Oxfordshire OpenThought consultation


21st July 2020

CPRE Oxfordshire welcomes this new look approach to public engagement and the opportunity for the public to have their say on Oxfordshire’s future. 
However, this comes with a significant health-warning.

It is great to be asked about what development might look like and how it should be guided, but we also need a say in the first principles of how much growth is desirable in the first place.

Whilst Oxfordshire OpenThought is in progress, a growth needs assessment to set out the future growth levels for the county has already been commissioned behind the scenes. The terms of reference for this have not been made publicly available. We do know that the consultants working on it are the same as those behind the previous inflationary growth strategy. And it will certainly be influenced by the expansionist Local Industrial Strategy drawn up by the unelected Local Enterprise Partnership and signed off by Government without any public consultation.

So, we welcome the chance to say how important it is that such development as does come forward must include high quality, high density, affordable and zero carbon housing, supported by protection of and investment in our green spaces and countryside, backed by a proactive rural transport strategy and mindful of Oxfordshire’s rural character and heritage.

But we also say that local people deserve and demand a genuine say in the overall growth agenda that, in the breadth and scale of what is being threatened, would work to undermine all of the above.

There is little point working out which trees to plant in the forest if the lumberjacks are already sharpening their saws.

Download CPRE Oxfordshire’s response to the OpenThought Consultation below.

CPRE Oxfordshire – A Better Vision for Oxfordshire

CPRE Oxfordshire – A Better Vision for Oxfordshire film

Oxfordshire OpenThought – CPRE Oxon response July 2020