Cherwell Local Plan Issues


15th March 2016

CPRE argues that proposals to deal with Oxford’s unmet need are premature. Plus Local Green Space – have you registered yours? And should Bicester have a Green Belt?

How should Cherwell deal with Oxford’s unmet need? (Local Plan Part 1 Review)

Last year, Cherwell District Council adopted its Local Plan Part 1, which detailed the strategic sites needed to accommodate 22,800 new houses between 2011-2031.

However, it has recently been consulting on a Review of the Plan, asking how it should approach dealing with 3,500 more houses that are part of Oxford’s ‘unmet’ need.

CPRE does not accept this figure as a reasonable working assumption, as it is based on hypothetical assumptions about future jobs growth.

We also believe that Oxford City should be reviewing its own Local Plan as a matter of urgency, and doing more to bring forward sites for housing rather than yet more employment.

However, if Cherwell is forced to accommodate these figures, the housing should be distributed according to the spatial strategy already agreed in the Cherwell Local Plan. There are no exceptional circumstances to justify building over the Oxford Green Belt.

See our response in full below.


Cherwell’s Local Plan Part 2 – other policies and smaller sites

Cherwell has also been consulting on its Local Plan Part 2 which will include more detailed policies on issues as varied as housing density , renewable energy and the review of the Green Belt at Kidlington.

CPRE’s full response is included below, but there are a couple of key issues to draw your attention to:


a) Local Green Spaces – your chance to protect your community green space!

If your community has a green area that is of particular importance, you can help protect it from development by registering it as a Local Green Space. But time is running out!

The Cherwell consultation asked local communities to register any Local Green Spaces that they feel meet the relevant criteria. CPRE is concerned that not enough publicity was given to this opportunity. If you have a green space that you think might qualify, we suggest you contact Cherwell District Council as soon as possible.

b) Bicester Green Belt

CPRE has urged the District Council to consider establishing a Bicester Green Belt, as part of the Bicester Garden Town proposals. This would be in keeping with the original garden town concept and help protect Bicester’s surrounding villages.