An Oxford MP has said it would be a “missed opportunity” if people were not consulted on whether they felt more affordable and social housing should be provided by the Oxford to Cambridge Arc.

In a letter to the Government minister responsible for the Arc, Oxford East MP Annaliese Dodds wrote: “I have little doubt that the consultation would reveal very strong support for the provision of such genuinely affordable and social housing, and the view that responsibility for providing this should be shared across the Arc.”

In February the Government announced plans to create a Spatial Framework for the ‘Oxford to Cambridge Arc’.

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It aims to boost the economic output of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire to £200billion a year by 2050.

The strategy is akin to the Northern Powerhouse.

Ms Dodds added: “The Conservatives’ plans for the ‘Oxford to Cambridge Arc’ involve thousands of new homes being built. However, so far, there has been no clear public commitment to ensure that these homes include genuinely affordable, environmentally friendly and social housing.

”After meeting with the Government Minister responsible for the Arc, I’m pressing him to ensure that his government actually engages with local people about their views on the need for genuinely affordable and environmentally sustainable housing, including social housing.”

Campaign groups within Oxfordshire have attacked the plans.

The Oxfordshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England had concerns about an Arc Growth Body the Government plans to create to oversee the project, which it said could be unaccountable and did not seem to have climate change as part of its brief.

Helen Marshall, director of CPRE Oxfordshire said: “We believe the proposals are out of touch, removing decision-making away from local people and our locally elected representatives.”

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And the No Expressway Group, which campaigned against building the now scrapped Oxford to Cambridge road link, also branded the plan undemocratic.

In a statement in February, the group said: “Not a single public meeting has taken place in five years, while councillors have been gagged with Non-Disclosure Agreements.

“Now we have more vague promises of public consultation, compressed into a few months, for a plan with no spatial detail nor any indication of the target levels of growth and development across the Arc.”

However, Susan Brown, the leader of Oxford City Council said: “The creation of a Spatial Framework should build confidence among communities across the Arc that development must deliver a net positive impact on the environment and that levelling up can be achieved for our more disadvantaged areas.”

The introduction to the plans for the Arc can be found at