S. Oxfordshire ditches 5,000 homes from area plan

Aaron Morby 14 years ago

House builders fear the country is heading for housing disaster if councils follow South Oxfordshire’s lead and ditch construction targets.

The council said it was scrapping plans to build  5,000 homes just three days after submitting them in Core Strategy proposals.

The U-turn follows a letter from Eric Pickles, the Secretary for Communities and Local Government, who wrote to all local authorities telling them he wants to “rapidly abolish” regionally-set housing targets.

This gives the green light to local authorities to halt decisions on development plans and planning applications.

Oxfordshire had been expected to earmark areas for  40,680 homes by 2026. This included controversial plans to build 4,000 homes within the green belt to the south of Oxford, which have now been dropped.

HBF chairman Stewart Baseley said: South Oxfordshire’s announcement demonstrates the urgent need for clarity on housing planning policy.

“Scrapping the existing system without a replacement is a recipe for disaster. We have an acute housing crisis in this country, approaching a shortfall of a million new homes.”

He warned: “We just cannot afford a period of confusion to reduce house building still further at a time when we are already building at the lowest level for many decades.”

“The Government says it is committed to delivering more homes, but without urgent guidance, this aspiration will not be achieved,” said Baseley.

Oxford East MP Andrew Smith has put a question in the Commons to Eric Pickles, asking about the “supply of housing in central Oxfordshire”.

Mr Smith said: “If, as reported, the coalition Government simply leaves the planning of housing to district councils, it puts Oxford in an impossible position.

“The city’s boundaries are so tight against the built-up area that there is wholly insufficient land within its control to plan and provide the housing the city desperately needs.”

House builders expected the Government to introduce a new planning system, but argued for a clear and robust transition plan that did not damage  the supply of much needed homes across the country.

Latest news

Bouygues/Murphy JV confirmed for £2.3bn Thames tunnel job

BMJV clinches 4.2km Lower Thames Crossing road tunnel job
2 days ago

Berkeley keeping close eye on subbies as market softens

Supply chain insolvency now bigger threat than build cost rises
1 day ago

Roofing firm fined £881,000 after double fall

Court hears of two falls on sites involving same contractor
2 days ago

Plans in for £450m Coventry city centre regeneration

Work is expected to start next summer on City Centre South scheme
1 day ago

Galliford Try to upgrade Red Arrows base

Contractor seals quartet of RAF base upgrades
1 day ago

Strabag tunnel drive in Yorkshire sets new world record

Woodsmith potash mine tunnelling project to be included in Guinness World Records
2 days ago

McLaren and Arlington to develop York Central site

Developer deal signed for one of the UK’s largest city centre regeneration schemes
2 days ago

Watkin Jones plans 36-storey Glasgow tower

The Ard student rooms scheme will be Glasgow's second tallest building
2 days ago

Balfour Beatty on track for solid set of results

Country's largest contractor on course to meet financial targets
2 days ago

Brymor Group Southern heads for CVA

Hampshire builder applies for Company Voluntary Arrangement with its creditors.
2 days ago

Former Costain transport chief joins Aecom

Sue Kershaw takes up US-based vice president job with consultant
3 days ago

Industry’s best construction managers revealed

More than 80 now in the running for delayed awards: Full list
3 days ago

Materials prices plummet as housing demand slumps

Buyers report biggest fall in purchasing costs for 14 years
3 days ago

Welsh contractor Andrew Scott targets £90m turnover

Profit and revenue up at Port Talbot-based civils and building firm
3 days ago

M-AR buyer starts round of redundancies

30 jobs at risk after modular firm bought out of administration
3 days ago

First HS2 viaduct completes deck beam installation

EKFB completes beams for first of project's 50 major viaducts
3 days ago

Fatal accident at Laing O’Rourke Oxford site

Work suspended on site after tragedy
4 days ago

Homes lead the way as Bancon Group boosts turnover

Homes and contracting group looking to further growth in 2024
3 days ago

L&G Modular Homes scheme replaced by traditional build

Wolverhampton council chooses new partner and build method for £150m project
3 days ago

£33m Plymouth city centre homes scheme approved

Spring start for Bath Street scheme in Millbay regeneration area
3 days ago

Balfour renews £330m Lincolnshire highways deal

Firm will use its new operational control hub to promptly address network issues
4 days ago

Three Caledonian Modular-built schools to be demolished

DfE confirms Essex, Somerset and Northampton schools will be bulldozed and rebuilt
4 days ago

Gilbert-Ash takes £30m Tate Liverpool revamp

Work to start in the New Year on remodelling of iconic 1846 warehouse
4 days ago

HS2 Solihull mass transit enabling works out to bid

Bidding for £60m main works to start early next year
4 days ago

Modular health specialist Vanguard rescues M-AR

Deal with administrators sees Vanguard add production capacity with 100,00 sq ft offsite factory
4 days ago

Torsion forms JV to build £90m Leeds resi tower

Construction to start in January on one of Leeds' tallest towers
4 days ago

Approved change to concrete ‘recipe’ to slash carbon emissions

New approved concrete mixes will be able to blend finely ground limestone and fly ash
5 days ago

Network Rail unveils Cardiff South Central masterplan

Plans being drawn up for major housing-led mixed-use scheme
5 days ago

McLaren Living to revamp Watford police station site

Developer to submit plans for a major mixed-use development
5 days ago

National Grid £12.8bn HV civils framework hits market

Firms needed for major power line links and high voltage direct current converter stations
5 days ago

Contractor services