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CPRE accuses South Oxford District Council of green belt betrayal

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The Campaign to Protect Rural England claims that the Council has ditched its traditional support of the green belt and adopted a previously aborted version of its Local Plan that includes greenfield developments in Grenoble Road, Northfields, Oxford Brookes, and on a site north of the city.

It believes the housing numbers proposed in the Plan are at least 1,500 homes above existing housing need and notes that 10,000 homes are now planned for the green belt in the South Oxfordshire Local Plan.

"South Oxfordshire is opening the gateway to urban sprawl which, once the principle has been breached, could be unstoppable," says Helen Marshall, director of CPRE Oxfordshire.

"CPRE will do its best to prevent SODC subverting the principles on which the green belt was founded and at the enquiry in public will seek to persuade the inspector to strike all green belt sites out of the Plan."

The CPRE has also spoken gloomily about future developments in the Oxfordshire area including the impending Oxford to Cambridge Expressway and the associated delivery of 300,000 new homes.

It sees both as massive threats to the countryside and local communities, regardless of which route is chosen, and advocates a complete rethink of the Oxford-Cambridge growth corridor proposals involving parliamentary scrutiny and a public consultation.

"Until such measures are in place, we expect our local authorities to be proactive in resisting any Government imposition of the proposals," it adds.

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