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Statement on the Government’s plan for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc

The government recently published a new plan designed to transform the Oxford-Cambridge Arc region into one of the world’s premier growth areas and a world-leader in sustainability. 

In response, Cllr Sue Cooper, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said:

Finally there is some recognition of the pressures on local infrastructure and community wellbeing from the Government.  South Oxfordshire is only a small part of this large Arc stretching across to Cambridge, but we can play an important role in setting the right direction for this new body and ensuring it is accountable to elected councillors and local residents, not just the Government.

The knowledge economy, including local successes such as the Covid vaccine development, can be a strong part of the rebuilding the UK economy, but this should be by working with other areas of the UK, not by building excessive numbers houses around and between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge.

We must also do what we can to ensure that Arc projects protect and enhance our natural environment and so we welcome the continued opportunity to work with the government and our partners to explore how we can best achieve this. I also intend to use our collective local influence to push for stronger environmental planning policies and investment in green technology.

South Oxfordshire District Council policy remains against the building of an Expressway from Oxford to Cambridge and we will continue to watch the Arc very closely to ensure it does not act as a means of un-pausing this road building project.