Battle starts again for Grenoble Road


29th April 2016

Savills submits a Scoping Opinion for a 3,500 house development in the Green Belt south of Oxford.

Almost since the Oxford Green Belt was established, Oxford City Council has been trying to expand out over it, particularly on land it owns in the Grenoble Road area to the south of the City, which is under the jurisdiction of South Oxfordshire District Council.

At one point, the site was even allocated for development in the South East Plan until a successful legal challenge from CPRE Oxfordshire forced its withdrawal.

Now, the battle has started again.

On behalf of Magdalen College and Thames Water (and no doubt Oxford City Council in due course), Savills has submitted a Scoping Opinion for a 3,500 house development in the area, badged as ‘South Oxford Garden Neighbourhood’.  

Of course the recent Oxfordshire Green Belt Study found that all land within the Oxford Green Belt fulfilled at least one of the purposes of the Green Belt, and this area was rated high (very valuable) against the key function of protecting open countryside from urban sprawl and scored well on other criteria. CPRE Oxfordshire believes that a housing development at Grenoble Road would be an unjustifiable desecration of the permanence and openness of the Oxford Green Belt.

A Scoping Opinion is the first formal step in the planning application process and sets out the issues the applicant proposes to consider in an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

We believe that as it stands the proposed EIA would be fundamentally flawed. The Scoping Report fails to set out an appropriate methodology for assessing landscape and visual impacts and historic landscape character, and says it will not consider key issues such as waste disposal and geology.  


– Scoping Opinion request on the South Oxfordshire District Council website

– CPRE Oxfordshire’s response below.