CPRE condemns ‘The Great Oxfordshire Housing Stitch-up’ – and calls for return to democratic planning

Hulton Park

21st September 2016

The Oxfordshire Growth Board this week announced numbers and locations for the allocation of Oxford’s unmet housing need around the Districts. CPRE has condemned the process as fundamentally undemocratic.

The Oxfordshire Growth Board, without any public consultation or pre-warning at all, announced on Monday numbers and locations for the allocation of Oxford’s unmet housing need around the Districts. It includes sites at Begbroke, Kidlington, Old Headington, Grenoble Road, Abingdon, Botley, Cumnor, Eynsham and elsewhere.

In a Press Release issued today (see below), CPRE Oxfordshire has condemned the Growth Board’s plans as ‘The Great Oxfordshire Housing Stitch-up’.

CPRE condemns this process as fundamentally undemocratic, completely undermining the Local Plan process, and calls for a return to a proper County Structure Plan.

A total of 14,850 further houses are to be spread around the county, beyond those already in the individual Districts Local Plans. The proposed apportionment is as follows: Cherwell – 4,440, Oxford – 550, South – 4,950, Vale – 2,220 and West – 2,750. These figures are derived from a ‘Spatial Options Assessment‘ which identifies allegedly suitable sites for housing in each District.

Helen Marshall, Director, CPRE Oxfordshire said: “This information was published quietly on a website with those members of the public who might have spotted it given just 24 hours to register questions ahead of it being signed off at a meeting of the Oxfordshire Growth Board, which 99% of Oxfordshire residents will never have heard of.

“Although the Growth Board says final decisions will be left to Local Plans, it is clear that the Districts will have about as much room for manoeuvre as a rat in a trap. How can a Council, whose Leader has signed this off at the Growth Board, then speak out against inclusion of one of these sites in a Local Plan? This is a great Oxfordshire housing stitch-up.”

The plans will be discussed at the Growth Board Meeting on Monday, 26 September.

See the full Press Release below.


CPRE Oxfordshire, 21 September