We are bruised by our experience of taking part in major strategic planning consultations. Cherwell District Council freely admits that it received 'unprecedented' opposition to it's Plan for 4.400 houses in the Green Belt. Yet it failed to make even a single change in response to the 1000's of representations from the public.
Despite this, we still believe it's important for as many people as possible to know what is being planned for their area and for everyone to take part in planning consultations. But the sad truth is the system is skewed badly in favour of development, no matter how unnecessary, inappropriate, environmentally damaging and locally unwelcome.
We've concluded that the best - possibly the only ways - to protect our green spaces are by lobbying the decision makers at Council and government level AND by trying to influence proposals at the earliest stage. Hit the decision makers - Hit early and hit hard.
It's no shame to be called a NIMBY - we know our back yard best, and if we don't protect it no one will. Besides, so much development in our area is just plain WRONG, often contrary to planning policy. Concentrating so much employment and development in Oxfordshire - which has almost full employment runs counter to the stated aim of 'levelling up' by putting jobs and development where they are actually needed.
So if you have a view, contact your elected representatives and be prepared to vote tactically.
You can email the clerks at: email@example.com
You can also ask local Oxfordshire County Councillors to represent your views.
For Kidlington, Gosford & Water Eaton, Yarnton email: firstname.lastname@example.org (He’s the councillor for Stratfield Brake area) and email@example.com
For North Oxford Wards email: firstname.lastname@example.org and copy to email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
While MPs do not usually play an active role in planning consultations at District or Local Level they should, in our view be open to community concerns over local amenities and threats to the Green Belt. Besides the current Government policy is to protect the Green Belt and most political parties also subscribe to this.