Emerging Local Plan 2011-2033

South Oxfordshire District Council is developing a new Local Plan that, once approved, will shape the future of our district. We are committed to involving our communities in preparing the new plan.

The emerging Local Plan and its supporting studies set out our vision for South Oxfordshire up to the year 2033. Together they identify where housing, retail and employment land should be located as well as the infrastructure required to support this growth, such as new roads, schools, health services and sewerage.  The proposed policies in the plan will be used to help make decisions on planning applications in the district.

The most recent opportunity to provide feedback on the Local Plan was through the formal publicity period, which closed at 5pm on Thursday 30 November 2017. Thank you to all of those who took the time to respond. The responses can be viewed through our consultation portal here This link will take you to an external website... : or direct through our website here This link will take you to an external website... .

Local Plan update

Next steps

Full Council met in May 2018 to review the Local Plan and decided to follow Cabinets recommendations to reassess all available housing sites as long as the extra time that this will take does not have a significant impact on the countywide Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal. View the Cabinet Report and Minutes This link will take you to an external website... This link will take you to an external website...  and agenda and minutes from Full Council This link will take you to an external website... .

The council intends to reassess each of the main housing sites currently proposed in the Plan, along with previously-considered locations that were dismissed but were ‘reasonable alternatives’ and some additional sites that were promoted to the council prior to the close of the Regulation19 publication stage of the Local Plan.

The sites under consideration are as follows:

Current proposed sites: Culham, Wheatley, Berinsfield and Chalgrove Airfield;

Previously considered (but not progressed, ‘reasonable alternatives’) sites: Thornhill, Wick Farm, Lower Elsfield (Bayswater), Grenoble Road, Northfields, Harrington;

Additional sites submitted by developers: Palmers Riding Stables – Emmer Green Reading, Reading Golf Club, Playhatch - Reading, Land off Thame Road - North Weston and Land South of Great Western Park

View the location of all 15 sites to be assessed on a map of the District (2.4 MB) PDF

As part of the evidence base collection process to support the emerging South Oxfordshire Local Plan, the council has written to site promoters, developers and land owners for each of the above-mentioned sites requesting additional information to support an initial assessment of the sites.

The council has also written to stakeholders to request assistance in reviewing the delivery of the Local Plans strategic site allocations. In particular, the council sought information or comments on the potential for an alternative site or ‘reserve site’ to be included in the Plan, as well as the sites that have not been subject to the Local Plan consultation process previously.

The initial site assessment process is likely to be completed by the end of July 2018.

Additionally, we are corresponding with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and discussions are continuing. We have updated partner authorities, who are part of the Oxfordshire Growth Board, and continue to work to the approach agreed by the Council to ensure we are in the best possible position to produce a ‘sound’ and robust Local Plan.

Initial letter This link will take you to an external website... to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

If there is an indication that there will be a significant impact on the Growth Deal, Chalgrove Airfield will remain in the Local Plan as a strategic housing site for 3,000 new homes, with a reserve site or sites added following assessment work. An indication of the impact on the growth deal is expected to coincide with the completion of the initial site assessment process July 2018. 

The Oxfordshire Growth Board has written (186.9 KB) PDF to Councillor Jane Murphy, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council to express its support for the reassessment of the strategic allocations.

More information about the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal is available on the Oxfordshire Growth Board website This link will take you to an external website... .

The final stages

Once the Plan is finalised, we will submit all of our evidence, supporting documents and the Local Plan itself to the Secretary of State in accordance with Regulation 22 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012. A Planning Inspector will then be appointed to carry out an Independent Examination in Public (EiP).

The Inspector will examine the Local Plan 2011-2033, the evidence supporting it and the comments received and will hear comments from those who wish to appear at the formal hearing sessions. The Inspector will then report as to whether the plan is "sound" and "legally compliant". For information on what these terms mean, please see our guidance note (866.0 KB) PDF .

Viewing the documents

The plan and supporting documents can be viewed below:

Evidence studies can be viewed here

 The SHELAA provides a technical assessment of the suitability, availability and achievability of land for development. It is an update to the Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (HELAA), which was published in March 2017. The SHELAA is available to view here This link will take you to an external website...

Topic papers

You can also view a series of topic papers, which set out the processes undertaken and evidence considered to inform the sites and policies in our Local Plan.  

Last reviewed: 18 - 06 - 2018

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