Draft Master Plan threatens uncontrolled development in and around Kidlington
The Kidlington Master Plan aims to create a more attractive place to live in and improve quality of life. It accepts the desire to keep a separate identity and highlights how well the Green Belt worked to preserve a gorgeous open landscape setting. Yet it recommends Kidlington be forced to accept as many new homes as the property market can sell.
The plan is totally biased to enabling housing development despite accepting Kidlington is full. It proposes work to ‘rationalise’ car parks and recreational grounds, even targeting major local employment sites – the post, fire, ambulance and police stations. It dismisses the Green Belt as ‘not defensible’ despite its legal permanence. Reviews of landscape and local housing need are proposed to justify the ‘sequential release’ of land being promoted by developers. Impact on the environment and quality of local life will be massive. The shortage of affordable housing is driven by property market forces. Most Kidlington couples can just about afford to pay £260,000 to get on a housing ladder that starts at £350,000. Kidlington is cheaper than Oxford or London so external demand is insatiable. The Plan is nothing more than a charter to hand local control to property speculators.
Kidlington’s objections to a local Green Belt / housing need review were upheld by the Planning Inspector and removed from the Local Plan. Cherwell District Council must now give a firm policy commitment to keeping the Kidlington Green Belt intact. Kidlington’s most precious asset – the open landscape surrounding it – should not be ruined to add a few hundred more homes to the tens of thousands already agreed. Recent proposals to build 3,000 homes in the Kidlington/ Oxford Gap only reinforce the importance protecting ‘our’ Green Belt.
For Kidlington Green Belt Development Watch @KidlingtonDW.org