In response to a letter from the Begbroke and Yarnton Green Belt Campaign, Layla Moran, Parliamentary Candidate for Oxford West & Abingdon, writes,
"Liberal Democrats recognise the urgent need to build more homes, following the failure of local authorities over many years to meet their own targets and agree that the size of the developments and lack of the Oxford City Council’s willingness to creatively use the spaces available in and around the city to meet its own needs requires review. For example, filling empty houses, new models of design and ownership and better use of both existing and new sites should form an important part of the strategy to reduce the impact on local areas.
That said, I am against the proposed developments on the Green Belt around Kidlington, Yarnton and Begbroke. Unmet housing need alone does not constitute an "exceptional need" to build in the Green Belt and using it piecemeal as suggested in the current plan does not adhere to the principles of Green Belt which are permanent and must be respected. The suggested developments risk urban sprawl with the distinctiveness of the three villages (Begbroke, Kidlington and Yarnton) being lost.
In particular, I would push for the scale of housing to be be revisited given the significant changes that have occurred since the assessment was conducted. The job growth figures on which the housing figures were based should be reassessed in the light of the expected Hard Brexit. Much of the projected new employment is nowhere near the proposed housing leading to increased traffic and a strain on infrastructure.
Most importantly is the need for meaningful consultation and engagement with the local community. Brexit, Unmet Housing and the Unitary Council are three very important issues facing the constituency and I intend to support the people of Oxford West and Abingdon especially in these key areas. Many local campaign groups have arisen due to the Unmet Housing proposal, showing its importance, once elected I would like to help bring those groups together and with the help of our local county councillors support them with the difficult battles they face."