land seizure in oxford

Lilia Patterson lilia at
Thu Oct 12 22:40:43 BST 2000

Land Seizure planned in Oxford!! (taken from Oxford Rag - Oxycetelene

Don't fence me out!

Everyone knows about the eighteenth and nineteenth century Enclosures, in 
which peasants saw their smallholdings and common lands seized and their 
rights of access wiped out by rapacious landowners. But what they don't 
teach at school is that the spirit of enclosure is alive and well and as 
hungry as ever today - in the cities as much as the countryside.
The latest chunk to be torn out of Oxford's public green space is about to 
disappear into the bottomless gullet of car culture, courtesy of 
Oxfordshire County Council, who have just put in an application to double 
the size of Thornhill Park and Ride by tarmaccing several acres of former 
allotments - for some reason it's easier to feed the fume-spewing car 
monster than to subsidise better public transport. Elsewhere in the city 
allotments have already been swallowed up by leisure and housing
Oxy thinks that public land should remain open to all - not just those who 
drive a car or who can afford an executive home. Allotments (even ones not 
currently in use) are a precious resource, securing our independence from 
the multinational food companies - and once developed they can only be 
replaced at the expense of other open space. Disused allotments are ripe 
for conversion to local nature parks, or can become community gardens - 
ensuring that they can be turned back into allotments if needed.
The City Council needs to get its act together on this and stop flogging 
off our 'urban commons'. Let them know what you think - write to Linda 
Wride at the Planning Dept, Town Hall to comment on the park and ride plan,

or to the Local Plan Review Group to urge the City to adopt policies that 
protect 'redundant' allotments and other open space.
Meanwhile the Council has called a public meeting about another bit of 
earthrape - Berkeley Homes' proposed Cowley Road bus-garage development, 
which will destroy a wildlife-rich field and a thirty-year-old footpath. Be

there at Oxford School, Barracks Lane, 7.30 on Monday 23rd October to give 
Berkeley a hard time!

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