Cherwell Local Plan – help us push for strong policies on renewables, housing & Green Belt

Land north of Moors Fields, Kidlington

28th September 2023

UPDATE 3rd November: Please see our response at foot of page. questions to follow soon.

Local Plans set out development priorities for the area for the next 20 years and have a key influence on how our countryside will look and feel in the future.

You can find all the consultation info and how you responded on the CDC website here.

This is what we asked you to do:

A 5 minute response?

If you have just a few minutes, why not email your views to:

Here’s a few pointers from us, but definitely better if you can put it in your own words….

  1. We need a clear brownfield first approach to Renewable Energy – the Local Plan is a vital opportunity to set out a spatial strategy for renewable energy, focusing on brownfield/rooftops first. But the policy as currently written gives no priority to these locations. With the right planning and infrastructure, all Oxfordshire’s solar energy needs could be met on rooftops or brownfield sites. This would avoid loss of vital countryside that is required to meet other needs, including food production, nature recovery, health and well-being and climate mitigation.
  1. The housing targets are exaggerated – the evidence behind the figures has been widely criticised by CPRE, Need not Greed Oxfordshire and even other Oxfordshire local authorities. CDC has failed to respond and is continuing to propose housing numbers well above the Government’s agreed housing methodology. CDC also intends to continue accepting the overspill of housing from Oxford City. Altogether, it pushes up the housing figures from 14,840 to 25,860, an increase of almost 75%. This puts pressure on our countryside and green spaces, without prioritising the need for genuinely affordable social housing.
  1. The proposed housing allocation in the Green Belt at Kidlington should be removed – the point about Green Belt is that it is open and permanent. The last Cherwell Local Plan made significant inroads into the Green Belt and it is unconscionable that boundaries should already be under further review. In particular, there can be no justification for the proposed housing allocation at land North of the Moors, Kidlington, given the Plan’s very low housing density ambitions, lack of windfall allowance, the over-exaggeration of the housing figures and the importance of protecting the Green Belt.
  1. The low numbers of Local Green Spaces identified suggest that the system is not working well and that more support needs to be given to communities to help bring these forward.
  1. Proposed policy on employment land is significantly weaker than the existing Local Plan policy and should be revisited.

Our full is below. If you have any questions we’d love to hear from you. E: