Journal Article

The sinking of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc : strategic planning in England at a nadir?


There is a clear consensus amongst both academic commentators and the professional community that current arrangements for strategic planning in England are inadequate. The withdrawal of central government from leadership of the proposed ‘Oxford-Cambridge Arc’ in early 2022 marks a particular nadir, not least given the ambitions for the planning of the area set out only a year earlier. This article offers a conjunctural reading of the failure of the proposed Arc spatial framework, emphasising that not only was the process of planning the Arc itself problematical, but it also faced wider governmental and political headwinds which fuelled public opposition to the scheme, reduced central government commitment and redirected political priorities elsewhere. In this context the prospects for the future of strategic planning in England appear rather bleak.

Attached files


Valler, David
Allmendinger, Phil
Nelles, Jen

Oxford Brookes departments

School of the Built Environment


Year of publication: 2023
Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-01-20

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of The sinking of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc: strategic planning in England at a nadir?


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