Salt Cross Net Zero Ambition Crushed

artists impression of Salt Cross Garden Village

2nd August 2022

Image credit: Grosvenor

Salt Cross is a new ‘garden village’ being built at Eynsham in West Oxfordshire. Having fought against the development, the local community has subsequently worked extremely hard to try to ensure it is an exemplar of good development – including net zero commitments.

West Oxfordshire District Council, supported by strong public views, produced an innovative Area Action Plan addressing issues including affordable housing, natural capital, community spaces, jobs, transport, pedestrian and cycling routes, planting and protection of woodland.

Climate Change is an important element:

We will make sure that climate change is at the heart of every decision we make when developing the garden village. This means that every building, street and space will be designed with sustainability at the forefront of our thinking. 

We will design buildings fit for the future, making sure that the impact of Salt Cross on climate change is mitigated by achieving net zero-carbon development. We will do this  through 100% use of low and zero carbon energy and materials, with no reliance on fossil fuels. 

We will minimise the impact of waste and move towards zero waste wherever possible.

And yet, despite the government’s commitment to achieve a net zero economy by 2050, Planning Inspector’s have ruled the proposed Policy on Net Zero Carbon Development as unsound as it is ‘not consistent with national policy or justified’.

Salt Cross Garden Village is an admirable vision of development for Oxfordshire and across the country. Other Local Authorities, keen to take Climate Action, have been watching the plan’s progress with a view to implementing it in their own local plans. We wait for the Inspector’s report to offer some insight into why they have chosen to crush the net zero ambitions of this plan.

Visit the West Oxfordshire District Council website for more detail.