The Oxfordshire Growth Board has this week published a list of numbers and locations for the allocation of Oxford’s unmet housing need around the Districts.
There has been no public consultation or adequate notice for the public to respond before the Board meets next week to sign off the plan.
A total of 14,850 further houses are to be spread around the county, beyond those already in the individual Districts Local Plans. The proposed apportionment is as follows: Cherwell – 4,440, Oxford – 550, South – 4,950, Vale – 2,220 and West – 2,750. These figures are derived from a ‘Spatial Options Assessment‘ which identifies allegedly suitable sites for housing in each District.
In a Press Release issued today (see below) the Need not Greed Oxordshire coalition condemns the process as undemocratic, saying it severely undermines the Local Plan process.
While the Growth Board says that the final decision about where houses should go lies with District Councils in their Local Plans, we believe this is actually a fait accompli – Councils will not be able to reject the numbers and locations signed off by their Leaders who are the voting members of the Growth Board.
We have been here before – the SHMA was agreed behind closed doors by Council Leaders, tying the hands of Councillors, many of whom did not agree with the housing targets and going against the wishes of the public, the majority of whom do not want to see such a high level of growth in Oxfordshire.
NNGO is supporting the call made by CPRE Oxfordshire in a Press Release issued today (see below) for a return to a proper County Structure Plan, where the planned growth levels for our county are not ultilately determined by OxLEP – an unelected quango, but transparently, by a democratically accountable body.
The plans will be discussed at the Growth Board Meeting on Monday, 26 September.