CPRE’s initial reaction to South Oxfordshire’s Local Plan

Hulton Park

12th October 2017

Responding to the publication of South Oxfordshire’s Local Plan, CPRE outlines its initial concerns and recommendations.

Following the publication of South Oxfordshire’s Local Plan (2011 – 2033) – Final Publication Version, CPRE provides its initial concerns and recommendations.

See below for the full version of this document.

Note the consultation deadline has been extended to 5pm on Thursday 30 November!


Overall comments:

1. Oxford’s unmet need is unsound.
There is no evidence that any houses are needed to meet Oxford’s unmet need at all, much less the arbitrary 3,750, and it is unsound for the Plan to contain them.

2. It is unsound to plan for a surplus.
The Plan allocates land for the provision of 1,500 houses over and above the figures from the Oxfordshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), which are already overstated. Over-allocation of land does not mean developers will build more houses – it just allows them to cherry-pick the ‘best’ (often greenfield) sites.

3. The SHMA itself is now proven unsound, as CPRE had always claimed.
The Government’s new proposal for calculated housing need, if accepted, would give a need figure for the District 3,000 houses lower than the SHMA-based total in the Plan – making the much higher SHMA totals unsound.

4. It is neither sound, nor positive, to plan without a target density to make best use of land and provide more affordable housing.
Land should be used as sparingly as possible to preserve the rural environment. The District already has a large stock of wasteful low density executive houses – the crying need is to balance the whole housing stock with lower cost, smaller houses, at higher densities, maximising use of expensive land.

5. Taking land from the Green Belt is unjustified.
The Green Belt removals are unsound as there are no exceptional circumstances to justify them.

6. The Chalgrove development is inappropriate and potentially undeliverable within the timescale of the Plan.
The proposed development at Chalgrove airfield will swamp the existing village of Chalgrove and neighbouring villages.

7. ‘Not mentioning the Expressway’ itself makes the Plan unsound.
Although it is mentioned in the Plan, the potential magnitude of the proposed Oxford – Cambridge Expressway Growth Corridor is not indicated, nor that the South Oxfordshire Green Belt seems to be the County Council’s preferred target area.


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Find out how you can respond to South Oxfordshire’ Local Plan consultation.


CPRE Oxfordshire, 12 October