Labour leader confirms city could be in line for housing expansion

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband

First published in News
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Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Health reporter, also covering Kidlington. Call me on 01865 425271

LABOUR leader Ed Miliband yesterday confirmed Oxford would be considered for controversial housing expansion under new laws if it wins the 2015 General Election.

He said Labour-run Oxford City Council is one of four councils signed up to make use of its “Right to Grow” policy aimed at resolving disputes between neighbouring councils over house building.

For example, the city has called for 4,000 homes south of Grenoble Road, Greater Leys, an area covered by Tory-run South Oxfordshire District Council, which refuses to support the plans.

Labour wants the independent Planning Inspectorate to “arbitrate” between councils’ housing plans and then oversee a public consultation on whether development should go ahead.

Speaking in Stevenage – one of the four with Oxford, Luton and York – Mr Miliband said the Government had done “next to nothing” to increase house building to help people get on the property ladder.

He said councils “cannot be allowed to frustrate continually the efforts of other councils to get homes built”.

Welcoming the announcement, deputy city council leader Ed Turner said the Grenoble Road Green Belt expansion would cut down on commuting into the city and stop people being priced out.

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But South Oxfordshire leader Ann Ducker said: “First of all, they have to get elected and does he really think this is a vote winner? I don’t think so.”

“(Grenoble Road) is part of the Green Belt and that was designated years ago to safeguard Oxford.”

Comments (3)

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8:59am Tue 17 Dec 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

If you want to "cut down on (car?) commuting into the city - then it would be better to enhance public transport infrastructure in Oxfordshire first.

Then, perhaps, build new 10,000 home villages on these public transport infrastructure routes.

Should the 4000 home "Greater Baldon" estate be built, I suspect that it'll be quickly populated by people who realise that it's only 30 minutes to the less car-hostile Reading (compared to over an hour on the bus into Central Oxford). Or only one hour to Marylebone (via Haddenham & Thame Parkway) or a similar time to Paddington (via Didcot Parkway).
If you want to "cut down on (car?) commuting into the city - then it would be better to enhance public transport infrastructure in Oxfordshire first. Then, perhaps, build new 10,000 home villages on these public transport infrastructure routes. Should the 4000 home "Greater Baldon" estate be built, I suspect that it'll be quickly populated by people who realise that it's only 30 minutes to the less car-hostile Reading (compared to over an hour on the bus into Central Oxford). Or only one hour to Marylebone (via Haddenham & Thame Parkway) or a similar time to Paddington (via Didcot Parkway). Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -14

9:21am Tue 17 Dec 13

mytaxes says...

Pie in the sky after doing next to nothing for 13 years.
Pie in the sky after doing next to nothing for 13 years. mytaxes
  • Score: -97

12:38pm Tue 17 Dec 13

King Joke says...

The key is to build this stuff along existing corridors rather than in clumps between them. The half-hourly bus route to Reading could easily run commercially every fifteen minutes if there were houses lining its route. It's much easier to serve ribbon development than blotch development like Greater Leys.
The key is to build this stuff along existing corridors rather than in clumps between them. The half-hourly bus route to Reading could easily run commercially every fifteen minutes if there were houses lining its route. It's much easier to serve ribbon development than blotch development like Greater Leys. King Joke
  • Score: 6

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