Plans to buy surplus MoD land given a lift

The Oxford Times: Plans to buy surplus MoD land given a lift Plans to buy surplus MoD land given a lift

Plans to buy surplus MoD land in Bicester to create the UK’s largest self-build development have taken a major step forward.

Last Monday, Cherwell District Council’s executive agreed to press ahead with multi-million pound plans to buy the 187 hectare site for 1,900 homes, a school, shops, and business land to create up to 2,000 jobs.

The cost of the site has not been revealed, and the council hopes to exchange contracts with Defence Infrastructure Organisation, the MoD’s property arm, later this month.

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12:26pm Mon 10 Mar 14

jockox3 says...

When you say "self build" do you mean what housing people conventionally refer to as self build - individual householders buying plots to build their own homes on? It doesn't sound like it - maybe it's "self build by the council" rather than by a developer?
When you say "self build" do you mean what housing people conventionally refer to as self build - individual householders buying plots to build their own homes on? It doesn't sound like it - maybe it's "self build by the council" rather than by a developer? jockox3
  • Score: 0

1:07pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

jockox3 wrote:
When you say "self build" do you mean what housing people conventionally refer to as self build - individual householders buying plots to build their own homes on? It doesn't sound like it - maybe it's "self build by the council" rather than by a developer?
It would make things a bit more interesting if there was a "conventional" self-build arrangement.

Some of the most attractive routes into towns and cities around the UK have individually designed homes lining either side.
[quote][p][bold]jockox3[/bold] wrote: When you say "self build" do you mean what housing people conventionally refer to as self build - individual householders buying plots to build their own homes on? It doesn't sound like it - maybe it's "self build by the council" rather than by a developer?[/p][/quote]It would make things a bit more interesting if there was a "conventional" self-build arrangement. Some of the most attractive routes into towns and cities around the UK have individually designed homes lining either side. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Nick Mawer says...

jockox3 it is individuals or groups of individuals buying plots of land to build their own homes, or buying partly built homes to finish themselves. Having a greater range of options should allow a greater diversity of people to take advantage of building their own home. In the UK a few large developers have a virtual stranglehold on the building of homes. By contrast other European countries have more self builds than developer builds.
jockox3 it is individuals or groups of individuals buying plots of land to build their own homes, or buying partly built homes to finish themselves. Having a greater range of options should allow a greater diversity of people to take advantage of building their own home. In the UK a few large developers have a virtual stranglehold on the building of homes. By contrast other European countries have more self builds than developer builds. Nick Mawer
  • Score: 0

7:33pm Mon 10 Mar 14

wales01man says...

Why the secrecy on how much PUBLIC money this is costing MR MAWR?
Why the secrecy on how much PUBLIC money this is costing MR MAWR? wales01man
  • Score: 1

9:33pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Nick Mawer says...

As far as I know , both parties to an agreement need to be willing to discuss financial details for that kind of information to be released. Clearly the Government may have other bits of land to sell and they don't want to compromise the amount of money that they might realise by publishing details of other sales. Although the money is public, if you like it has to be treated with commercial confidentiality for the moment at least.

Secrecy does not have to be because there is something fishy to hide, it can be, and is in this instance for perfectly legitimate reasons.
As far as I know , both parties to an agreement need to be willing to discuss financial details for that kind of information to be released. Clearly the Government may have other bits of land to sell and they don't want to compromise the amount of money that they might realise by publishing details of other sales. Although the money is public, if you like it has to be treated with commercial confidentiality for the moment at least. Secrecy does not have to be because there is something fishy to hide, it can be, and is in this instance for perfectly legitimate reasons. Nick Mawer
  • Score: 0

9:48pm Mon 10 Mar 14

wales01man says...

I suppose you know how much Nick?
I suppose you know how much Nick? wales01man
  • Score: 0

9:26am Tue 11 Mar 14

Nick Mawer says...

District Councillors are aware of the figure, and how the deal will be financed.
I am sure that in due course, and when both parties agree, more information will be published.
District Councillors are aware of the figure, and how the deal will be financed. I am sure that in due course, and when both parties agree, more information will be published. Nick Mawer
  • Score: 0

9:31am Tue 11 Mar 14

wales01man says...

Whatever happened to open Government at all levels?
Without full details of these deals the Electorate will as always read a lot of different things into it.
Mr Mawr you begged the people of Bicester to elect you as THEIR representative do you ever ak them for their opinions on anything if so you missed us ?
Whatever happened to open Government at all levels? Without full details of these deals the Electorate will as always read a lot of different things into it. Mr Mawr you begged the people of Bicester to elect you as THEIR representative do you ever ak them for their opinions on anything if so you missed us ? wales01man
  • Score: 0

12:05pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Nick Mawer says...

Hi wales01man, first I thought that you had spelled my name incorrectly by accident, but my surname is not welsh in origin but is in fact from Lincolnshire and is more a corruption of "Mower" indicating that my ancestors were agricultural labourers.

If you are in the process of buying a house, would you let everyone know what you were paying? Answer no, because someone else could come in and pay £500 more and gazump you. Once you have bought the property, you would not mind the figure being made known.

Walesman - you have the advantage over me. I do not know whether we have ever met, or if I have knocked on your door. I do not know whether I have spoken to you in the pub, or whether you have ever seen questions that I have asked on social media sites or if you have ever posted an opinion online that I might have read to help me form my opinions. Nor do I know whether you have ever taken the trouble to contact me directly or if you have ever been to a council meeting to express your own views. I invite you to do all of these things. I invite you to express an opinion on whether you think Cherwell is right or wrong to buy Gravenhill or is your only objection that you don't know what price was paid?
Finally I share Edmund Burke's belief in the duty of the Representatitve.
Hi wales01man, first I thought that you had spelled my name incorrectly by accident, but my surname is not welsh in origin but is in fact from Lincolnshire and is more a corruption of "Mower" indicating that my ancestors were agricultural labourers. If you are in the process of buying a house, would you let everyone know what you were paying? Answer no, because someone else could come in and pay £500 more and gazump you. Once you have bought the property, you would not mind the figure being made known. Walesman - you have the advantage over me. I do not know whether we have ever met, or if I have knocked on your door. I do not know whether I have spoken to you in the pub, or whether you have ever seen questions that I have asked on social media sites or if you have ever posted an opinion online that I might have read to help me form my opinions. Nor do I know whether you have ever taken the trouble to contact me directly or if you have ever been to a council meeting to express your own views. I invite you to do all of these things. I invite you to express an opinion on whether you think Cherwell is right or wrong to buy Gravenhill or is your only objection that you don't know what price was paid? Finally I share Edmund Burke's belief in the duty of the Representatitve. Nick Mawer
  • Score: 0

5:12pm Tue 11 Mar 14

wales01man says...

Right or wrong
With all the cuts to services by local councils I have to wonder why Cherwell are Property speculating whilst services are cut..
Right or wrong With all the cuts to services by local councils I have to wonder why Cherwell are Property speculating whilst services are cut.. wales01man
  • Score: 0

9:09am Wed 12 Mar 14

Nick Mawer says...

wales01man - please let me know what services Cherwell have cut.
wales01man - please let me know what services Cherwell have cut. Nick Mawer
  • Score: 0

10:07am Wed 12 Mar 14

wales01man says...

I was asking in general for all councils .
The one cut that could be made is to stop payments to councillors
Comment on that
I was asking in general for all councils . The one cut that could be made is to stop payments to councillors Comment on that wales01man
  • Score: 0

8:55pm Wed 12 Mar 14

Nick Mawer says...

Cherwell has not cut any services to my knowledge or yours it seems. It has bought Gravenhill in order to help meet the housing targets set by Central Government and to deliver affordable houses, houses for rent, and houses for joint ownership. Unlike a property developer, Cherwell will not be banking the land, but releasing it immediately to people who want to build, and to companies that want to move in to Bicester but can't currently find a suitable site.

As for councillors allowances, of course they could be cut to zero, as could MPs or any other public servant. The question you should then ask yourself is who would be prepared to give up their time to represent your views, to make local government a democracy, not a bureaucracy, to sit on committees such as planning and licencing, to visit ward members in their homes etc. The answer is, the only people who could afford to do it would be wealthy retired people, who would not exactly be representative of the people. If you want your part time dog washers, your painters, your gardeners, your not well off retired folk and so on to represent you, then you have to make it financially viable for them to do it. Councillors pay at Cherwell has, like the council tax remained frozen for several years - and rightly so. At the next election there will be two fewer councillors to serve the expanding electorate so the overall cost of the democratic component of the council is being trimmed.
Cherwell has not cut any services to my knowledge or yours it seems. It has bought Gravenhill in order to help meet the housing targets set by Central Government and to deliver affordable houses, houses for rent, and houses for joint ownership. Unlike a property developer, Cherwell will not be banking the land, but releasing it immediately to people who want to build, and to companies that want to move in to Bicester but can't currently find a suitable site. As for councillors allowances, of course they could be cut to zero, as could MPs or any other public servant. The question you should then ask yourself is who would be prepared to give up their time to represent your views, to make local government a democracy, not a bureaucracy, to sit on committees such as planning and licencing, to visit ward members in their homes etc. The answer is, the only people who could afford to do it would be wealthy retired people, who would not exactly be representative of the people. If you want your part time dog washers, your painters, your gardeners, your not well off retired folk and so on to represent you, then you have to make it financially viable for them to do it. Councillors pay at Cherwell has, like the council tax remained frozen for several years - and rightly so. At the next election there will be two fewer councillors to serve the expanding electorate so the overall cost of the democratic component of the council is being trimmed. Nick Mawer
  • Score: 0

8:13am Thu 13 Mar 14

wales01man says...

Why does a Councillor have to be a member of a Political party to represent the People?
Believe it or not I am not against Craven hill the Eco town or any development I just expect transparency from the council 10 million grant for the Eco town a fence and a sign so far.
Open Government at all levels would gain the respect of the People?
Why does a Councillor have to be a member of a Political party to represent the People? Believe it or not I am not against Craven hill the Eco town or any development I just expect transparency from the council 10 million grant for the Eco town a fence and a sign so far. Open Government at all levels would gain the respect of the People? wales01man
  • Score: 0

9:36am Thu 13 Mar 14

Nick Mawer says...

Hi wales01man - a councillor does not have to be a member of a political party to represent the people. There are many independent councillors nationally and one on Cherwell. As a person who loves politics and the political system I would welcome more independents standing for election. Indeed I have fought independents at my own election.

I must make it clear that Cherwell would be only too happy to publish the purchase price for Gravenhill but it is the MOD who are preventing it.

There is no secrecy about the money for the eco-town, where it is now and what will be done with it. I agree that it is a source of frustration and disappointment that the eco-town has progressed as slowly as it has, but I guess that, as it is the first in the country, it might have been naive to have expected it to have progressed quickly and smoothly.
Hi wales01man - a councillor does not have to be a member of a political party to represent the people. There are many independent councillors nationally and one on Cherwell. As a person who loves politics and the political system I would welcome more independents standing for election. Indeed I have fought independents at my own election. I must make it clear that Cherwell would be only too happy to publish the purchase price for Gravenhill but it is the MOD who are preventing it. There is no secrecy about the money for the eco-town, where it is now and what will be done with it. I agree that it is a source of frustration and disappointment that the eco-town has progressed as slowly as it has, but I guess that, as it is the first in the country, it might have been naive to have expected it to have progressed quickly and smoothly. Nick Mawer
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Sun 16 Mar 14

wales01man says...

Thanks for the Reply Nick
So where has the money in grants for the Eco Town been spent is there a set of accounts available ?
Progress is slow and does anyone realistically believe that it will be built as per the original stated spec I understand this has been amended already.
Those who object to it are no doubt asking where the grant money has gone any answers?
Thanks for the Reply Nick So where has the money in grants for the Eco Town been spent is there a set of accounts available ? Progress is slow and does anyone realistically believe that it will be built as per the original stated spec I understand this has been amended already. Those who object to it are no doubt asking where the grant money has gone any answers? wales01man
  • Score: 0

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