All Town Not Gown

The stated purpose of Cherwell's Local Plan Review is to meet its allocation of Oxford's claimed unmet need, particularly for affordable housing.  BUT.....

All of the sites except the smallest two in Kidlington are owned by the University and Colleges who we believe will seek to retain the affordable housing element for their own use.  That leaves only the smallest sites in Kidlington to provide affordable housing for Oxford's so called unmet need. These small sites would yield just 275 affordable homes, even if the very ambitious target of 50% affordable provision was achieved. Is it right to remove large amounts of Green Belt to build 4,400 houses when only 275 will actually be to provide affordable housing for the City, which is the plan’s whole justification?

  • The University has said that 1,000 of the 1,950 homes on the Begbroke site will be retained by the University for its own use.
  • The University has said that homes on the North Oxford Golf Club will be retained in perpetuity for its own use.  670 homes are planned for that site.
  • With Legal & General’s £4 billion of funding available to build University homes it is very unlikely that the University will allow the bulk of the affordable housing on the golf course and in Begbroke to leave its control.

The land owning Colleges (Christ Church, Merton & Exeter) and the University wanted the Housing Policy changed so that it referred to ‘employer-linked housing’ instead of ‘key worker housing’.  This can only be so that they can build College/University accommodation on their sites.

Nowhere*  in the Local Plan Review are the University's and Colleges' ambitious plans to retain housing for their own use stated. This makes a mockery of the premise of the Plan providing for Oxford's wider unmet need.

We urge you to vote against this plan. 
Please contact us if you would like further information.

Yours sincerely,
Caroline Johnson
Cherwell Development Watch Alliance

* Except for this one sentence:  The provision of a limited number of new homes, to be agreed with the Council, to provide for students and those working for the University at the Science Park to support its expansion and reduce car journeys.