South Oxfordshire Local Plan set to radically alter District: CPRE Oxfordshire will not give up fight for communities and countryside


8th June 2020

Countryside campaigners CPRE Oxfordshire have vowed to do all they can to challenge development plans that will see 30,000 houses built in South Oxfordshire.

The draft South Oxfordshire Local Plan has been hugely controversial, with Government Minister Robert Jenrick stepping in to force the District Council to press ahead with it.  It will now go to examination by a Planning Inspector at a series of virtual public hearings starting in July.

Professor Richard Harding, Chairman, CPRE South Oxfordshire said: “We know this is a David and Goliath battle.  It is hard to see how we can have much impact when the Government Minister has already made it clear that his supposedly independent Inspector should find the Plan sound.  However, we will continue to make the argument at the hearings that the housing numbers are vastly in excess of our predicted population growth.   This means we are putting our countryside at risk, just when we know how vital it is for both climate change and for our health and well-being, especially given the impacts of Covid-19.”

CPRE Oxfordshire recently published a map showing that the combined impact of the various Oxfordshire Local Plans will be over 20,000 houses in the Oxford Green Belt, the equivalent of a new City a third of the size of Oxford.   The South Oxfordshire Plan would account for 11,400 of these, with the remaining 8,600 houses spread throughout the District, having a significant impact on transport infrastructure, services and facilities and affecting the quality of life of all local residents.