Oxford City Council’s Planning Review Committee met to reconsider the application to extend Seacourt park and ride at the request of concerned councillors. OBG again attended in numbers to make clear our concerns (with posters, politely at the back). If anything, the consideration given to the case against approval seemed even more cursory. We agreed the process was unfair and have written setting out our complaints. Our one last hope is that since the plans involve developing on Flood Plain and Green Belt they do have to be approved by the Secretary of State. A previous application for a much smaller Park and Ride on the site was called in and refused.
The press article (with photos of OBG) is worth reading.
The opposition had all the best arguments but the Chair and the composition of the committee was hopelessly
and blatantly biased.
The final phase of Seacourt consultation involved a revised Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) for the area. Our view is that nothing can adequately mitigate for turning a conservation protection area and habitat of principal importance into a 670 space 'temporary' car park. With an excruciating lack of sensitivity, the Council came and began a brutal clearance of vegetation cover at the start of the final week of the consultation. To claim that the measures were aimed at protecting badgers by checking for possible unmapped setts is simply unacceptable.
Oxford City Council West Area Planning Committee will decide whether or not to destroy the greenfield it owns on the Seacourt floodplain on Tues 12 Dec 2017. OBG will be present.
OBG has kept environmental issues at the forefront of the debate in the final run up to D-Day. Sadly that's mainly because the Council decided to go in and clear the badgers'' foraging land down to the bare soil. Work started in the final week of consultation into the Councils latest Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) promising to mitigate the effects of development on biodiversity. Not to mention that it is now the badger breeding season.
The devastation is heart breaking.
But what is important is to halt the development in its tracks. Vegetation can grow back, birds, insects, reptiles may survive the winter and return. This has made us more determined.