Cllr Liam Walker
Developers are having the last laugh
So, it continues. The daily battle with developers in West Oxfordshire to defend our villages from more homes. Let me be clear - I want more homes to built in West Oxfordshire but not to the detriment of our villages.
We need to be building homes where we can build new schools, doctors surgeries, better roads and improve the air quality. It's utterly unacceptable that West Oxfordshire District Council so late in the day still don't have a local plan in place. A local plan that is designed to protect the communities that make up West Oxfordshire. The communities that are fed up with fighting developers in their back yards. The communities that pay their council tax so the experts at the Council get paid to help protect this beautiful part of the world.
Tonight in Minster Lovell I attended another meeting about development in the village. A room full of people who were told a year ago that 85 new homes were going to be built to the West of the village. A room full of people who are now being told that they want to increase that from 85 to 126 new homes. An increase of around 40% is nothing more than a kick in the teeth to local residents. So many in the village agree that we need to build more homes but like me they can't understand why shoving 126 homes on the edge of a village helps the problem. It really doesn't! It might look good on a spreadsheet that West Oxfordshire is building more homes and "doing their bit" but the impact on the local community is huge.
Along with other colleagues I will support residents across the Division who are trying to protect their communities. We, as elected representatives must be willing to do all we can to ensure we get the right type of development in the right places. If it's going to go ahead let's make sure we get the right amount of money for infrastructure, for our schools and for improving public transport.
The planning system and planning officers are failing our local communities and it has got to change.