Legal action: Save the Green Belt north of Oxford

by Cherwell Dev. Watch Alliance in Kidlington, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 20th November 2020 we successfully raised £5,295 with 91 supporters in 57 days

We are mounting a legal challenge to save the Green Belt between Oxford, Kidlington, Yarnton, Begbroke and Woodstock from development.

by Cherwell Dev. Watch Alliance in Kidlington, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Meeting our intial target will allow us to instruct a legal firm with a strong track record in winning cases like ours. We will work with them to build the strongest possible case and start the Judicial review process. Once we have permission to proceed to the next stage we will need to raise additional funding for the court hearing.

Cherwell District Council recently adopted its Local Plan to build 4,400 homes on the Green Belt from North Oxford to Kidlington, on to Yarnton, Begbroke and historic Woodstock. The North Oxford Golf Course with thousands of mature trees will be destroyed, the Kidlington Gap will be lost and vital road links will be closed at Sandy Lane and Yarnton Lane.The only option left to stop this plan and protect our Green belt is a successful Judicial Review.We already have pledges to cover a substantial proportion of the cost.  Now we now need your support to achieve our funding target.

Please donate whatever you can and share our campaign widely. 

All funds raised will be used to fight the local plan through the courts.

Thank you !

Why this is important

Cherwell District Council has adopted the Local Plan Partial Review (Oxford's Unmet Need).  The Plan releases unspoiled Green Belt, closest to the north of Oxford city for housing and other development. The city’s urban sprawl now threatens to engulf the rural setting of Cutteslowe Park, through to Kidlington, Yarnton and Begbroke and the historic town of Woodstock.   The historic, thriving North Oxford Golf Club will be lost to housing and many thousands of mature trees in this green lung will be destroyed. Vital local road links will be closed at Sandy Lane and Yarnton Road.  

Cherwell has ignored fierce local opposition to force this plan through. Cherwell Development Watch Alliance* has opposed these plans from the start.  The residents of Kidlington, Yarnton and Begbroke do not choose to live in extended suburbs of Oxford. We don’t want the rural parish of Gosford and Water Eaton to be covered in concrete or to see the ‘Kidlington Gap’ closed.  

Oxford and Cherwell seek to attract huge numbers of new jobs and people to an area of near full employment.    The Plan is also about facilitating the University’s ambition to greatly increase postgraduate student numbers.  This will do little to provide affordable homes built for local people or tackle the need for more social housing.  We will get more pollution, lose treasured green spaces and suffer from ever more astronomically high housing targets in future.

This is a total betrayal of the Government’s manifesto statement (page 31) to ‘protect and enhance the Green Belt’.  Left unchallenged, the Plan will open the floodgates to uncontrolled, rampant development. It is part of a wider ambition to build a million houses in the Oxford Cambridge Arc and to concentrate economic and population growth in the South East.  This policy of ‘growth at all costs’ has never been put to public consultation or the electorate.

 We have fought this plan at every step in the planning process. We have shown that the housing target is vastly overestimated and that the development is unsustainable. Our objections have been dismissed and ignored. Cherwell is unwilling to respond to changing circumstances, including the climate emergency and the recent massive economic recession.

This is no ‘NIMBY’ or short-term battle.  We must defend our countryside and precious green spaces from needless  development based on Oxford City Council’s intention to build more houses than it actually needs. The vicious cycle of unnecessary development, driven by inflated  housing targets must be broken.

Based on high level legal advice we believe this deeply flawed plan is vulnerable to legal challenge via a Judicial Review.  This is the only option left. Once our Green Belt is gone, it is gone forever.  

For more details please visit our website

or email CDWA at [email protected]

* CDWA members are: : Harbord Road Area Residents’ Association, Greenway Oxon (North Oxford Golf Course), Kidlington Development Watch, Begbroke & Yarnton Green Belt Campaign and Woodstock Action Group.

We work closely with our local parish and town councils and other organisations that are committed to protecting the Green Belt, the environment and fighting climate change.

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