YES says Cllr Richard Webber, Lib Dem opposition leader on Vale of White Horse District Council

MY POSITION is that building a Garden City in Oxfordshire is something that needs to be seriously looked at.

We are bursting at the seams in the county’s villages and this is likely to go on and on because the Local Plan [a council blueprint for where development should go] will not be in place for a year.

It would take the pressure off Grove, Wantage, Kingston Bagpuize and all the places in my patch – which has to put up with a lot.

You could start with a clean slate with a Garden City. There are all kinds of good logical reasons for doing it.

One thing is where would it go? We have this particular piece of land. It is under pressure from applications – Thames Water applied to build a reservoir and there was an application for an airport. In my view something is going to happen to that land.

Where I am sitting, a Garden City is the least worst option by miles. It is certainly a good idea to explore.

The first thing is the housing issue. We need to find more places for housing.

The east area of the Vale is particularly crowded at the moment. With such rapid growth it is very difficult to make it sustainable when we are literally going up by 30 or 40 per cent in the space of a year.

We have to find somewhere to build houses.

We ought to be brave enough to offer this site to build 30,000 to 40,000 homes to build a small functioning town.

You start from scratch, you get the buildings built to a high standard for much cheaper. You can build them in a sustainable way – with solar panels for example.

The local area is already coping with lots of homes. But they are not necessarily in the right place and a lot of villages are saying that.

I cannot think of anything better as a solution.

It is something that works.

I believe there are jolly good reasons for having a garden city.

Milton Keynes is a new town and people are beginning to realise that aspects of Milton Keynes work really well – their transport system, with its electric self-drive vehicles is being looked at by the rest of the country.

But you can only do that in a brand new town. New places can take new road layouts.



NO says Bob Spencer, East Hanney Parish Council chairman

As far as we are concerned, we moved into this village about 40 years ago and it was a village.

With all the development that is going on on the east side of the district on the A338 we will no longer live in a village.

There is a big flooding issue with the development going on at the moment.

Where are these people going to work? Where are they going to go to school? The Hanney School at the moment is full. The doctors lists are full round here. All these things need to be considered. I cannot really support a Garden City.

Between 8am and 9am the A338 going in to Oxford is just a car park. You just cannot get out of Hanney – you take your life in your hands.

If there is an accident on the A34 it is just stop-start all the way.

We can’t have a Garden City – not without a lot of infrastructure.

And the powers that be won’t spend the money on infrastructure until it is built.

Are these houses needed?

We did a survey in the village in March last year to see what the housing need was. We had a need for seven units. We have now met that need. We don’t need any houses round here as far as we are concerned. Oxfordshire will end up as a concrete block.

The other thing is that although they are building all these houses, there is no provision for the elderly. There are no apartments or bungalows.

I cannot speak for the other parish councillors but personally I would not want a Garden City.