The Greens favour planning that is participatory, leading to the creation of better quality sustainable buildings requiring minimal off site energy sources.
While fighting to preserve our green spaces from development, it is important that we do not forget the management and preservation of our existing open spaces, conservation areas and Town Meadows and we acknowledge the work of ‘Friends’ groups for existing parks in helping to make this a reality.
Protection of green space around Oxford is a real priority, especially given both Coalition and Labour failure to protect greenfield sites from urban sprawl and council proposals to allow Oxford to sprawl outwards into neighbouring districts.
The council has pushed forward plans that have been strongly opposed as disastrous by local communities: from redeveloping St. Clements car park to the Blavatnik building and the Port Meadow fiasco, they’ve shown a cavalier disregard for local opinion.
We need to protect the overall level of jobs for existing residents through planning policies rather than relying solely on City expansion. The focus should be on high quality new developments which offer well-paid employment opportunities. Growth for the sake of growth runs counter to the heritage of Oxford which has always placed a premium on quality rather than mere volume.
- Making open spaces - such as Aston’s Eyot - more accessible and helping local groups improve and develop schemes.
- Retaining public access to parks such as Angel & Greyhound Meadow and backing Town Green status for sites such as Warneford Meadow.
- Forcing the Council to review its failure to provide an Environmental Impact Statement of the Port Meadow development, with the community campaign.
- Greens took the lead in seeking to amend the Core Strategy for the City’s development. They were the only Party to consistently seek to preserve Oxford’s unique character by opposing the Northern Gateway. Only Greens required more assurances about infrastructure, community facilities, traffic minimisation, and open green space in the West Barton Development.
- Helping the Professional Music Technology shop fend off the threat of closure by spreading news of the petition against re-development – which very rapidly gained over 2000 signatures, forcing the City Council’s Planning Committee into a unanimous vote against proposed re-development.
The Greens will:
- Oppose the mindless expansion of Oxford and destruction of the Green Belt.
- Create new allotments where there is demand on the periphery of urban areas to increase local food production.
- Support local residents devising their own Community Nature Plans for open spaces.
- Press for Town Green status for accepted green spaces.
- Do all in our power to help local independent traders keep the individual character of shopping in Oxford, resisting the rise of clone town British chain stores, especially through our engagement with the Covered Market renovation proposals.
- View Oxford in its natural context. This includes planning to keep its biodiversity and protecting natural resources like watercourses whilst taking action to prevent flooding (see next section). Extensive tree planting will form an important part of this approach.
- Resist the development of hydraulic fracking anywhere in Oxfordshire, in cooperation with our Green Party councillors on the County Council and our Green MEPs.