Council shows colours on Green Belt development

Oxford City council leader Bob Price

Oxford City council leader Bob Price

First published in News
Last updated
thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering North Oxford, Jericho and Summertown. Call me on 01865 425498

A DISTRICT council has for the first time revealed it would consider building homes on Oxford’s outskirts that would encroach on the Green Belt.

South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) has opened a public consultation, asking its residents to give their views on where a potential 5,900 extra homes could be built.

One of a number of options put forward is “next to neighbouring major urban areas” such as Oxford and Reading – which could mean the long fought-over area south of Grenoble Road. in the city.

It marks a change in tone for the council, which in the past has fiercely opposed suggestions that homes would be built on the Green Belt.

But the new document notes: “It would mean more homes are close to the main centres of employment and facilities (and give) a reprieve for our towns and larger villages already taking growth.

“(But the) Oxford option would result in a major incursion into the Green Belt.”

Oxford City Council leader Bob Price said: “The case for development near Grenoble Road is one we have made for a long time, so to see them include this is something we welcome.

“We will obviously have more extensive discussions later on, but we hope this could lead for a partial Green Belt review.”

The proposed site for a 4,000-home development south of Grenoble Road has long been supported by Labour-run Oxford City Council which jointly owns the land close to the Kassam Stadium with Magdalen College.

But it falls under SODC’s planning authority and the Conservative-led council has always maintained it would be a last resort.

Other suggestions put forward in the consultation are putting all the homes in one place and creating a new town, as well as continuing the current distribution of house-building.

The latter would see 60 per cent going to Didcot – a potential extra 3,200 homes.

It comes as pressure mounts on the county’s district councils to respond to the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), which in March claimed 100,000 new homes were needed in Oxfordshire by 2031.

For its part SODC had only planned for 10,600 homes between 2011 and 2027, but the SHMA has said between 14,500 and 16,500 are needed by 2031.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England, which has lambasted the SHMA figures since they were first revealed, dismissed the proposals in the consultation.

Campaign manager Dr Helena Whall: “They all suffer from the fact that the sheer volume of housing it is proposing to allocate is unacceptable.

“(The district council) should reject the current flawed SHMA figures and not use them as the basis for any decision-making."

But SODC cabinet member for planning Rev Angie Paterson warned against ignoring the figures. She said: “We have not so far progressed any of these ideas yet. We are just at the beginning. But the SHMA is something we must take note of.”

The consultation ends on July 23.

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Comments (5)

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9:07am Fri 20 Jun 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Why isn't the notorious Oxford(shire) faction of the CPRE doing something a bit more pro rather than anti?

All they seem capable of doing is *employing* "managers" or "directors" (press officers) and "lambasting" or expressing "fear", "worry" or "anxiety".

They could quite easily demand that 2-3000 new homes are built on the Southfield Golf Course - perfect for walking to major employers such as the NHS, BMW, Brookes, Oxford University, Unipart, British Gas and all city centre locations, handy for some great schools - as well as within walking distance of London coaches from London Road.

The golf course could then move to the land South of Grenoble Road - keeping the Green Belt green and manicured.

Of course, with the growing momentum for the utilisation of the current golf course for housing - perhaps now there is the "fear" at SODC that the land at Grenoble Road may only be valued as "leisure" land at point of negotiation...
Why isn't the notorious Oxford(shire) faction of the CPRE doing something a bit more pro rather than anti? All they seem capable of doing is *employing* "managers" or "directors" (press officers) and "lambasting" or expressing "fear", "worry" or "anxiety". They could quite easily demand that 2-3000 new homes are built on the Southfield Golf Course - perfect for walking to major employers such as the NHS, BMW, Brookes, Oxford University, Unipart, British Gas and all city centre locations, handy for some great schools - as well as within walking distance of London coaches from London Road. The golf course could then move to the land South of Grenoble Road - keeping the Green Belt green and manicured. Of course, with the growing momentum for the utilisation of the current golf course for housing - perhaps now there is the "fear" at SODC that the land at Grenoble Road may only be valued as "leisure" land at point of negotiation... Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 3

12:17pm Fri 20 Jun 14

Bertrand_Russell says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
Why isn't the notorious Oxford(shire) faction of the CPRE doing something a bit more pro rather than anti?

All they seem capable of doing is *employing* "managers" or "directors" (press officers) and "lambasting" or expressing "fear", "worry" or "anxiety".

They could quite easily demand that 2-3000 new homes are built on the Southfield Golf Course - perfect for walking to major employers such as the NHS, BMW, Brookes, Oxford University, Unipart, British Gas and all city centre locations, handy for some great schools - as well as within walking distance of London coaches from London Road.

The golf course could then move to the land South of Grenoble Road - keeping the Green Belt green and manicured.

Of course, with the growing momentum for the utilisation of the current golf course for housing - perhaps now there is the "fear" at SODC that the land at Grenoble Road may only be valued as "leisure" land at point of negotiation...
I can see why this would be a good idea, although the impact on Lye Valley needs to be considered, as there is already considerable erosion of the waterways down there and other difficulties caused by being dough-nutted by the City.
.
Best thing would be if all the District councils got together at a special 5 day conference. It's time for the Oxfordshire District councils to put aside their NIMBYism, and for the City council to put aside their 'Bob the Builder' tendencies, and just chatted about the issue until something was agreed.
.
Oxford is ludicrously expensive and something needs to be done. It doesn't matter where you are from politically, it is one of those issues that needs proper discussion and debate - ironically something Oxford is famed for in almost every other field (bar housing).
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: Why isn't the notorious Oxford(shire) faction of the CPRE doing something a bit more pro rather than anti? All they seem capable of doing is *employing* "managers" or "directors" (press officers) and "lambasting" or expressing "fear", "worry" or "anxiety". They could quite easily demand that 2-3000 new homes are built on the Southfield Golf Course - perfect for walking to major employers such as the NHS, BMW, Brookes, Oxford University, Unipart, British Gas and all city centre locations, handy for some great schools - as well as within walking distance of London coaches from London Road. The golf course could then move to the land South of Grenoble Road - keeping the Green Belt green and manicured. Of course, with the growing momentum for the utilisation of the current golf course for housing - perhaps now there is the "fear" at SODC that the land at Grenoble Road may only be valued as "leisure" land at point of negotiation...[/p][/quote]I can see why this would be a good idea, although the impact on Lye Valley needs to be considered, as there is already considerable erosion of the waterways down there and other difficulties caused by being dough-nutted by the City. . Best thing would be if all the District councils got together at a special 5 day conference. It's time for the Oxfordshire District councils to put aside their NIMBYism, and for the City council to put aside their 'Bob the Builder' tendencies, and just chatted about the issue until something was agreed. . Oxford is ludicrously expensive and something needs to be done. It doesn't matter where you are from politically, it is one of those issues that needs proper discussion and debate - ironically something Oxford is famed for in almost every other field (bar housing). Bertrand_Russell
  • Score: 2

12:57pm Fri 20 Jun 14

oafie says...

Where ..do all those opposing extra housing suggest to their children where they are going to live?
Housing is needed...full stop
Where ..do all those opposing extra housing suggest to their children where they are going to live? Housing is needed...full stop oafie
  • Score: 1

3:14pm Fri 20 Jun 14

goridebus says...

One of the first stages of any review into where housing is going to be put is asking landowners if they want to put forward their sites for development. If Southfield Golf Course don't want to - and I believe they don't - then the Council can't allocate it for development. Simples
One of the first stages of any review into where housing is going to be put is asking landowners if they want to put forward their sites for development. If Southfield Golf Course don't want to - and I believe they don't - then the Council can't allocate it for development. Simples goridebus
  • Score: 0

3:30pm Fri 20 Jun 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

goridebus wrote:
One of the first stages of any review into where housing is going to be put is asking landowners if they want to put forward their sites for development. If Southfield Golf Course don't want to - and I believe they don't - then the Council can't allocate it for development. Simples
Does Oxford Golf Club, formerly Oxford University Golf Club, really directly own a vast area of prime real estate in Oxford worth tens of millions?

Or is it owned by a college or university and leased to the club?

I rather suspect if it was discovered to be the former there would be a vast upsurge in membership applications by keen carpetbaggers pending a boardroom coup.
[quote][p][bold]goridebus[/bold] wrote: One of the first stages of any review into where housing is going to be put is asking landowners if they want to put forward their sites for development. If Southfield Golf Course don't want to - and I believe they don't - then the Council can't allocate it for development. Simples[/p][/quote]Does Oxford Golf Club, formerly Oxford University Golf Club, really directly own a vast area of prime real estate in Oxford worth tens of millions? Or is it owned by a college or university and leased to the club? I rather suspect if it was discovered to be the former there would be a vast upsurge in membership applications by keen carpetbaggers pending a boardroom coup. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 2

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