|News Update April 2017
The Oxford Green Belt Network has responded to the consultation on the Government's White Paper, "Fixing a broken housing market". To read our response please see this link. We welcome the Government's statement in the White Paper that it intends to protect the Green Belt but any such commitment needs to be followed up with policies to ensure that firm and positive means of protecting the Green Belt are actually in place. Our response draws attention to what we see as weaknesses in what is being proposed.
November 2016 - Please help protect all of England’s 14 Green Belts
July 2016 - CPRE Oxfordshire has launched a new campaign to Save the Oxford Green Belt and Protect Historic Oxford.
See the Campaign webpage. See also the Campaign CPRE Oxon Press Release,
CPRE Green Belt Campaign Flyer,
Green Belt Campaign Poster, and
Map of Threats to Green Belt, all in PDF format.
May 2016 - The Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) which is an unelected not-for profit limited company, has recently ‘refreshed’ its Strategic Economic Plan for Oxfordshire (SEP) which was first published first in 2014 without any public consultation. This refreshed version of the Strategic Economic Plan, now available for some limited public comment, concentrates on promoting growth with little attention to the impact that such growth will have on the environment, including that of the Oxford Green Belt. Please see the response of the Oxford Green Belt Network to the public consultation on the Plan which closes on 27th May 2016.
March 2016 - The Oxford Green Belt Network has submitted a written statement and will also be appearing at the Examination into the Vale of White Horse Local Plan which begins on 2nd February. We shall be challenging the Vale's own statement that parts of the Green Belt no longer meet the purposes of the Green Belt, a statement that is not supported by the review of the Green Belt carried out for the Vale by consultants. We shall also be challenging the Vale's wish to remove a large number of sites from the Green Belt without saying what plans it has for them.
We were disappointed that the inspector who led the Examination into Oxford City’s Northern Gateway plans did not support our view that land south of the A40 should remain a part of the Green Belt. Like others, we have grave concerns about the impact on the surrounding environment of all the development that is being proposed in this part of Oxford which, until the 1990s, was all included in the Green Belt. It is another example of how the Oxford Green Belt is being eroded piece by piece in the interest of more and more growth.
We are strongly opposed to Oxfordshire County Council’s proposal to create a new generation of park and ride sites in the Green Belt. The sites being suggested will do little to get cars off the road and we believe that the parking facilities should be further out, beyond the Green Belt, and closer to where the majority of commuters to Oxford live and where they could take advantage of improved public transport links to the city.
We continue to oppose the creation of solar farms with their arrays of industrial panels that reduce the openness and visual amenity of the Green Belt. Two large ones have been allowed in the last year or two and others are the subject of planning applications at present. We believe that solar panels should be on the roofs of buildings, not on open farmland.
The Oxford Green Belt Network continues to fight any suggestion that Green Belt policy be weakened in an attempt to stimulate the national economy. A city's Green Belt setting, like that of Oxford, encourages economic growth rather than preventing it.