Local Plan: latest news
New consultation begins on Local Plan proposals
A public consultation on further changes to the draft West Oxfordshire Local Plan has been launched.
The draft plan was originally submitted for examination in 2015 but pushed back due to concerns about the proposed housing target. An initial set of changes proposed by the Council in 2016 saw the target increased from 10,500 homes to 15,950 homes including a contribution of 2,750 homes towards Oxford’s ‘unmet’ housing need.
Those initial changes were considered through examination hearings held in May and July last year and last month the Inspector wrote to the Council stating that subject to a number of further changes, the draft plan is likely to be capable of being found legally compliant and ‘sound’.
Consultation on these further changes, known as main modifications, is taking place until 9 April.
Responses will then be sent to the Inspector for consideration as he prepares his final report.
Cllr Jeff Haine, Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “This is a vitally important document laying out the development of West Oxfordshire in the coming years.
“It has taken a huge amount of work to get to this stage and we are delighted that the Inspector has given us a positive steer subject to some further changes. I would encourage as many people as possible to look at the proposed changes and make comments if necessary to ensure we have the best planning blueprint for the District going forward.”
Anyone wanting to respond to the consultation should do so by 5pm on Monday 9 April.
A response form and more information on the proposal,s along with a list of locations where the documents can be viewed, online.
- 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.
- Two further examination hearings took place from 9 - 18 May 2017 (stage 2) and 11 - 20 July 2017 (stage 3). After which we agreed to undertake further work for the Planning Inspector.
- Consultation on additional technical evidence including housing need, landscape and heritage impact and sustainability appraisal took place between November and December 2017.