Concerns Over Oxford City’s Local Plan

South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) has written a letter to Cllr Sue Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council, detailing its concerns over the city’s calculations on new housing needed in light of both councils’ Climate Emergency declarations and opposition to the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway.

The city’s emerging Local Plan has information on their proposed housing numbers based on the presumption that the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway will go ahead – something that the district council says could contradict the city’s recent positions.

Cllrs Sue Cooper, Leader, and Robin Bennett, cabinet member for development and regeneration at SODC, have asked the city council to provide more detail on their housing number calculations and assumptions relating to the expressway.

The city’s housing numbers have an impact on SODC’s emerging Local Plan because, like other local district councils, they have agreed to plan for extra houses to help support the city’s unmet housing need.

Cllr Robin Bennett said, “We were delighted that the city has joined us in declaring a climate emergency, but we’re concerned that if the expressway goes ahead, it will have a detrimental effect on carbon emissions and widespread ecological impacts.”

Cllr Sue Cooper said, “Making provision for Oxford’s unmet need was one of the reasons our Local Plan housing numbers were so high.  Now that people are much more aware of the climate crisis and because the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway is becoming more unpopular locally, we need to be sure of the Oxford City’s housing need figures.”

Read SODC’s letter here.

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