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Green Belt worry leads to a U-turn over Kidlington homes plan
CALLS for more housing have been dropped by Kidlington Parish Council over concerns it could lead to additional homes in the Green Belt.
Parish councillors had supported plans for housing in the Green Belt in the Langford Lane area along with businesses proposed by planning bosses.
But they have dropped this proposal over fears it could lead to a review of the Green Belt around the village.
This would be a “potential threat to the village’s identity and character” the parish council said, despite its concerns about lack of housing to accommodate new employees at the proposed business premises.
It comes amid uncertainty over the level of housing development in Kidlington and Cherwell district, of which the village is part.
All housing plans and other development to 2031 is in Cherwell District Council’s local plan, which the Government must approve.
But a Government inspector this month said Cherwell must boost district-wide housing from 16,750 to 22,800.
That came after a review of housing ordered by district councils – the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) – said the county needed 100,000 more homes than planned by 2031.
And Oxford City Council has called for more building in the Green Belt south of Kidlington and north east and south west of Yarnton.
A parish council statement said: “Kidlington Parish Council initially argued that the development should be for mixed use to include housing in order to mitigate the pressure on local housing that the new employment would generate.
“However, Kidlington Parish Council has decided not to object to the plan on this basis, because it accepts Cherwell’s view that to allow housing on this site could help to trigger a full-scale review of the Green Belt.”
The statement – from chairman David Betts and vice-chairman David Robey – said they were concerned about further “significant developments” in other parts of the Green Belt.
Helen Marshall, director of the Oxfordshire branch of Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said she was confident the uncertainty about the local plan would not lead to wider Green Belt development in Kidlington.
She said of the parish council: “They are as keen as we are to protect the Green Belt, they are anxious to avoid a complete Green Belt review.
“Cherwell District Council are not proposing any housing in the Green Belt, which is a position we support and we hope they maintain that.”
Plans are to be submitted for a science park on the Langford Lane site that would create about 1,200 jobs, the Oxford Mail reported last week.
Cherwell lead member for planning Michael Gibbard said: “Currently I do not believe a review of the Green Belt is required for Cherwell’s housing needs.”
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