City targets possible sites in Green Belt for new housing

South Oxfordshire District Council leader Ann Ducker

South Oxfordshire District Council leader Ann Ducker

First published in News
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering North Oxford, Jericho and Summertown. Call me on 01865 425498

MOVES to earmark Green Belt sites around the outskirts of Oxford for new homes have been dismissed out of hand.

Oxford City Council has published a 70-page study detailing parts of the Green Belt it says could be built on without causing “unacceptable” harm.

But South Oxfordshire District Council, which has fought a long battle to prevent development south of Grenoble Road, says relaxing the Green Belt is unnecessary.

Leader Ann Ducker said: “This report is jumping the gun. A review of the Green Belt would be our absolute last resort. I am confident we can address our housing needs completely with no review needed.

“Oxford can say what it likes, but at the end of day the final decision will rest with a planning inspector when we present our [Local Plan].”

Oxford Mail:

Sites identified with district council areas

  •     North of Abingdon (Vale of White Horse)
  •     North-east and south-west of Yarnton (West Oxfordshire)
  •     North of Oxford (Cherwell)
  •     South of Kidlington (Cherwell)
  •     Wick/Bayswater Farms (South Oxfordshire)
  •     North and south of Wheatley (South Oxfordshire)
  •     South of Grenoble Road (South Oxfordshire)

The city council report singles out land in South Oxfordshire near Wick and Bayswater Farms, south of Grenoble Road and areas north and south of Wheatley – all outside its own planning jurisdiction.

The Oxfordshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) also rebuffed the study, with campaign manager Dr Helana Whall claiming the city council does “not understand what the purpose of the Green Belt is.”

It comes after Oxfordshire’s district councils were told in March that 100,000 more homes were needed in the county by 2031, by a jointly-commissioned Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA).

And in a first show of the report’s significance, Cherwell District Council last week had its Local Plan rejected by a Government planning inspector for not factoring the fresh figures into its strategy.

It has been ordered to redraw its plan and find sites for some 6,000 more homes, on top of the 16,000 it was planning to build.

Ms Ducker said SODC would respond to that decision by setting its target between that of the SHMA, up to 825 homes a year, and its previous rate of 547.

She added: “We will not ignore the SHMA figures. But we will examine closely how they were reached.”

SODC is also carrying out its own review of Oxford’s housing plan, to see if more houses can be built there than the city estimate.

It follows calls from city council leader Bob Price that the other districts would need to take on a surplus of 20,000 homes not included in Oxford’s current plan.

Mr Price said: “We are unlikely to be able to meet the housing need identified in the SHMA without a Green Belt review.”

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Comments (6)

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6:57am Fri 13 Jun 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

They need to get together and agree for Southfield Golf Course to close and a new Baldons/Grenoble Golf Course built out on the land South of Grenoble Road. The land would remain green, be landscaped - and probably look better than the current farmland.

Then get a few thousand new homes built on the former golf course - all within walking distance of Oxford's biggest employers - and probably more importantly within walking distance of some decent schools.
They need to get together and agree for Southfield Golf Course to close and a new Baldons/Grenoble Golf Course built out on the land South of Grenoble Road. The land would remain green, be landscaped - and probably look better than the current farmland. Then get a few thousand new homes built on the former golf course - all within walking distance of Oxford's biggest employers - and probably more importantly within walking distance of some decent schools. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 9

10:05am Fri 13 Jun 14

bart-on simpson says...

I like the comment from Andrew.

The Bayswater Farm/Wick Farm development is my concern - as it's that part of Barton next to South Oxfordshire, and there seems little planning coordination with the 885 homes about to happen on the west edge of Barton. Surely the road/school etc infrastructure could be combined.

Those buying those lovely new Barton apartments facing north to South Oxfordshire's fields need to be warned about what could happen on their outlook!
I like the comment from Andrew. The Bayswater Farm/Wick Farm development is my concern - as it's that part of Barton next to South Oxfordshire, and there seems little planning coordination with the 885 homes about to happen on the west edge of Barton. Surely the road/school etc infrastructure could be combined. Those buying those lovely new Barton apartments facing north to South Oxfordshire's fields need to be warned about what could happen on their outlook! bart-on simpson
  • Score: 3

11:47am Fri 13 Jun 14

icba1957 says...

And in the meantime there's some bid to make the greyhound stadium a "town green" or whatever.
Oxford City need to accept their responsibilities, and not try to tell other authorities what they should be doing.
And in the meantime there's some bid to make the greyhound stadium a "town green" or whatever. Oxford City need to accept their responsibilities, and not try to tell other authorities what they should be doing. icba1957
  • Score: 3

1:19pm Fri 13 Jun 14

TobyB1960 says...

If new homes are needed in Oxford City then it's no use building them in Abingdon or Kidlington. Oxford City council needs to take responsibility for it's own housing needs and stop pushing its own problems onto other towns. As previously mentioned there is plenty of green space within Oxford City boundary, just needs some leadership from the local council.
If new homes are needed in Oxford City then it's no use building them in Abingdon or Kidlington. Oxford City council needs to take responsibility for it's own housing needs and stop pushing its own problems onto other towns. As previously mentioned there is plenty of green space within Oxford City boundary, just needs some leadership from the local council. TobyB1960
  • Score: 2

3:24pm Fri 13 Jun 14

mytaxes says...

icba1957 wrote:
And in the meantime there's some bid to make the greyhound stadium a "town green" or whatever.
Oxford City need to accept their responsibilities, and not try to tell other authorities what they should be doing.
It is obvious that Oxford City Councillors/MP do not think there is a problem otherwise they would have let the developers build houses on the stadium. I wonder if it has anything to do with Labour voters?
[quote][p][bold]icba1957[/bold] wrote: And in the meantime there's some bid to make the greyhound stadium a "town green" or whatever. Oxford City need to accept their responsibilities, and not try to tell other authorities what they should be doing.[/p][/quote]It is obvious that Oxford City Councillors/MP do not think there is a problem otherwise they would have let the developers build houses on the stadium. I wonder if it has anything to do with Labour voters? mytaxes
  • Score: 0

10:08pm Mon 16 Jun 14

hot foot says...

why does the green belt extend eastwards beyond the M40 at junction 8a?Why not make the M40 the eastern green belt boundary between Bicester and Wheatley.Plenty of options for a balanced policy then!
why does the green belt extend eastwards beyond the M40 at junction 8a?Why not make the M40 the eastern green belt boundary between Bicester and Wheatley.Plenty of options for a balanced policy then! hot foot
  • Score: 0

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