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Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford: A Corridor of Uncertainty for the Countryside

The Government is set to accept a recommendation from the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) to build 1 million new homes between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge.

NIC recommendations also include 1.1 million new jobs, the re-opening of a railway link (known as ‘East West Rail’) between Cambridge and Oxford, and a major new road called the ‘Oxford-Cambridge Expressway’.

CPRE is concerned about the way the Government has approached this issue, for three key reasons:

  • There is a troubling democractic deficit around these plans, and there has been no formal public consultation on the NIC recommendations;
  • There has been no formal Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the impact of the proposals for development in the Arc;
  • There is a lack of vision for housing.

This briefing sets out what CPRE are calling for, which is:

  • A full parliamentary inquiry into the proposals
  • A proper planning process with local involvement
  • An Arc-wide commitment to high standards of affordable housing provision and design
  • Protection and improvement of the environment
  • Improvements to public transport, not a new road