Didcot to become Oxfordshire’s second Garden Town


10th December 2015

The Housing and Planning minister, Brandon Lewis MP announced this week that Didcot is to become Greater Didcot Garden Town. He said this will help with the delivery of infrastructure, 15,000 houses and 20,000 high-tech jobs.

In principle, CPRE welcomes the intention to plan comprehensively for jobs and housing that are already planned for in local plans at Didcot, which may lead to a higher standard of housing, plus of course money for much-needed infrastructure,particularly if it relieves growth pressures on Oxford and the Oxford Green Belt and prevents the coalescence of Didcot with surrounding villages.

We also strongly support the re-development of brown field land to preserve open countryside around the town as far as possible.

Although we continue to be opposed to the inflated housing targets that South Oxfordshire and the Vale District Councils have been obliged to plan for, we do see development at Didcot as an opportunity to create an attractive new garden town environment for new residents and workers.

We appreciate this will create need for new and improved infrastructure and will look to the overall development plan to ensure that nearby villages are fully protected from through traffic and inappropriate development.  Perhaps this is even a chance to think about a Didcot Green Belt?

However, at present, the Greater Didcot Garden Town concept is just that – a concept, not the final article. The ‘Expression of Interest in a Greater Didcot Garden Town‘ (see below) has been put together by SODC, Vale of White Horse, Oxfordshire County Council and OxLEP in order to secure central Government support. A new master plan still has to be developed. 

The details are still very sketchy, and we are a long way off knowing exactly what the Didcot Garden Town will actually look like.

If the experience of Bicester is anything to go by, we may be in for a long wait on anything more specific coming forward!



CPRE Oxfordshire, 10 December.