Local Plan 2034 Examination

South Oxfordshire District Council submitted the Local Plan 2034 to the Secretary of State on Friday 29 March 2019 for independent examination.  

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The Inspectors have now provided the Council three sets of initial comments and questions. Document IC1 concentrates on the Spatial Strategy and Housing and Employment issues. IC2 focuses on Development Management issues with IC4 exploring Site Specific and infrastructure matters. The Council's responses will be published once submitted.

Document IC1 - 05/09/2019

Document IC2 - 19/09/2019

Document IC4 - 24/09/2019

In addition to the initial questions and comments documents the Inspectors have also provided the Council with their thoughts on the Council's Proposed Schedule of Modifications (Document CSD13):

Document CSD13

Document IC3 - 19/09/2019

South Oxfordshire District Council are in ongoing dialogue with the Secretary of State regarding the holding direction and the progress of the Local Plan Examination. Please see attached a letter (204.5 KB) PDF sent on 13 February 2020 from South Oxfordshire District Council to the programme officers and inspectors. A further letter was sent on 28 February 2020 and this can be viewed here (167.8 KB) PDF .  

On 4 March a letter (224.0 KB) PDF was sent to the programme officer and inspectors regarding the direction issued to the Council from the Secretary of State.

Local Plan 2034 Examination timetable

Local Plan Submission for Examination          29 March 2019

Pre-Hearing Meeting                                    TBC by Inspectors if required

Hearing start date                                       TBC by Inspectors 

The Inspectors

Planning Inspectors Jonathan Bore MRTPI and Nick Fagan MRTPI have been appointed to undertake an independent examination into the soundness of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan (the Plan).

The Inspectors’ task is to consider the soundness of the submitted Plan, based on the criteria set out in paragraph 35 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2019 (the Framework).  The relevant soundness criteria are whether the Plan is:

  1. positively prepared (providing a strategy which, as a minimum, seeks to meet the area’s objectively assessed needs; and is informed by agreements with other authorities, so that unmet need from neighbouring areas is accommodated where it is practical to do so and is consistent with achieving sustainable development);
  2. justified (an appropriate strategy, taking into account the reasonable alternatives, and based on proportionate evidence);
  3. effective (deliverable over the plan period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic matters that have been dealt with rather than deferred, as evidenced by the statement of common ground); and
  4. consistent with national policy (enabling the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the Framework). 

The Inspectors will take into account the representations submitted upon the Proposed Submission Plan as far as they relate to soundness considerations. A number of informal debates will take place on the principal matters identified by the Inspector - these are termed Hearing Sessions.

At the end of the Examination, the Inspectors will prepare a report to the Council with precise recommendations, these recommendations may include modifications to the Plan, if such a request is made by the Council.

Guidance Notes will be prepared by the Inspectors to help people understand the process and will be available here in due course. Any queries people may have regarding the Examination process should be directed to the Programme Officer who will be happy to assist.

The Programme Officer

The Programme Officer, Ian Kemp, will act as the contact for any person who has an interest in the Examination and as a liaison between the Inspector, District Council and Representors.

He is an independent Officer of the Examination and works on behalf of the Inspector to organise and manage the administrative and procedural matters of the Examination process.  Mr Kemp is the appropriate point of contact for any questions relating to timetabling or procedural matters.  All statements will also be submitted through him. 

Any matters that anyone wishes to raise with the Inspector should be submitted via the Programme Officer.

Contact details:

Ian Kemp 

Postal Address: PO BOX 241, Droitwich, WR9 1DW

Mobile: 0772 300 9166

Email: idkemp@icloud.com

Mr Kemp will be contacting all Representors with details of the Examination process in due course.

Hearing Sessions Venue and Timetable

A Programme for the Hearing Sessions together with venue details and matters to be discussed will appear here once finalised. 

The following documents were prepared for the submission of the Local Plan:

In preparing the Local Plan the District Council both refer to and were informed by a number of documents that together form the 'Evidence Base' for the Examination.  These documents can be accessed through the link below.

Hard copies of the key documents are available to view at: our council offices at 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Abingdon, OX14 4SB - from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, and 8.30am to 4.30pm Fridays and at all public libraries in South Oxfordshire during their usual opening hours

Last reviewed: 25 - 03 - 2020

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