Villagers fear impact of bid to review Green Belt

thisisoxfordshire: Parish councillor Chris Robins in Green Belt fields north of The Moors which he is concerned could be built on Parish councillor Chris Robins in Green Belt fields north of The Moors which he is concerned could be built on

FEARS have been raised about Oxford City Council’s call for a review of its surrounding Green Belt, including Kidlington.

The Labour-run council has called for a review to tackle the city’s growing housing crisis.

But members of Kidlington Parish Council have raised concerns about the possible impact on the village.

The city council has urged Cherwell District Council to carry out the review as part of work on its Local Plan.

The planning blueprint, which sets out where major development will go up to 2031, will need to be agreed by the Government.

It proposes a “small scale local review of the Green Belt” for employment at Langford Lane Technology Park and Begbroke Science Park.

It comes after a study said the county needs 100,060 new homes by 2031 – compared to the 54,700 currently lanned.

The strategic housing market assessment (SHMA) said Oxford needs 28,000 by 2031 instead of 8,000 planned by 2026.

Kidlington parish councillor Chris Robins said the Green Belt at places like The Moors was essential as a green buffer.

He said: “We won’t be terribly happy about losing any of it. We want to preserve the character of the open countryside.

“To some extent I can understand the pressures the city council is under – that doesn’t mean we want everything built over willy-nilly.

“There are mixed views, you will find some people who are very much hardline and think not one square inch of Green Belt should be given up. Some are concerned whether their children can actually get a house near their home.”

Fellow parish councillor David Robey said: “The parish council’s view is that it strongly supports leaving the Green Belt around Kidlington intact. We don’t want to get lost in the suburban sprawl from Oxford. It is a real issue for us and one that is not going to go away.”

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Deputy city council leader Ed Turner said “everything around the city” should be reviewed. He said: “The housing crisis in Oxford is causing enormous problems for our economy and society. People are being hideously priced out and something has to be done to address that.

“We can do what we can, but there is no way we can meet housing need within the existing boundaries.”

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