I WOULD like to reassure Mr Bruce Ross-Smith (April 11) that neither I personally, nor CPRE as a whole, lack compassion for those struggling in poor housing conditions.

If it were genuinely true that only building over the Green Belt would solve this issue, then it would be a necessary sacrifice. However, that is simply not the case.

The housing figures currently proposed “enough to increase every settlement in the county by a third in 17 years” are based on notional economic growth plans that have not been consulted on and which are intended to result in significant migration into the area.

This is unlikely to help existing residents and indeed may make matters worse.

So-called ‘affordable’ housing may come in at less than the market rate but is still likely to be well out of reach of those most in need.

Oxfordshire’s proximity to London also means that the majority of any new housing is very likely to be snapped up by commuters to the capital.

So we are now at serious risk of sacrificing our Green Belt and many other green field sites, but the fundamental problem of genuinely affordable homes for local people will still remain.

The Green Belt is valued and appreciated by a vast number of people, both within and around Oxford, and also plays an important role in health and well-being.

It is for the sake of these people that CPRE continues to stand up for it.


Director CPRE

Oxfordshire London Road Wheatley