our countryside needs us, and we need you!

Thursday, 28 November 2019 12:26

Please will you help us continue to: • Challenge the ‘growth at all costs’ agenda • Speak up for Oxfordshire’s countryside & influence the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 • Push for brownfield first?

Speaking up for Oxfordshire’s countryside

This year, CPRE Oxfordshire has set out its stall very clearly with local decision-makers: we want Oxfordshire’s rural character to be at the heart of plans for the future development of our County.
With your support, we have been able to engage in conversations at all levels, backed up by our manifesto document A Better Vision for Oxfordshire
And we believe the message is starting to get through:
• The Leader of the County Council has described our Vision as ‘a good basis’ for the Oxfordshire 2050 Plan.
• The Oxfordshire Growth Board is undergoing a review, which we believe will lead to the environment being much more central to its activities.
• Responses to the opening public consultation on the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 strongly reflected CPRE’s message:
‘Many respondents suggested that the Oxfordshire Plan’s vision should recognise the importance of Oxfordshire’s rural areas, their communities, economies, character and landscapes, including the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.’
‘It was suggested that economic needs should be balanced with ensuring social benefits and environmental protection/enhancement. It was suggested that the vision should aim to restrain growth in Oxfordshire and to facilitate a more ‘natural’ level of change.’
Extracts from Introducing the Oxfordshire Plan – Consultation Report June 2019 (see: www.oxfordshireplan.org)

It takes enormous time and resources to monitor, respond to and influence these organisations and policies – we need your help to keep making a difference.
The Oxfordshire Plan 2050, being drawn up by our local authorities, will set the development framework for the County for the next generation, so it’s vital that we get it right.

The timetable for the Plan has been put back a year, with the final Draft now to be ready by March 2021. We have supported this delay, provided it gives the opportunity for genuine public engagement. This extra time must be used effectively to conduct a more realistic assessment of Oxfordshire’s development needs and the County’s capacity to absorb them.

Please will you support our continuing work to ensure our Better Vision for Oxfordshire is reflected in the Oxfordshire Plan 2050?

Brownfield first – Oxford sites should be looked at before sacrificing our greenfields & Green Belt.

Local plans are now coming to fruition in our Vale of White Horse and Cherwell districts, both of which plan to make substantial allocations of greenfield and Green Belt sites to meet housing need from Oxford.

But Oxford’s actual need, and its capacity to absorb new housing, has yet to be properly tested. CPRE believes the City could avoid off-loading development on to its surrounding countryside if it prioritised sites for housing rather than employment and built at a density appropriate for city living.
Oxford City’s Local Plan is finally set to be examined by planning inspectors at the end of this year. CPRE Oxfordshire will be at the hearings, speaking up for the City’s surrounding countryside, vital to the health and well-being of its residents.

Please will you help support the work of our volunteers and staff in preparing for and attending these hearings?
As you can tell, it is busy times! With so much going on, both negative and positive, we continue to need your support as much as ever to fight for the future of Oxfordshire’s countryside.

To donate please visit our JustGiving page.

With very grateful thanks.
Helen Marshall Director

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