Loss of greenfield across Oxfordshire


22nd October 2014

New housing policies are having a disastrous impact on Oxfordshire’s countryside.

A new report by CPRE Oxfordshire ‘Selling out: The impact of housing land supply requirements on Oxfordshire’s countryside’ (October 2014) shows that new housing policies are having a disastrous impact on our local countryside.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), published in March 2012, places an emphasis on the need to ‘boost significantly’ the supply of housing.

Paragraph 49 of the NPPF states that housing applications should be considered in the context of ‘the presumption in favour of sustainable development’ and that relevant policies for the supply of housing should not be considered up to date ‘if the local planning authority cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites’.

As a result, the five-year land supply has become the major factor in deciding planning applications.

Our report shows that in Oxfordshire in the past two years at least 800 houses on greenfield sites have been given planning permission at appeal when the local authority was not found to not have enough housing land supply to meet its requirements.

To stem the unrelenting tide of housing developments in our countryside, CPRE is calling on MPs to influence the Government to amend paragraph 49 of the NPPF so that there is not an automatic presumption in favour of granting planning permission where the local authority is unable to demonstrate a five-year land supply.

CPRE Oxfordshire, 22 October 2014