Green Cllr and former Lord Mayor, Elise Benjamin, proposed deferring the decision to try and increase the number of affordable housing units in the light of the new SH Review but was voted down by Labour and Lib Dem Councillors.
Just days after the release of the Strategic Housing Review and the Lloyds survey which highlighted Oxford as being in both desperate need of housing and the most unaffordable City in the Country, the City Council west area planning committee today voted 8-1 in favour of the new Westgate development outline which guaranteed no more than 27 new residential dwellings (a net gain of less than 15 after the demolished Abbey Place housing is taken into account) on this central City-council owned site. None of these are likely to be social housing units.
Says Green Cllr Elise Benjamin,
We have a housing crisis in this City - when will the Council Administration wake up to this fact and start prioritising affordable homes.
The Greens have long argued for the redevelopment of the Westgate to include a high level of affordable housing alongside a much more modest expansion of the shopping facilities. At the planning meeting, attempts to set a minimum level of housing on the site were re-buffed.