CPRE Oxfordshire: Campaigning for our Rural County


Oxfordshire benefits from a strong economy, high quality of life and remains the most rural county in the South East. Future development needs to balance the County’s economic growth with protecting the County’s rural character and environment.

The Challenges Facing Oxfordshire

The Growth Arc
The Government has endorsed the National Infrastructure Commission recommendation that the five counties forming the ‘Oxford Cambridge Arc’ should be targeted for exponential growth. In Oxfordshire’s cases this is identified as over 200,000 houses on top of the 100,000 in current Local Plans. CPRE considers that growth on anything like this scale would be incompatible with preserving the rural nature of Oxfordshire.

New road and rail links will provide the infrastructure for this proposed growth. East West Rail is intended to facilitate commuting between settlements in the Growth Arc. CPRE is concerned that new South-North rail links will encourage migration from London, pricing local people out of houses and reducing social cohesion, changing the county’s character in another way.

A new Oxford-Cambridge Expressway, a motorway in all but name, will act as an outer M25. CPRE Oxfordshire opposes the Expressway and the scale of development it is intended to facilitate. Should an Expressway nevertheless be imposed it should minimise environmental harm, use existing roads where possible and avoid entirely new roads being driven through the Oxford Green Belt, AONBs or the open countryside.

The Oxfordshire Plan

The Plan provides an opportunity to shape the future of Oxfordshire. It is being jointly developed by our six Local Councils and will guide future housing, employment and infrastructure in the county.

Oxfordshire is set to grow at five times the national rate; doubling the Oxfordshire population.

Standing up for your countryside

We work locally in Oxfordshire, and through our national office, to stand up for the countryside: to protect it from the threats it faces, and to positively shape its future.

CPRE has been standing up for the Oxfordshire countryside for more than 80 years. In that time, we’ve seen some remarkable successes. We were instrumental in creating Oxford’s Green Belt, helping to preserve the city’s unique character and prevent urban sprawl. And we’ve influenced countless planning decisions that have helped preserved the special character of the Oxfordshire countryside.

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