Oxfordshire Liberal Democrats

Halt the SODC Local Plan

An application for a Judicial Review has been launched by a Community Infrastructure Company called Bioabundance looking at whether the plan was pushed through with undue pressure.

South Oxfordshire's Local Plan was devised by the Council's previous Conservative administration.

After winning the election in 2019, by campaigning against the plan, the Lib Dem/Green coalition running South Oxfordshire voted to scrap the it, in part because SIX of the SEVEN strategic sites are on Green Belt land - over 11,600 houses!

Instead the Conservative Secretary of State (SoS), Robert Jenrick, forced them to put it through inspection and Adoption by the end of 2020.

In 2008 the Henley MP put out a leaflet in which he wrote: “Development should take place to improve Brown Field sites, and not in the Green Belt. That’s what I stand for.”

Now with a town the size of Didcot about to be built on Green Belt land he has stayed totally silent. He made no submission to the council about the plan nor did he address the Inspector at the Examination, in person or in writing!

Refusing to enter the fray he told local residents: "...having helped set the parameters for the Green Belt, I have trust in the Inspector to make his decisions about the Oxford Green Belt on the basis of the regulations which apply rather than on the basis of local political argument."  

His trust seems woefully misplaced as the Inspector ruled that exceptional circumstances mean the Green Belt should be radically altered to allow a town the size of Didcot to be built on it.

Given the Secretary of State said in a recent interview that he wants to introduce changes to the planning system that allow local people to protect environmentally sensitive land like Green Belt, and SSSIs to "hand it onto the next generation", I the undersigned call on the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government, to allow SODC's elected Councillors a free vote on whether or not to adopt the plan.

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