Introducing the Oxfordshire Plan 2050

Comment ID 1155
Document Section Introducing the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 INTRODUCTION (no name) View all on this section
Respondent James Stevens View all by this respondent
Response Date 01 Apr 2019

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We recognise that the current set of local plans in Oxfordshire, published after the introduction if the NPPF 2012, will need to play-out and some of these will run up to 2036. We recognise, therefore, that the extent to which the Oxfordshire Plan can influence those local plans that have already been adopted (e.g. Cherwell, Vale of White Horse, West Oxfordshire), and those that are at an advanced stage of consultation (i.e. Reg.19, as in the case of Oxford City and South Oxfordshire) may be quite limited. However, it is also the case that the adoption of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 could require all these local plans to be updated sooner than 2031 and 2036 to reflect important new strategic objectives.

Therefore, the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 must establish a new timeline by when local plans should be updated. It should also establish a new common commencement date for the adoption of five new local plans and that the local authorities must adhere to this. We believe that this common start date should be 2023, and that the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 should initially run to 2035, but be reviewed every five years after this (to ensure that the evidence relating to development needs and transport investment is

still relevant), and that the local plans must be ready to reflect these changes in line with the Joint/Statutory Plan.

A new Oxfordshire plan 2050 should be ready for adoption by 2035. This new plan will need to include new, ambitious housing and economic growth targets for Oxfordshire to make its contribution to the Growth Arc objectives up to 2050.

This will mean that the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 and the five supporting local plans, must be drafted in such a way that they are able to accommodate possibly quite significant changes easily without too much delay and disruption. This means identifying strategic development locations and proposals for new towns/villages and reviewing the Green Belt with a view towards accommodating potential development needs up to 2050. This will require the Oxfordshire authorities to adopt a more generous approach to land-use planning than some have been used too, in contrast to the parsimonious approach that typifies much local planning, where land for development is eked-out based on unrealistic expectations around housing land supply. The Oxfordshire Plan 2050 should be genuinely strategic and able to accommodate a range of potential development scenarios. This means that local plans can also easily accommodate relatively major changes through their five-year reviews without the risk of having to commission a new evidence base each time while also avoiding the risk of third-party challenge.

We think it is necessary to adopt a phased approach. The first phase would reflect current and adopted local plans but make it clear that a fundamental new spatial strategy will be in place by 2021 guiding local plan production and decision-taking from 2023 up to 2035. This will require new local plans for all five local authorities to be prepared and adopted by 2023 to deliver against the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 strategic objectives.

The second phase would be the reparation of a new Oxfordshire Plan covering the period 2035-2050.