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Inspector’s AAP Report - Disaster! 29 Mar 2023 Greatly reduced effectiveness of the AAP on zero net carbon development & biodiversity protection

Inspector's report out of step with ambition to address Climate Change locally

Over the last few years, many of you have contributed ideas and suggestions to the West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) public consultations on the Garden Village. Our Council listened to us and over time included many of our contributions, as well as those of other local environment groups, around tackling the combined crises of global warming and biodiversity loss.

Our community also helped to shape the WODC Area Action Plan (AAP) for Salt Cross Garden Village which was sent to the Government Inspectors last year. The Inspectors responded in September 2022 and their changes or 'modifications' to the plan were devastating. And they didn’t explain the reasons for them. After local outcry, the Inspectors have finally done so in their recent report, too late for anyone to counter their arguments.

Goodbye well-insulated homes and solar roofs panels as standard on new build. Hello, expensive retro-fitting when the law changes

The Inspectors’ modifications have greatly reduced the effectiveness of the AAP, especially on zero net carbon development and removing the 'fabric first' approach which insures that fabric, like effective insulation is installed during the build. These changes have dismayed many local people, energy experts and respected organisations such as the Town and Country Planning Association. They responded sending their comments and objections to the consultation, but the Inspectors made very few changes to their modifications, and those they made were very minor and do nothing at all to address our global climate crisis and biodiversity loss.

Have a look here at the reaction of one person who submitted a response suggesting serious flaws in the Examination process and approach of the Inspectors, a wasted opportunity to seriously address climate change and ignoring some serious development nearby, e,g, Botley West Solar Farm.

If you agree with his response or some of it, you might like to write to your local councillors to express your dissatisfaction with the Inspectors’ report and ask for it to be revised. Although we suspect that it may be too late to make a difference, you might also consider sending your letter to The Planning Inspectorate: feedback@planninginspectorate.govuk. We are sure you are aware it is best to keep any communication polite and factual.

Finally, if you would like to call the Government to account by taking peaceful, non-violent action, you might like to consider joining Extinction Rebellion's Big One on Friday 21 - Monday 24 April.

If you would like more information, or to travel with local campaigners including some of us in EPIC and GreenTEA (Transition Eynsham Area), contact us at epic2031@gmail.com.

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