I know we all agree that West Oxfordshire needs more affordable homes - to rent or buy. However, these new homes must be at the right price in the right place, and any new development must come with the extra infrastructure needed to support it.
It is essential that any new homes must not ruin the unique character of our towns and villages. Excessive numbers of houses must not threaten the nature of our rural area - and speculative development must end.
A very good example of housing that is well thought-out, compliments the local area, and with a strong affordable element is the Home Farm development in Bladon, which I visited recently. Homes here have been built to a high standard that complement, not crowd, the village. This partnership between the Sovereign Housing Association and Blenheim Estates shows what can be done when we all work together.
I have met many local West Oxfordshire businesses - Stewart Milne Timber Systems and Ede Homes, for example - who are creating innovative solutions to building more housing that compliments our area, and I look forward to the growth of their businesses and ideas.
The way to ensure the end of speculative development is through the creation of a well-thought out and fully-evidenced Local Plan. I am glad that West Oxfordshire District Council has now submitted their plan for inspection; this is occurring during the summer of 2017. This will do much more to enable people protect the area that we live and work in.
I will continue to scrutinise planning policy to make sure it works for us. I will not hesitate to continue to speak out if the unique charm of West Oxfordshire is threatened.