Vision for the so called ‘Oxford to Cambridge ARC’
I wanted to make you aware of a Government consultation on what they describe as the Oxford to Cambridge ARC. This sets out their intention to prepare a ‘Spatial Framework’, effectively a Regional Plan, for the area between Oxford and Cambridge. This would potentially have very serious implications for Buckinghamshire as Government could use it to set the direction and scale of new development, in particular new housing. This could mean much higher ‘top down’ housing targets that would need to be met locally.
This Framework would be legally binding upon councils when they come to prepare their own Local Plans, effectively overruling local communities and democratically elected councils’ wishes.
Our position is that Buckinghamshire is already delivering large numbers of new houses within current Government targets. We do not wish these targets to be significantly increased by this Regional Plan. We believe that democratically elected local councils are best placed to make local decisions on where and when housing is built, rather than having this imposed ‘top down’ by central Government.
We understand local residents may be asked to join focus groups to collect views. If you wish to understand our position in more detail, please refer to our website.
Martin Tett. Leader, Buckinghamshire Council.
Notice Date: 27/08/2021