Introducing the Oxfordshire Plan 2050

Comment ID 1192
Document Section Introducing the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 VISION FOR THE OXFORDSHIRE PLAN (no name) View all on this section
Respondent Crest Strategic Projects (CSP) View all by this respondent
Agent Katherine Charbonnier
Response Date 02 Apr 2019
Comment

5. CONCLUSIONS

5.1 These representations have been prepared by Rapleys LLP (Rapleys) on behalf Crest Strategic Projects (CSP) and relate to the ‘Introducing the Oxfordshire Plan’ document that was published in February 2019. The document comprises the first stage of consultation in respect of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 that will, on adoption, form the top tier of the Development Plan for all five districts within Oxfordshire for the period 2020 to 2050.

5.2 Crest Strategic Projects supports the decision to prepare the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 and to adopt a long-term strategic approach to the planning of development within Oxfordshire. Taking a long-term view of the needs that will arise in the period to 2050 is vitally important to ensure that growth can be planned for in a comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable manner. The plan-led objective is entirely appropriate given the importance and significance of the role that the County has to play in driving and delivering the future economic success of the UK.

5.3 The consultation document includes a draft vision and draft objectives for the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 and seeks views on various potential spatial scenarios. In order to ensure that our response on these matters was fully informed a review of the role of Oxfordshire in the national context was undertaken. It established the following:

1. The Government has identified the Cambridge - Milton Keynes - Oxford arc as an economic growth corridor that is fundamental to the future economic success of the United Kingdom.

2. The Government has set out a clear ambition to build upon the emerging successes evident within the arc to ensure that it becomes globally significant (a UK version of ‘Silicon Valley’). They recognise that central to this ambition is the delivery of the homes (up to one million new homes by 2050) and infrastructure necessary to support sustained economic growth within the sub-region and in the areas immediately beyond. This view is shared by the Oxfordshire LPA's, as evidenced by The Oxford-Cambridge Arc: Government Ambition and Joint Declaration issued in March 2019.

3. The Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal (OHGD) demonstrates that the Government and Oxfordshire LPA’s recognise that Oxfordshire is a key component within the arc. It is a mechanism that has been agreed to ensure that the housing growth that is necessary realise the Government’s ambitions in respect of the arc is delivered.

4. The Oxfordshire Plan 2050 is a requirement of the Oxfordshire Housing Growth Deal and, as such, its primary purpose is to sustainably facilitate the economic and housing growth that is required to support the Government’s ambitions in respect of the arc.

5.4 The above context underpinned our responses to the discussion points in the ‘Introducing the Oxfordshire Plan’ document. The key messages being;

 There are no references within the draft vision Cambridge - Milton Keynes - Oxford arc. This is a significant omission given that the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 is born directly out of the OHGD and its primary purpose is to sustainably facilitate the economic and housing growth that is required to support the Government’s ambitions in respect of the arc. As such, the vision must be amended and place economic and housing growth front and centre of the vision for 2050.

The proposed aspirations and objectives are laudable. However, the order in which they are set out does not reflect the task for which the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 has been specifically created. They need to be reordered to make it clear that the primary purpose of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 is to sustainably facilitate economic and housing growth.

 The level of housing growth that is required to be delivered means that a combination of spatial scenarios is likely to be required. However, in our view the optimal strategy for achieving the ambitions for arc is a version of the ‘String Settlement’ scenario that focuses growth within and adjacent to settlements close to the existing and proposed transport corridors that permeate through Oxfordshire and provide connectivity within and beyond the arc.

 

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