The Oxfordshire Joint Statutory Spatial Plan (JSSP)

The Joint Statutory Spatial Plan (JSSP) a quick summary by David Rogers

 

The five Oxfordshire authorities are producing a Joint Statutory Spatial Plan (JSSP) to provide a framework and evidence base that supports sustainable growth across the county up to 2050. They are encouraging the public to add their comments: https://oxfordshireplan.inconsult.uk

 

The JSSP assumes that the controversial Oxford-Cambridge expressway will go ahead.  This is therefore the public’s first real opportunity to challenge this assumption, and the implications for development throughout the county.

The Plan largely fails to address how the county will be affected by a huge number of new houses and the influx of many more residents: the JSSP refers to 100,000 homes to be built by 2031-2036 under the present Oxfordshire Growth Deal - an increase of over 30% on the current housing stock of approximately 280,000.  The JSSP’s aspiration is to deliver additional housing beyond this total, perhaps as many as 200,000 more, associated with the expressway proposals.  The assumption is therefore that the expressway will go ahead, although there has been no consultation with members of the public on the impact of, or need for, it. 

 

More people means more demand for schools, clinics, water, hospitals, and everything else that falls under the general heading of ‘infrastructure’.  No mention is made in the Plan of the £8 billion funding gap in the present infrastructure budget to 2040 (i.e. without the expressway; as shown in the Oxfordshire Infrastructure Strategy documents: https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk/consult.ti/OxIS/consultationHome and https://www.oxfordshiregrowthboard.org/projects/oxis-stage-2/).

 

The key questions this raises are:

The aspirational language of the JSSP is hiding huge proposed increases in housing stock and population.  Is it justified? 

Is the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway itself necessary or desirable (the East West Railway, EWR, is going ahead, and will link Oxford and Cambridge by rail by 2030)?  

Where will all the additional housing be located, and will it be truly affordable?

What are the environmental costs? 

Do we want so much development in this part of the country rather than in the Midlands or the North? 

How is the black hole in the infrastructure budget to be filled? 

 

The public is invited to visit the website (https://oxfordshireplan.inconsult.uk) where there are links to consultation questionnaires that can be filled in online.

 

The deadline for responding is March 25, 2019.

 

For more information contact noexpresswaygroup@gmail.com