Having raised £10,000 for professional advisors, Save Culham Green Belt and Culham Parish Council fielded a strong team at the recent ‘Examination in Public’ of the SODC Local Plan (held digitally over Microsoft Teams). We had a barrister, environmental expert, and traffic consultant, as well as speakers from SCGB and a valuable contribution from a young member of the village about the climate emergency.
We have to warn you, however, that from the Inspector’s summing up session last Friday it seems he has accepted the inflated housing numbers, the ‘spatial strategy’ and all the sites except possibly Chalgrove until he has some more info (ironically the only site not in Green Belt), but will likely accept that one too. So, the Culham site has been accepted as ‘sound’ including all the boundaries and all the numbers (3,500 houses). We are appalled. We still await the formal written decision and statement.
The inspector was given a guided tour of Culham Science Centre on 12th August. Sam Casey-Rerhaye, our District Councillor and Parish Council Chair, was invited to accompany him too, for ‘balance’. But as we know, Government, led by Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, is pushing this Plan through with Culham Science Centre being used as a political tool. We did, at the last moment, gather a good twenty or so demonstrators with excellent banners and the Inspector acknowledged our presence as he drove in.
Oxford Mail covered the event. Here is the link
and we also made the local television news on BBC South with a 5 minute report on the later evening news with four short interviews; and a shorter one earlier in the day.