Growth Board Draft response to recommendations of the Growth Board Scrutiny Panel

Recommendations made on 15th September 2020


The Growth Board is requested to provide a draft response to the recommendations of the Scrutiny Panel, to be published as a supplement collectively with the Scrutiny Panel’s report, for decision at its meeting on 22 September 2020.





Recommendation 1. That the Growth Board ask HM Government to provide greater clarity in terms of planning flexibilities within the local authorities and implications on the 3 and 5 year land supply with regards to the granted extension of timelines of the Housing and Growth Deal.



Recommendation 2. That the Growth Board, when it receives a presentation on the Arc Local Natural Capital Plan, asks questions to understand:

                      i.        What methodology and sources of information will be used in quantifying natural capital?


                    ii.        What measurement will be used to assess the current level of natural capital, and to what extent this is being subsumed by development?


                   iii.        How will the Natural Capital Planning tool and investment toolkit be practically implemented?


                   iv.        What additional protections will be added to existing planning constraints with regards to AONBs and the Greenbelt?             


                    v.        What status does the Local Natural Capital Plan have in the refresh of local plans within the districts?


                   vi.        Whether there is an ambition to undertake a natural capital assessment across the county?


                  vii.        Whether there is an ambition to have carbon sequestration objectives within the Plan?


                viii.        How the existence of flood risk areas will be considered as part of the Plan?


                   ix.        How the Plan links with the EEH Draft Transport Strategy?




Recommendation 3. That the Growth Board in its aspirations of economic growth within the Oxford-Cambridge Arc organise workshops and events to –


                      i.        Promote the establishment of manufacturing industries

                    ii.        Promote teaching and training of engineering skills at all levels




Recommendation 4.  That the Growth Board again seeks clarity from HM Government concerning the current status of the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway project.




Recommendation 5. The Scrutiny Panel supports the draft comments made by Growth Board on its consultation on the emerging EEH Draft Transport Strategy especially on policies 12, 23 & 24.



Recommendation 6. That the Growth Board, in responding to the EEH Draft Transport Strategy:

                      i.        Gives greater importance to Digital Infrastructure considering the revelation of its importance in a post-Covid world.


                    ii.        Asks EEH to include research into autonomous vehicles in terms of personal, mass and freight transport in its strategy i.e. e-bikes, electric scooters, mid-level and long-range autonomous freight vehicles.


                   iii.        Indicates the lack of emphasis on Oxfordshire Rail Corridor and its key strategic nature, not just as part of East-West rail, but as part of the national rail infrastructure.