Local Plan: latest news
The second stage of the Council’s Local Plan examination hearing sessions was held from 9 to 19 May 2017. A number of key issues were discussed including the overall strategy, housing and employment provision, transport and the natural and historic environment.
The third and final stage of the hearings will now take place from 11 July – 21 July 2017 with a particular focus on specific sites as well as the Council’s overall housing land supply.
The hearings will take place in the Council Chamber at the Council’s Woodgreen offices in Witney.
Planning Inspector Malcolm Rivett BA (Hons) MSc MRTPI has been appointed to conduct the examination and he will determine whether or not the plan is ‘sound’ in light of the representations received and national policy.
Mr Rivett has prepared an examination guidance note, a draft hearing programme and matters and questions for Stage 3.
Further information about the process and documentation is here: Local Plan 2031 Examination.
- We first formally submitted our draft Local Plan to Government for independent examination by the Planning Inspectorate in July 2015.
- The subsequent examination hearing was suspended in January 2016 following recommendations by the Planning Inspector that elements of the Plan should be reconsidered, including the overall housing target.
- As a result, our planners undertook a range of further work and consulted on proposed changes to the Plan.
- Responses were received from around 1,000 individuals and organisations during the 6-week consultation stage which ran from 11 November until 23 December 2016. These were submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration on 10 March 2017, together with the proposed modifications and a range of supporting documents.
Cllr Jeff Haine, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Economy:
“It is vital that we get an adopted Local Plan in place as soon as possible otherwise the district will continue to be at risk from speculative housing applications.
“We are confident that we have taken into account the Planning Inspectorates’ requirements, including the request that we accommodate some of Oxford City’s unmet housing need, and we believe what we are putting forward is the best for West Oxfordshire.”