Introducing the Oxfordshire Plan 2050

POTENTIAL SPATIAL SCENARIOS

56 The Oxfordshire Plan will identify broad locations for housing and economic growth but will not allocate sites except at the request of the relevant local planning authority. This will follow through separate plans produced at the local level. It will be a challenge to settle on the best locations for growth. Decisions around where housing will be located for example will be difficult and are likely to be emotive; specific local concerns will need to be considered alongside the strategic need for homes and employment opportunities.

57 The following section presents a range of options that may be available in Oxfordshire for accommodating new development. The broad scenarios that follow are, at this stage, deliberately conceptual, and are presented here to offer an opportunity to explore their merits and drawbacks. At later stages of Plan production, these will be explored in more depth, in particular, how they might apply within Oxfordshire's geography and context.

58 The spatial form of development that emerges in the Plan is likely to follow a combination of the broad scenarios outlined here. These overarching scenarios are not necessarily mutually exclusive and the preferred scenario is likely to involve a combination of these options:

Intensification of city, town and district centres

  • Commonly encouraged in Local Plans in line with the NPPF but unlikely to be enough to meet needs
  • Focus on housing and economy may conflict with other important functions of these centres
  • Townscape character may be affected
  • There are usually good existing transport links, although they may already be at capacity

Intensification of development within existing suburbs

  • Land assembly is challenging with multiple landowners
  • Highly disruptive for existing residents
  • Focuses development close to, and supports, existing services and connections

Intensification around the edges of larger settlements and strategic extensions

  • Can link into existing public transport networks
  • Focuses development close to, and supports, existing services and connections
  • These locations may be in the Green Belt and development may affect the purposes of the Green Belt

Spoke and hub

(Continue to focus on Oxford and key corridors in to Oxford)

  • Concentrates transport along routes that are already at high capacity
  • May offer opportunities for funding to enhance strategic corridors
  • This would not help 'spread the load' of new development, but would mean improving existing infrastructure, which might be efficient, but much will depend on the potential of existing infrastructure to be improved to take new development

New settlement/s

  • Depending on location, it may or may not be close to existing high quality transport corridors
  • Would need to be of a sufficient scale to support provision of sufficient new infrastructure.
  • May have a negative environmental impacts and but could be designed to deliver environmental gains
  • Designing a settlement from scratch provides opportunities for urban design principles to be followed throughout, such as Garden Town principles
  • A new settlement would take a long time to be delivered

Dispersal

(This would involve spreading new development evenly across the county, including in smaller settlements)

  • Small sites are unlikely to generate infrastructure needs alone, so are unlikely to significantly contribute to improvements to infrastructure
  • The character of a smaller settlements might be adversely affected by new development
  • Expanding some smaller settlements can support local shops, pubs and bus services
  • Smaller sites may improve deliverability rates due to competing developers
  • Dispersal is unlikely to meet the employment land needs of the county - larger businesses often need large sites and there are advantages to clustering

'String' settlement / settlement cluster

(Development focused on a number of linked settlements. It could involve new and/or existing/expanded settlements)

  • May or may not be close to existing high quality transport corridors
  • Relies on there being suitable broad locations available for this type of development
  • This may involve promoting development at some existing, currently small, settlements, which may significantly change their character
  • A number of smaller settlements could collectively, be of sufficient scale to be served by shared infrastructure

'Wheel' settlement cluster

(Focus on Oxford and the existing larger towns and the key corridors in to Oxford and between the towns)

  • This could be a variation on the spoke and hub approach but with the added benefits of stronger links between the towns
  • Could take some of the pressure off the corridors into Oxford

 

59 This Plan aims to make the process understandable and transparent to all potential interested parties. It will explore all reasonable options for locating new development, exploring to what degree the options meet the objectives of the Oxfordshire Plan so that whatever decisions are taken, they are clearly justified. How locations perform in sustainability terms and potential capacities will be assessed at the next stage of the plan-making process. The views of communities and stakeholders arising from this consultation will also be taken into consideration when refining options.

Do you agree with the commentary relating to the spatial scenarios illustrated, or do you think there are important considerations we have missed?

Option Results Count
Yes
No
Unsure

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Do you consider there are any other potential spatial scenarios we should consider?

Option Results Count
Yes
No
Unsure

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Are there any spatial scenarios you think we should avoid (please provide reasons if you can)?

Option Results Count
New Settlement/s
Intensification of city, town and district centres
Intensification of development within existing suburbs
Intensification around the edges of larger settlements and strategic extensions
Spoke and Hub
'String' settlement / settlement cluster
'Wheel' settlement cluster
Dispersal

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If you have any specific suggestions for broad locations for new development or other policies for the Oxfordshire Plan please suggest them through our ‘Call for ideas’

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