Cherwell Local Plan proposes nearly 4,000 homes in Green Belt

Hulton Park

20th June 2017

Cherwell District Council

Cherwell’s Local Plan Review proposes building 4,400 additional houses in the district, with 3,990 in the Green Belt.

Cherwell’s Local Plan Review draft submission document, which plans for 4,400 additional houses in the district to meet Oxford’s unmet need, was approved unanimously at a meeting of the Executive on Monday 19 June.

The majority of the new houses will be in North Oxford, and around Kidlington, Begbroke and Yarnton.

CPRE wrote to members of the Cherwell Executive ahead of the meetting on 19 June, calling on them to reject plans to build on the Green Belt and to reconsider the unrealistic housing targets for the district (see below).


Local Plan Draft Submission:

The Council proposes the following allocations in its Draft Submission, all – apart from Woodstock – in the Green Belt.

There is also a proposal to relocate the North Oxford golf course, create green spaces and a proposal for a new rail station west of Kidlington and near the Yarnton/Begbroke allocations.

North Oxford:
Policy PR6a – Land East of Oxford Road 650
Policy PR6b – Land West of Oxford Road 530
Policy PR6c – Land at Frieze Farm (reserved site for replacement Golf Course)

Policy PR7a – Land South East of Kidlington 230
Policy PR7b – Land at Stratfield Farm 100

Policy PR8 – Land East of the A44 1,950

Policy PR9 – Land West of Yarnton 530

Policy PR10 – Land South East of Woodstock 410

Total 4,400


CPRE’s initial reaction: 

Responding to the news, Helen Marshall, Director of CPRE Oxfordshire said: 

The loss of Green Belt land is inexcusable. 

Building in the Green Belt is not a matter of choice for councils, but a last resort, to be undertaken only if there is no alternative and where there are ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Once gone the Green Belt can never be replaced; the public knows it is wrong to carve it up piecemeal as Cherwell intend.

Short-term housing need does not and should not trump permanence of Green Belt protection, which is an environmental resource for future generations.”

Cherwell’s plans threaten to destroy the ‘Kidlington Gap’ between Kidlington and North Oxford and damage the rural nature of the villages north of the City.

A vast urban sprawl north of the Oxford will also erode the quality of the City that makes it so attractive to live and work.

Cherwell says the plans are part of an agreement to ease housing shortage in Oxford, saying the homes need to be close to the City.

Yet Oxford Council, which will be consulting on their Local Plan in the summer, is planning to build yet more commercial properties, rather than housing on available land within the City.


What next?

A public consultation on Cherwell’s Local Plan Review draft submission document will open on Monday 17 July and run for six weeks.

CPRE will be looking closely at the submission document and submitting a consultation response.

Details of how to respond to the consultation will be available here shortly.


CPRE Oxfordshire, 20 June