Oxford City is currently consulting on the final version of its own Local Plan. The deadline to respond is 13th December and we urge everyone to object. We will send out more information about this by the end of November but if you have time to look at the plan now, details can be found at:
Cherwell’s plan for 4400 houses in the Green Belt around here is solely to meet Oxford’s supposed needs. However, we think that Oxford has both hugely overestimated its needs and not done enough to provide housing within the City. In particular, Oxford’s new plan:
However, Cherwell is claiming that Oxford’s need is an “exceptional circumstance” for building in the Green Belt, even though it knows that the supposed need is hugely exaggerated. This is clearly an absurd and circular argument.
We will publish details of how to respond to the City Council. Because of the formal nature of the consultation it will help to use phrases such as “not sound” , “not justified” and “not consistent with national policy”. We will provide suggestions about how to do this.
It seems that the City has not publicised the consultation well. Many people were not sent a notification when the plan opened for comment on 1st November. If you responded to Oxford’s previous consultation you should have received a personal notice. However we know of several people and organisations who haven’t been told. If you have not received an e-mail or letter from the City we suggest that you complain ASAP. After we reported the problem the Planning Office sent out an email notice on Friday 16th November - over two weeks into the six week consultation - yet not everyone in our group also have failed to receive it. We think the consultation should be extended to allow everyone affected by this more time to respond
You could simply send an e-mail to say. “I responded to Oxford Council’s ‘Preferred Options” consultation in August 2017 and have just been told that a new and final consultation began on November 1st. I am surprised that you didn’t notify me of this and understand that several other people have also not been told about it. I therefore request that you now notify everyone who commented previously and extend the consultation period to give people a fair chance to respond”.
You should send this or something in your own words to firstname.lastname@example.org
(& please copy KDW in)
The Inspector called a special one day hearing to consider the two fundamental issues in the plan namely, whether 4,400 houses was the right number and if so, are there ‘exceptional circumstances’ to locate them in the Green Belt.
Local action groups, Parish Councils and Woodstock's Major attended and all presented a strong case for pausing or abandoning the proposed revision to Cherwell's Local Plan.