In 2016, Oxford City Council submitted a highly controversial application to extend the Park and Ride at Seacourt onto the Thames floodplain and Green Belt in contravention of National and Local planning policies. We worked to rally opposition to the plan via a petition and letters of objection during the planning consultation. The Seacourt badgers have survived the flooding for many years. We feared this man made threat will have a devastating impact on them and other wildlife. We felt resonably confident that the planning system would protect wildlife living on never-before developed green fields, on functional flood plain and Green belt. There are no higher protections. We did not expect to be involved in a campaign that lasted two years and saw badgers in diving gear go to Oxford Town Hall to present a petition to the Leader of the Council !
We underestimated Oxford City's determination to leave no field in it's possession undeveloped and their utter disregard for planning regulation, public opinion, costs and for the fact that the site is simply totally unsafe and unsuitable for a car park. At the time of writing the proposals have been approved by Oxford City Council and are we are waiting to hear if the Secretary of State will call it in for a final decision. It's a tense time.
- Linda Ward, 09 Feb 2018
Oxfordshire Badger Group petition to Councillor Bob Price, Leader of Oxford City Council to withdraw planning application Ref/ 16/02745/CT3
Oxford City Council wants to extend the Seacourt Park and Ride onto Flood Plain land that it owns beside the Seacourt stream. The proposals are contrary to the Council's own policies and costs are spiraling. The Council claims the extra 700 parking spaces are needed urgently. Yet it intends to cut capacity at the nearby ‘underused’ Redbridge Park & Ride by 270 spaces. Seacourt will become Oxford's largest Park & Ride yet is often closed due to floods. The Council has a duty to preserve the Oxford City's Green Belt for posterity yet seems determined to destroy it.
Badgers and other wildlife thrive on this rich and delightful open space. They survive the periodic floods but will suffer immensely if the Park and Ride is extended.
It is not reasonable to permanently destroy a locally important, unspoiled, abundant wildlife habitat for short term gain. We urge Bob Price to tell his Council to withdraw this application. It must commit to cherish and preserve environmentally rich green field areas like this.