Archive : Conflict Over £4m Depot


Rival claims of what was best in the national interest were advanced by Oxfordshire County Council and the Oxford Preservation Trust today when the public inquiry into the British Motor Corporation’s proposal for a £4m. spare parts depot continued at Oxford.

Mr H. H. E. Hill. for the council, said the 70-acre site, at Horspath, was the most satisfactory from planning and highways points of view. The council now suggested that the 70 acres be excluded from the original green belt proposals for Oxford. Mr Hill said the council rejected the corporation’s application relating to a site at Kidlington and thought of Didcot, in Berkshire, but they now accepted that this was not a suitable proposition. It was not a matter of going back on a principle of support for the green belt.

Lord Harcourt, chairman of the Oxford Preservation Trust, said its object in supporting the green belt was the proper control and balance in the public interest of three factors–residence, employment, and amenity. It was estimated that about 120,000 tourists visited Oxford every year. The city suffered from over-employment, it was unbalanced employment: one-third of insured workers were employed in the motor industry. Apart from the question of damage to the green belt, expansion of the motor industry in Oxford needed to be halted.

The inquiry continues tomorrow.

Keith Adams

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