The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Oxford is surprised to see the statement by the leader of the city council, Bob Price, in the Oxford Mail (August 30) that a £12m funding bid for road improvements at Pear Tree/Northern Gateway was turned down by the Government because it was “not listed as a priority”.

This bid was submitted by the Oxfordshire Economic Partnership to fully fund an on-site link road, junction improvements and an expansion of the Pear Tree park and ride.

This statement by Mr Price contradicts what the council has written recently in key city council documents including the Northern Gateway Area Plan where it says on delivery of infrastructure: “The Local Economic Partnership has the opportunity to secure money from the Local Growth Funds from central government to invest in infrastructure in order to secure economic growth.

“These funds are distributed for priority projects identified in the Strategic Economic Plan.

“Northern Gateway is one of those priority projects and as such has been identified in the Local growth Fund bid for £12m to deliver advanced infrastructure.”

“This money will be used to deliver much of the significant highway infrastructure in advance of the planning application for the development project,” it adds.

CPRE urges the council to stop sending confused messages about the funding of essential road infrastructure at Pear Tree. The city’s Core Strategy inspector was very clear that the large scale of the development on the heavily congested Northern Gateway site meant that it could only go ahead if transport mitigation was in place in advance of the development.

Sietske Boeles

Chairman CPRE


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