Timetable set for South Oxfordshire’s Local Plan

Released on August 2, 2018

South Oxfordshire District Council’s Cabinet has agreed a timetable setting out that its Local Plan will be submitted for public examination in March 2019.

The timetable states that councillors will make a decision in December on which of the 15 available major housing sites will be included in the plan, following completion of necessary assessment and filtering work.

The final plan, outlining how the district should develop until 2033, will then be published and residents will have a chance to comment on its technical ‘soundness’ early next year. It will then be submitted for public examination by an independent planning inspector later in 2019.

The Council decided in May to re-assess all of the 15 available sites, as long as any extra time this took did not affect a countywide Housing and Growth Deal to bring in government funding to support housing growth in Oxfordshire. The deal – which secures £215m of funding over five years to support the county’s housing growth and infrastructure, such as roads - requires each of the county’s district councils to submit their Local Plans by 1 April 2019.

Cllr Jane Murphy, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We’ve been liaising with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and we have also been working with the government’s Planning Advisory Service and Planning Inspectorate. With their support on issues such as methodology and site assessment process, we’re pleased that we’ve been able to progress work in such a way that we’ll be ready to submit our Local Plan in March, in line with the Housing and Growth Deal.

“We have a duty to ensure our plan is robust and ‘sound’ and we’re working hard to make sure we can deliver on the housing and infrastructure that is needed, while securing the best outcome for South Oxfordshire and our communities in the future. I’d like to reassure residents that they’ll have a chance to comment on the final plan before it’s submitted and that all comments, along with the thousands of others already received, will be passed onto the independent inspector for consideration.”

The inspector will scrutinise the plan during public examination and will then issue a report with recommendations to either accept it as it is or with modifications, or reject it.

For more information about the Local Plan see southoxon.gov.uk/localplan.

For more information about the Housing and Growth Deal, see the Oxfordshire Growth Board website oxfordshiregrowthboard.org.