Public Inquiry needed for Strategic Economic Plan
22nd May 2014
Our open letter to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg asks for a Public Inquiry into the draft Oxfordshire Strategic Economic Plan, before it is is approved by Government.
Dear Mr Clegg
RE: Public Inquiry needed for Oxfordshire Strategic Economic Plan
CPRE Oxfordshire asks for a Public Inquiry into the Oxfordshire Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), before it is given Government approval.
CPRE understands that a public consultation was originally proposed, but was abandoned due to time pressures. We do not believe this is acceptable democratic practice given that the Plan will lead to targets for growth that will determine the nature and scale of development to be provided in the County over the next 20 years.
We believe that the draft SEP is based on an economic forecast and a housing target forecast that has not been rigorously scrutinised. The current government revoked the South East Plan in favour of localism. However the South East Plan was prepared with extensive public consultation and had an independent Public Inquiry and an Environment Assessment. This is not happening now despite a major step change in the amount and rate of development being proposed.
The development of the draft SEP has been undertaken by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, which is not democratically accountable. It is therefore even more important that there is an opportunity for full public consultation on the Plan it has produced.
We believe that all Oxfordshire residents deserve a say in the vision being established for the county’s future. Do you agree?
If so, please could you tell us when the Public Inquiry on the draft Oxfordshire Strategic Economic Plan will take place?
CPRE Oxfordshire, 20 May
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