Local Plan 2035

***Latest news: The South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035 was adopted at a meeting of Full Council on 10 December 2020. It now forms part of the development plan for the district and replaces the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2011 and Core Strategy***

The emerging Local Plan was progressed to adoption under a Direction from the Secretary of State. The Plan and its supporting studies set out the future for development in South Oxfordshire up to 2035. The Plan identifies locations for housing, retail and employment land as well as the infrastructure required to support this growth. The policies in the development plan are the starting point for making decisions on planning applications in the district.

The adopted version of the Local Plan consists of the Submission Local Plan plus the Main Modifications and Minor Modifications. For ease of reference these are shown in a draft non-track changes version below:

In the new year the Council will finalise any remaining minor modifications and then publish the Adopted version of the Local Plan.

Local Plan Adoption Statement

On 16 December 2020, Government announced a reform to the way housing numbers are calculated, with more emphasis on growth at England’s 20 largest cities and urban areas. The announcement does not change the position for the recently adopted local plan. The housing requirement was found sound by the Local Plan Inspector and we were under a Direction to progress the Plan through examination and to adoption by the end of December. Once a Council has made a decision to adopt a Local Plan, it cannot unadopt it. Looking forward, we will consider all evidence about housing requirements, including the reforms to the standard method, as we plan ahead through the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 and our own next local plan.

Inspector’s Report

In November 2020 the Inspector issued his report which is published below. The Inspector concluded that the South Oxfordshire Local Plan was sound, subject to inclusion of the Main Modifications.

Scrutiny, Cabinet and Council considered the adoption of the Local Plan at meetings in December 2020. You can read the papers below and find links to watch the meetings which was livestreamed:

Other documents to aid consideration at Council and Cabinet:

The issuing of the Inspector’s Report marks the formal end of the Examination stage of the local plan. Our Examination page contains all the information about the submission and examination of the Local Plan.

On 2 December 2020 the MHCLG wrote to SODC about HIF funding, this can be viewed here.

On 2 December 2020 the Minister of State for Housing wrote the Leader of the Council a letter regarding the adoption stage of the Local Plan.

On 3 December 2020 the Leader of the Council responded in a letter setting out the next steps of the adoption stage

Consultation on Proposed Main Modifications

Following examination hearings in July and August 2020, the Planning Inspector asked South Oxfordshire District Council to prepare a ‘Schedule of Proposed Main Modifications’ to the plan. The schedule reflected the modifications, or changes, that the Inspector considers necessary to make the plan sound before it can move to the adoption stage.

We carried out a six-week consultation on the Proposed Main Modifications between 21 September and 2 November 2020. This consultation has now closed.

How to View the Main Modification Consultation Documents

The consultation documents are available here:

Although not forming part of the consultation, we also published the following documents for completeness:

Consultation Responses

The consultation responses to the Proposed Main Modifications are available to view.

Main Modifications Consultation Representations are available here.

All responses relating to the Main Modifications were submitted to the Inspector via the Programme Officer. The Inspector considered all the responses received and decided that no further hearings are necessary, or issues revisited. The Inspector presented his final conclusions in his Final report.

Data protection

Please refer to our Privacy Notice regarding how your personal data was used for consultation. If you would like to know more about the councils data protection registration or to find out about your personal data click here

Background to the Emerging Local Plan

South Oxfordshire District Council submitted the Local Plan to the Secretary of State on Friday 29 March 2019 in accordance with Regulation 22 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 for Independent Examination.


On 3 March 2020 the Secretary of State issued South Oxfordshire District Council with a Direction  under Section 27 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

This directs the Council to progress the plan through examination to be adopted by December 2020, and for senior council officers to report monthly to MHCLG officials on progress of the plan. Reports of monthly monitoring are available below

Monthly Monitoring Meeting May 2020

Monthly Monitoring Meeting June 2020

Monthly Monitoring Meeting July 2020

Monthly Monitoring Meeting August 2020

Monthly Monitoring Meeting September 2020

Monthly Monitoring Meeting October 2020

Monthly Monitoring Meeting November 2020

Monthly Monitoring Meeting December 2020

Further correspondence about the Direction is available on our Local Plan Direction Correspondence page

Viewing the Local Plan 2034 documents

The plan and supporting documents can be viewed here

Additional documents submitted in support of the Local Plan can found in the Submission Document Library

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.

**Please note that documents are available on an appointment only basis as the offices are currently closed to the public.

Please see how coronavirus is affecting our services for further updates.

Responses to Plan Consultations

We would like to thank everyone who submitted comments during the Publicity Period of the Local Plan 2034, which took place between 7 January – 18 February 2019.  The responses are now available to view here:

Responses to previous consultations and information on what has happened up to this stage can be found here:

Local Development Scheme

A Local Development Scheme, has been produced and approved on 29 March 2020 and it can be found here

Since the publication of this Local Development Scheme (LDS) the Council has updated its Local Plan and it is now referred to as the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035. This is to ensure that there is an appropriate timeline post adoption of the Local Plan.

Contact us - Planning policy

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01235 422600
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South Oxfordshire District Council
135 Eastern Avenue
Milton Park
OX14 4SB