OxCam Arc Vision Consultation
The Government has now launched a consultation on the Vision for its proposed Spatial Framework for the OxCam Arc.
The Government has declared that Bedfordshire sits within the OxCam Arc and is preparing a Spatial Framework for the region to deliver economic, environmental and social benefits. They are now asking for our views on the ‘Vision’ for this Framework. You can respond via the Government Placebuilder website. The consultation closes on October 12th.
A copy of the CPRE consultation response will be available here in due course. In the meantime, here are a few pointers from CPRE Bedfordshire:
We know development will come forward in the region over this time, so we agree it should be planned for and done well, including tackling our climate and nature emergencies.
Rural character and the environment
The level of development must be within the area’s environmental capacity and avoid/minimise/mitigate harm to our countryside and rural character, which underpin our economy.
We think that’s best driven by local people, through their locally elected representatives, rather than top-down imposition of targets. Spatial Planning and development should be at most at County or local planning authority scale.
Locally assessed need
Regional scale infrastructure needs, such as transport and water, should be assessed from the aggregation of locally assessed needs and growth. Such infrastructure plans should take full account of environmental and social constraints and be subject to wide ranging and democratically based consultation and a thorough environmental assessment.
Without taking these principles into account, the OxCam Arc proposals as currently envisaged by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), and endorsed by Government, represent an existential threat to the countryside and rural communities within the area, and risk undermining the economic prosperity that is being sought.
Further Sources of Information
- Challenge the Arc – a joint website for CPRE Branches across the Arc, with lots of background information and detail
- STARC – the Stop the Arc group (previously the No Expressway Group)
National CPRE and the OxCam Arc
National CPRE’s Spatial Planning Lead, Andrew Wood, explains his perspective on the consultation and how to make the best of engaging in it.