A "Green Ring" for Kidlington? - 25Jul22

Kidlington will expand massively as the sites shown in red on the map below are developed. We must improve access to our remaining green spaces and enhance their Green Belt protection. Kidlington Development Watch (KDW) supports the Parish Council's proposal to create a Green Ring around the village. We have proposed a vision for the creation of the 'Green Ring' that would include the creation of two Local Green Space areas (LGS) designated as being of special importance to the local community and village setting.


We hope that footpath users and residents will support our proposals during the next round of consultation of the Cherwell Local Plan 2040.

Poppy fields SE of St Mary's Kidlingon
Poppy fields SE of St Mary's Kidlingon - photo courtesy of Louise Crone

KDW's vision for the Green Ring

Proposed Local Green Spaces (LGS)

Two precious areas of unspoilt countryside remain to the N and NE of the village. They are Green Belt but that may not be enough to protect them from development.


We have proposed that Cherwell District Council should formally designate them as 'Local Green Spaces' in the Local Plan 2040.


We hope to create a 'Bury Moor Fields LGS' and a Kidlington Conservation Area LGS'

Improving the footpath network

The network of footpaths and public rights of way (orange on the map) form an almost continuous circuit connecting the 'Green Ring'. There is scope to improve many of these routes - including the Local Plan's proposed canal towpath upgrade.


The photos' show the beauty of the views and atmosphere want to preserve for the community


Cherwell District Council has completed two rounds of consultation on the updated Cherwell 2040 Plan. An Oxfordshire-wide plan is also being prepared which may propose yet more development in the Green Belt, even though Cherwell has not included this in its 2040 Plan consultations.


Cherwell’s 2040 most recent Local Plan consultation included the option of developing a network of linked green spaces to help preserve Kidlington’s distinct identity and countryside setting. This suggestion had originally been made by Kidlington Parish Council and it was heartening to see the District Council’s positive response to it.


Kidlington Development Watch's (KDW) put forward several ideas for how this green network might be achieved in practice. We have taken part in subsequent meetings with the Council to discuss the green Ring and LGS proposals. We have put forward our vision for the LGS and Green Ring for inclusion in Cherwell's Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy (BGI) that will form part of the Local Plan evidence base.


At the time of writing, we are waiting to see whether Cherwell will incorporate our proposals in the draft Local Plan 2040.

What are Local Green Spaces ?

 Local Green Space (LGS) is a formal planning designation which was introduced in the National Planning Policy Framework. Councils can designate land as LGS in their Local Plans if it is demonstrably special to a local community for example because of its beauty, historic significance, recreational value, tranquillity or richness of its wildlife. Local Green Spaces can be in private ownership and access rights remain unchanged but they are protected as green areas.


Local Green Spaces serve to identify areas that are of particular importance to the local community even if they are already protected by Green Belt policy. Hence local people need to lobby the authority to designate LGS. Planning policy highlights the potential benefit  of LGS in areas where protection from development is the norm (e.g. villages like Kidlington that are included in the green belt).


Our submission spells out in detail how well the two proposed areas meet the National Planning Policy Framework criteria for for LGS:

  1. in reasonably close proximity to the community it serves;
  2. demonstrably special to a local community and holds a particular local significance, for example because of its beauty, historic significance, recreational value (including as a playing field), tranquillity or richness of its wildlife; and
  3. local in character and is not an extensive tract of land.

We are hopeful that Cherwell will consider our LGS proposals favourably.