LIS is More: CPRE Oxfordshire warns that undemocratic Local Industrial Strategy gives go ahead for MORE houses

Hulton Park

22nd July 2019

CPRE Oxfordshire is disappointed that a strategy conceived by an unelected and unaccountable quango has been signed off by Government.

The Oxfordshire Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) will influence the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 and could justify an uplift in future housing numbers through job creation and population increase.

Helen Marshall, Director of CPRE Oxfordshire says “We welcome a strategy that plans for a strong, healthy Oxfordshire economy however the Local Industrial Strategy demonstrates how completely back-to-front our planning system is. The LIS has specifically evaded the need for democratic process and environmental assessment. The Oxfordshire Plan 2050 will follow Local Plans predicated on Government’s national infrastructure vision, which is outside planning yet has massive planning implications.”

The starting point for economic growth should be the natural growth in Oxfordshire’s population for which employment might be needed, with the focus then on identifying the right jobs in the right place in order to reduce unsustainable commuting. This is the reverse of current proposals which seek to maximise jobs and then look at what might be needed to support them, including the inevitable increase in long-distance commuting and increases in population.

The priority should be to create employment that reflects our county’s needs and skills. Large-scale manufacturing and warehousing are not appropriate in a rural community. Oxfordshire’s specialist role as a seed bed for high tech development should be acknowledged and actively supported, but at the same time we should recognise that as companies grow it may well be appropriate for them to relocate to other parts of the country where employment needs are far more acute, allowing benefits of economic growth to be more widely dispersed and giving the opportunity for the space they leave to be used by new seed-bed companies.

A Better Vision for Oxfordshire: CPRE Oxfordshire has proposed an alternative vision for the future of Oxfordshire, making the County’s rural character the fundamental starting point from which decisions about the future development of the County should be made. Anyone living in Oxfordshire in 2050 should experience the rural character of Oxfordshire which exists today. Read the document and watch the film here.

Read the Government announcement here