Oxfordshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2022
The publication of the draft Oxfordshire Spatial Plan, which will set the framework for the emerging ’Part 2’ Local Plans of the Oxfordshire Districts, is getting closer with the consultation programmed for the summer
The Spatial Plan will provide the overall framework for future growth, identifying the broad areas for strategic scale development over the plan period and planning policies that will shape the delivery of sustainable developments. At the moment, it is understood that Officers have completed analysis of the feedback received through last year’s Regulation 18 consultation and that discussions are ongoing between the authorities about the future housing numbers and spatial options
Alongside the Spatial Plan, a number of authorities continue the process of preparing their Part 2 Plans. These plans will need to be consistent with the Spatial Plan but are likely to provide landowners and developers with an opportunity to put forward non-strategic sites for consideration and to influence the strategy for more the rural areas of Oxfordshire. The Part 2 plans are also likely to have a role in shaping the detail of the strategic growth areas identified in the Spatial Plan, with detailed planning matters to be deferred to the districts.
Five Year Housing Supply
Cherwell is the one Local Authority in Oxfordshire that currently acknowledges the lack of a five-year housing land supply. This means that there is a window for appropriate speculative development applications to be allowed. However, the land supply deficit is marginal, at between 4.7 and 4.8 years, limiting the scale of development likely to be acceptable and the length of time this opportunity may exist.
An appeal decsion in South Oxfordshire (PINS reference 3272377) has also indicated the lack of a 5 year land supply, with the Inspector indicating a supply below 4.8 years (September 2021). However, no update has been provided by the Council and recent officer reports continue to quote a land supply position of 5.33 years.