SOS: Urgent call for funds - let's stop the map from looking like this !

KDW is raising funds for legal representation at the final Public Hearing to decide whether Cherwell's Local Plan will be approved by government

 

Dear friends,

We wish you all a successful and prosperous New Year.

Our long battle to Stop Oxford's Sprawl is entering the final, critical stage. The Planning Inspector will decide if Cherwell's Local Plan is sound during a four day public hearing early in February. From our experience at the preliminary one day hearing we think legal representation is crucial to make our voices heard.

 

We are writing to ask for donations toward this. Your contribution will help us make the strongest possible defence of the Green Belt around Kidlington. We know this is not the best time of year to ask for donations but time is short and needs must. If the Plan is approved the Green Belt will be lost forever. Kidlington, Begbroke, Yarnton, Gosford and Water Eaton will eventually coalesce and be subsumed by Oxford City into one massive urban sprawl.

 

We hope that 2019 will be the year we see this threat soundly rejected.

Linda Ward, Alan Lodwick and Kevin Bezant for Kidlington Development Watch


How to donate

The community responded magnificently when we asked for funds to raise public awareness of the Plan during 2017. Any amount you can spare now will help build our legal fighting fund and be most gratefully received.

 

The best way to donate is via BACS into the dedicated account managed by CDWA.

Please make payment to Lloyds a/c no. 64042060, sort code 30-98-97 quoting KDW as reference.

 

Cheques should be made payable to Cherwell Development Watch Alliance

Our operating address for post or drop off is: 29 Webbs Way, Kidlington OX5 2EW

 

We have also set up a crowdfunding page for anyone who prefers to donate by Paypal or card online. However be aware that this will incur a handling fee of around 5%.

Why we need legal support

We are acting as part of the  Cherwell Development Watch Alliance - CDWA. The Alliance represents all the action groups and communities affected by Cherwell's proposals.

At the preliminary hearing KDW and other members of CDWA made a strong and well informed case for rejecting the proposals. However, developers, landowners and Cherwell were all represented by QCs who based their case largely on legal precedents. While there is arguably, no precedent for the taking so much Green Belt and allowing the coalescence of villages, the Inspector nevertheless decided to proceed to the full Hearing.

CDWA have decided to share resources to engage expert legal advice to help us prepare for the Examination in Public and to represent us at the key sessions. Our barrister's brief will cover the overarching case against Oxford City's supposed unmet housing need AND the key strategic concerns affecting the chosen sites. 
This will be costly so we need your help to raise funds urgently.

We have not taken this decision lightly. We know there is a strong case for  rejecting the Councils plan. Legal support could make the difference between the success or failure of our long campaign to Stop Oxford's Sprawl.

The Alliance has a substantial amount pledged already and we are confident of reaching our initial minimum target. The more we raise the more we will achieve.

Background

We have continued to work on tackling Cherwell’s local plan, meeting weekly with the Cherwell Development Watch Alliance (CDWA). This is the association representing all five North Oxfordshire protest groups. We have been gathering information and making many useful contacts. We have been in contact with the Housing Minister. We have also been making made representations about the Oxford City Council Local Plan which has such a bearing on Cherwell.

To remind you of Cherwell District Council’s plan to accept Oxford City’s ‘unmet housing needs’:

  • 1950 new houses between Begbroke and Yarnton east of the A44;
  • 435 houses in Yarnton to the west of the A44;
  • The closing of Sandy Lane;
  • Over 2000 new houses in Woodstock, Cutteslowe, Kidlington and on the North Oxford Golf Course
  • 100's of houses at Woodstock toward the airport
  • Total disregard of the impact already made on traffic and infrastructure of recent and ongoing development in Long Hanborough, Witney, Woodstock and Langford Lane;
  • Ignoring the new evidence from Oxford Citys updated Strategic Housing Market Assessment  (SHMA Oct 2018) which finds the true objective housing need is ~750 new homes per annum not the 1400 used to justify the ‘unmet need’ apportionment of 4,400 homes to Cherwell.
  • An absurd circular argument that the original 'working assumption' of Oxford unmet housing need' cannot be changed since other councils are working to it;