This is not quite the same as an actual park



First published in Letters

As part of the Northern Gateway consultation, Oxford City Council gave an option of using the city-wide standard of at least 10 per cent of the site area that is developed for housing as public open space.

The alternative was provision for a greater proportion of the residential site to be open space (eg 15 per cent). As you would expect, a clear majority of respondents selected the larger proportion to be open space. How wonderful to have a council that offers more public open space. But on further examination of the Area Action Plan (AAP) it becomes clear why the council did this – and it’s far from wonderful.

The council’s Green Spaces Strategy aspires to all residents being within 750m of a medium sized park. To achieve this on Northern Gateway a medium sized park would need to be included on the site. But the AAP does not include plans for a medium sized park and it uses the additional five per cent of public open space to justify this decision. There is mention of “features associated with medium parks” – not quite the same as an actual park.

Similarly Northern Gateway is supposed to provide alternative recreation provision for dog-walking within the AAP boundary. This is to protect Port Meadow from the effects of the additional residents and their dogs. But the AAP doesn’t do this either. And again the additional 5 per cent of public open space is used to justify this decision.

With a development on the scale of Northern Gateway surely our council can make room for proper public open space in the form of at least one park?

I have great faith in the independent Planning Inspector who will examine the AAP, and I hope that the city council will be called to account on this particular issue.

And just a reminder that the online consultation is open until September 15.

Suzanne McIvor

Talbot Road



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11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

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Today’s letters

Campaign is in danger of losing its credibility

Oxford Mail: Nurse got me through some difficult times

11:00am Thursday 18th December 2014

If the University of Oxford were to bombard me with as many leaflets as the “Save Port Meadow Campaign” has, there would be an outcry in your columns.

Noise pollution has had a much bigger impact

Oxford Mail: Nurse got me through some difficult times

11:00am Thursday 18th December 2014

If the “Save Port Meadow” campaigners are really concerned about environmental impact, then they should now campaign vigorously to divert the A34. The continuous noise pollution from this road has a far bigger impact on the environment of the meadow,than the occasional view of the Castle Mill flats.

Councillors should hang their heads in shame

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Thursday 18th December 2014

“We are all in this together” is David Cameron’s clarion call. All except it appears our county councillors. Those who voted for the draconian cuts to save money and then voted to put up their own expenses should hang their greedy heads in shame.

Holiday home reasoning left me flabbergasted

Oxford Mail: Nurse got me through some difficult times

11:00am Thursday 18th December 2014

Oxford Land Investments should get a prize for their reason for proposing holiday houses on the Green Belt south of Cothill Pit nature reserve. They say they want to give people “not lucky enough to live in Oxford’s Green Belt a chance to visit it”. But why only 14 houses? Such a beautiful wildlife haven should have hundreds of houses. Otherwise people can only experience it by walking through it.


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