natco

Blogs

Levelling-up Or Just Levelling

The news that Transport for the North is to have its budget allocation slashed is another blow to the Government levelling-up agenda which remains suspect so long as it continues to pursue southern-based initiatives like the Oxford-Cambridge Arc. It now looks as if the DfT is going to award less tha...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 16 January 2021

Twenty Twenty-one Vision

However you look at it, 2020 was a dog of a year. Inevitably, coronavirus dominated the headlines. Many people lost loved ones, fell sick themselves or suffered long-term issues. Many more lost their jobs or saw their businesses damaged or destroyed. All of us have been denied many of the simple ple...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 31 December 2020

A Home Of Your Own

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick has always been clear that a central motive for his passionate desire to build more greenfield housing is to enable more young people to own their a home of their own. -apos-We will keep building and build back better, delivering the homes people need, and ensuri...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 28 December 2020

go back

Car-dependent sprawl for West Oxfordshire

Added on 12 September 2016

West Oxfordshire District Council is seeking Government support for destruction of one and a quarter square miles of farmland to make way for a so-called “garden village” and science park.

The Council has submitted an expression of interest to DCLG for a 320ha area next to the A40 trunk road six miles from the centre of Oxford, but just outside its green belt. The proposal is not in the Council’s previously submitted local plan.

“The demand for housing is very high locally and we are also committed to responding to the huge housing need identified in the city of Oxford, a substantial amount of which cannot be accommodated within the city’s own boundaries,” said cabinet member for housing and planning Warwick Robinson.

But despite the fact this housing pressure is caused by employment in the county outstripping housing, the plan includes a “campus-style science park” to attract investment and allow businesses to grow, potentially exacerbating the problem.

The proposed site lies across the A40 from Eynsham, a village already hugely expanded by low-density sprawl. It is up to four miles from the nearest railway station, however.

The 2,200 homes proposed would more than double its size, though a new shopping centre is planned.

“The location is only six miles from the centre of Oxford, just off the A40, and to the north of Eynsham,” says the prospectus. “It is only three miles from the planned new strategic employment area at Oxford Northern Gateway.”

It calls it “a genuine and timely opportunity to deliver an exemplar development for the 21st century on well-planned, designed and sustainable garden city princples”.

Though densities are not specified, it would certainly have the low-densities demanded of garden cities, but it is a fraction of the size of the settlements envisaged by Ebenezer Howard.

The Council says the site is free of constraints, though apparently this only means it is relatively flat, located outside the AONB and green belt, free of flood concerns and having no significant ecological or heritage interest.

Although the proposal suggests a park-and-ride, presumably to Oxford, would be included, the scheme is a prime example of low-density, car-dependent sprawl.

If DCLG supports the proposal, the Council would have to revise its local plan.

go back  |  top