Barton Park shrouded in obscurity

I’ve criticised the obscurity of the planning system before, and another example has just emerged. Big developments thrive by making informed public debate virtually impossible. The @BartonPark_ reserved matters planning documents are online for scrutiny. There are 113 documents, so good luck to anyone who wants to know the details.

For example, the preamble to the list of documents says it covers cycle paths, but not one of the documents has the word ‘cycle’ in its title so it’s extremely difficult to find any information about what’s being proposed. In fact I tried searching the page for ‘cycle’, ‘park’, ‘lighting’, footpaths’ and ‘ponds’, all said to be included within the application. None of the documents listed have any of these words in their titles.

In practice the only people who will dig into the details are a few professionals working for the developers and a few Council officers. Elected Councillors won’t have time and will rely on being told what the officers think they need to know. Meaningful discussion will be non-existent, and public participation effectively quashed.

Nice one, Barton Park and Oxford City.

3 thoughts on “Barton Park shrouded in obscurity

  1. Thanks for your comments.

    Following the approval of the (overall) outline planning application, a series of further planning applications will now be submitted, each addressing the remaining detailed matters that require permission.

    The current planning application deals with the matters of access, landscaping, drainage, utilities and earthworks only (it does not address housing design for example).

    We suggest that you look at the “Design and Access Statement” which is available to download in five sections and can be found at the very bottom of the list of documents that you refer to.

    It is entitled: “Das_rm1-part1”( to 5). This document provides information on and illustrations of the proposed main road through the site, the linear park and other green areas within the site.

    Some of the documents were uploaded via the Planning Portal and the references used are those given by the agent/applicant.

    Over the next few days we are going to adjust the names of the documents to make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for.

    I hope this answers the points made above. If you have any further questions, please email and we will be as helpful as we can.

    Oxford City Council Press Office

  2. It needs someone with more skills than me to do a pdf search script that will step through all the listed documents looking for a target string.

    A-a-and —– GO!

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