If you live in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire or Oxfordshire – did you know that you now live in a Growth Arc?
The Government is targeting these largely rural counties for development on a massive scale. It has created the entirely notional ‘Oxford-Cambridge Arc’ as a way of delivering this.
The proposal on the table is for up to 1 million new houses across the area, equivalent to 20 new cities the size of Cambridge, plus the possibility of a new Expressway between Oxford and Cambridge together with East-West Rail. This is vastly in excess of what is needed to meet natural population growth, even allowing for economic expansion.
Tranquil countryside scene from Bedfordshire
Our countryside is at risk – Most of the proposed development would be on greenfield land, including valuable farmland, rather than making use of brownfield land and supporting urban regeneration. Excessive development at this scale is just not consistent with our climate and biodiversity emergencies.
Our democracy is at risk – Huge amounts of work and money are being poured into the Arc concept, but all behind the scenes. The Arc plan, when it does see the light of day, will dictate the contents of the Local Plans normally drawn up by our local councils. Decision-making is being moved away from our elected representatives and away from the local communities that should in fact be at the heart of good plan-making.
Our society is at risk – There are other parts of England, particularly in the Midlands and northern regions, that need regeneration and merit investment far more than the area of the Arc.
If you share our concerns, please join us. How you can help. Challenge the Arc!
We believe planning should:
be democratic and place local communities at the centre
be plan-led and locally-led
have sustainable development at its heart.
See our Joint Vision for Planning.
Challenge the Arc! Contact us by clicking here.
Oxford Cambridge Arc