Oxford Local Plan 2036 – Inspectors’ report published

Hulton Park

19th May 2020

City aims to adopt Plan on June 8th.

Michael Tyce, CPRE Trustee:

“The Planning Inspectors may have agreed that the Oxford City Plan followed the Right Process but they were not empowered to determine whether it was Heading in the Right Direction.

As each lemming followed its leader off the cliff to certain doom, it was no doubt assured it was following the right process from the Lemming Planning Policy Framework but that didn’t make the outcome for the lemmings acceptable.

So is it with Oxford City Council. The Inspectorate may have found the Council were following the right methodology, looking left then right then left again, but the Council was heading in the wrong direction. They passed their driving test but then deliberately drove over the cliff.

Oxford City has no “need” of another 28,000 houses for its own people, whose well being it claims is its first priority. The 28,000 houses in the plan – increasing the size of the City by over 50% – result directly from the Growth Deal which – as its name implies – was looking only for growth at all costs.

Following that route means losing swathes of Green Belt open space inside the City to development and even vaster swathes of Green Belt around the City’s edge to urban sprawl – the very thing the Green Belt was intended to prevent.

Although none of us in the City or indeed the County has been asked if they agree with the vision of urbanisation and industrialisation in this most rural of Counties and exquisite of Cities a CPRE survey showed that 75% of us believe that the Green Belt should not be built on and 66% of us see the reckless housing development the City is pursuing, not as a benefit, but as the greatest threat.

CPRE’s policy is that the affordable housing that is required would be best achieved by building units at a size needed by local people at appropriate urban densities, not executive homes outside the city boundaries which will increase commuting and all the burdens that brings.

The City’s official motto is the truth is strong. The truth is this Plan is against the public interest. Let Councillors be strong enough to reject it when they meet on June 8th.”

Read the Inspectors’ Report on the Oxford City Council website here.