A new design for South Oxfordshire

Released on June 15, 2016

South Oxfordshire District Council has completely re-written its Design Guide to make sure all developments coming along in the next 16 years are well-designed, of a high quality, and will become pleasant and close-knit communities that people will enjoy living in.

Developers work all over the country in many different areas, so it’s important to make sure they can fully understand what is appropriate to South Oxfordshire – that’s what the Design Guide is for.

The new guide seeks to break the mould of traditional design guides. The new guide is significantly more concise, more visual, and it’s easier to follow and understand.  This will make it easier for developers to understand the ambitions and expectations in South Oxfordshire, and be inspired to design interesting and high-quality developments that fully fit in with the character of the district.

There is also now strong guidance on the importance and effectiveness of developers providing clear plans and visuals at the start of their applications – this will make it easier for residents to understand what’s being proposed.

Cllr John Cotton, leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “There are a lot of new developments coming up in the district over the next 16 years, so it’s particularly important to make sure they’re well-designed.  South Oxfordshire is one the best places to live in the country, and it’s vital that all new developments are designed and built to the high standards we expect. The guide will help do that, but we need to hear from residents to make sure we’re on the right track.”

To see the new design guide and comment on it, visit www.southoxon.gov.uk/designguide from Friday 17 June.

The design guide takes into account the rural nature of South Oxfordshire, its villages and its market towns. Being able to manage issues on a local level like this is also one of the reasons the council thinks a local unitary council in southern Oxfordshire is the best approach. A large county-wide unitary council wouldn’t be equipped to deal with things on a local level in the same way.