The development of new housing as part of Barton is critical for the city and, as you know, your Headington councillors have supported the principle of it since it was first raised. There are important issues of detail that need to be thrashed out — we do not see, for example, that the ‘boulevard’ proposal, reducing the speed limit on the ring road to 40mph will do what the Council hopes and is likely, instead, to cause extra problems, as it effectively downgrades the ring road. Issues like this and others, including Ruskin’s continuing desire to promote building within the Old Headington Conservation Area on its fields, will get a further airing and a decision through the Inspection process.
The Planning Inspector for the Barton Area Action Plan has been appointed and has now announced the dates of her hearings. They will be in the week beginning 16th July. Your Headington councillors certainly intend to be there to speak on behalf of our community.
The Inspector is also in written correspondence with the City Council about its proposals, and all that correspondence is available on the Council’s website. Interestingly, one of the areas on which she has asked for clarificaiton is the proposed 40mph limit on the ring road, to which the County Council has objected. The response from the Council is that, while they would still prefer a low limit, a change to 50mph would mean that ‘The Plan remains deliverable’. So, there is all to play for on that one!