The Green Party works with CPRE to help protect rural England. In our manifesto we want to build better transport networks which also encompass rural cycling, bus routes and better joined up railway links which means less reliance on cars.
We are also well aware of the creeping inappropriate housing developments across Oxfordshire which are being fought against in many villages. Housing is needed for homes and not investment.
I spent years fighting against Cherwell District Council’s proposals to remove green belt protection from huge areas around Kidlington, Yarnton, Begbroke and Gosford to build houses to fulfil an inflated need that has been proposed by the city council. Not only are these houses not needed, they will not be affordable or even available to the people of south Cherwell. They are simply an investment vehicle for Oxford University to make a huge amount of money, whilst realising their ambitions to turn our rural area into yet another university campus around the Begbroke Science Park.
We now face other proposals to build on our green spaces for everything from football stadiums to solar farms. I believe that local opinion should be listened to about if we want these things in our community and continue to push for better and more genuine consultation on future planning issues.
I will always work to protect the Green belt. There are already many brownfield locations where housing and other developments could be located. It’s time we stopped selling off rural locations to property developers who simply want to be able to charge a premium for a view of the countryside they then want to gobble up for profit.