Ruth will deliver the first of a series of Scam assessment talks in Headington Ward on Tuesday 12th September. This will be a closed session but if you would like more information on future events, please contact her for details.
The full response runs to 58 pages, but here is a summary of comments.
Liberal Democrat group response to Oxford City Council Local Plan preferred options
There is much to welcome in this document. However, the balance between housing targets, site allocations and the environment is wrong. The cumulative effect of these policies will be to deliver large developments of highly-priced market housing, which is not necessary or desirable, in return for social housing, which is. They do little or nothing for people in the middle- ordinary working families. They will cause lasting damage to Oxford’s natural setting by being far too ready to discount the essential features of Green Belt- its permanence, and the inviolability of the five founding principles. We are also extremely concerned about the joint effect of this plan and those of neighbouring authorities, for example the potential for coalescence and pressure on services and infrastructure, and see little to reassure us that those factors have been sufficiently considered. Too many sites are safeguarded for employment which could happen elsewhere.
We welcome the commitment to green infrastructure, open space and biodiversity corridors and their importance for human wellbeing, but believe this could go further and align more specifically with the government’s emerging narrative around Natural Capital and the 25-year plan for the environment. We welcome moves towards an appropriate level of densification and the discussion around height limits, with the aim of creating a healthy, high-quality, mixed urban environment for all. We support the direction of policies on student housing and HMOs (with some caveats around, for example, vocational courses).
Liberal Democrats propose greater flexibility around ownership models, design, balance of dwellings and percentages of housing types in order to bring housing, both for sale and rent, more within the reach of teachers, nurses and many others who are essential to Oxford’s continued wellbeing. Plenty of good models work elsewhere. We would include specific commitments to neighbourhood planning, community-led housing, and certain specified types of tenure. We will reallocate a number of category 2 employment sites for housing, and seek to bring forward new ones, including back plots and brownfield. In certain circumstances, where a site has been safeguarded for recreational use but is not actually functioning as such, we would potentially support allocating part of the site for housing if the recreational, environmental and public access benefits of the site as a whole were maintained or enhanced. We will follow some other local authorities in including a specific policy on basements. We support, and will continue to support, developments which deliver benefits for the people of Oxford.
We support moves to enhance protection of Oxford’s unique architectural heritage. Better use should be made of instruments like Conservation Areas and World Heritage Status. We are concerned about the potential impact of development on Oxford’s less obvious treasures like St Thomas’s and St Ebbe’s churches, as well as its more brazen glories.
Transport planning has not always delivered the best solutions for the people of Oxford. We note (and the document acknowledges) that this Local Plan process can only address matters within the competency of Oxford City Council. A different form of local government organisation would do these things better. However, we seek better and more joined-up forward infrastructure planning. For example, we expressed concerns about infrastructure at Northern Gateway when the AAP was adopted. We do not believe that those concerns have been met. Similarly, transport planning for the new Westgate has clearly been late and inadequate, as last-minute attempts to address on-street parking, carpark charges, congestion, bus access and much else show. We support the removal of tourist buses from St Giles’.
Here is a copy of the report which is going to the Cabinet Member at a meeting on Thursday. County Cllr Roz Smith will be attending.
Two things stand out from this report:
CABINET MEMBER FOR ENVIRONMENT – 7 SEPTEMBER 2017
PROPOSED EXTENSION OF 20MPH SPEED LIMIT B4495 WINDMILL ROAD OXFORD
Report by Director for Infrastructure Delivery Introduction
Response to Objections and Concerns
How the Project supports LTP4 Objectives
Financial and Staff Implications (including Revenue)
14. The Cabinet Member for Environment is RECOMMENDED to approve the proposals as advertised
Two refusals by planning officers on delegated authority this week.
Application to certify that the proposed erection of single storey rear extension, formation of 1no. dormer to rear roofslope and infill of existing door to side elevation is lawful development.
12 Piper Street Oxford
Partial demolition of existing house and demolition of existing garages and outbuildings. Erection of two storey side and rear extension. Provision of new access, car parking and turning area. Rebuilding of stone boundary wall fronting Old High Street.
29 Old High Street Oxford
The next public meeting for residents who live in Headington Ward will be on
Tuesday 26th September
Headington Baptist Church, 78 Old High Street, Headington OX3 9HW
from 6:00-7:30 pm
Anthony Stansfeld, the Police and Crime Commissioner, has agreed to speak, in response to requests from residents..
Ward Focus meetings are run on a drop in and out basis and are free of charge. There is an open session where residents can raise issues of concern. There’s no need to book.
If you would like to contact your Lib Dem city councillors for advice on any issue please contact
Erection of a single storey rear extension.
9 Sandfield Road Oxford
Demolition of existing front boundary wall
28 Norton Close Oxford
Retention of vanguard unit and corridor for temporary period of 2 years.
John Radcliffe Hospital Headley Way
Application to certify that the proposed erection of single storey rear extension, the formation of rear dormer and replacement of garage is lawful development.
9 Gardiner Street Oxford
Change of use of ground floor from Doctors Surgery (Use Class D1) to 1 x 1-bed and 1 x 2-bed flats (Use Class C3). Provision of car parking and private amenity space, and bin and cycle store.
12 Old High Street
Application to certify that the proposed hip to gable loft conversion, with rear and side single storey extension is lawful development.
92 Sandfield Road
We asked the County Council to ensure the road diversions due to traffic works will not impede the Highfield Residents’ Association meze party and outdoor film showing on 16th September. Good news – the event will still go ahead – see letter to Lime Walk residents below. HRA had sought and been given permission to run the event well ahead of time, but that permission was given ahead of the date when the decision was made to facilitate construction works in Lime Walk and Old Road.
Dear Sir/ Madam
Re: Access to Headington – Churchill Drive, Old Road and Roosevelt Drive
We recently wrote to you to advise you that Lime Walk would be partially closed from the 11th September to facilitate the construction works on the Lime Walk Junction, Old Road and Churchill Drive. Due to the street party on All-Saints Road on 16th September we wanted to reassure you that the diversion route will be temporarily suspended that weekend to allow access and egress on the Lime Walk/Old Road junction via temporary traffic lights. All other elements of the works will remain the same.
We appreciate this work can be disruptive and we thank you for your patience throughout. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the project please contact our site project team at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call Oxfordshire County Council’s Customer Services team on 0845 310 1111.
You can find out more about Access to Headington and sign up the project e-bulletins at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/travelchoices
Oxfordshire County Council