Oxfordshire Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2021

29.10.21 2 MINUTE READ

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The Oxfordshire Spatial Plan 2050 is progressing and will provide the foundations for the emerging district plans in the period up to 2050.

This Spatial Plan will provide the overall framework for future growth, identifying the key sites/areas for strategic scale development over the plan period and planning policies that will shape the delivery of sustainable developments. We should start to see some certainty about the development strategy in Spring 2022 when a draft plan is expected to be issued for consultation.

Alongside the Spatial Plan, a number of authorities are starting the process of preparing their Part 2 Plans. These plans will need to work with the Spatial Plan but will provide landowners and developers with an opportunity to put forward non-strategic sites for consideration and to influence the strategy for more rural areas. The Part 2 plans may also have a role in shaping the detail of the strategic growth areas identified in the Spatial Plan, should this defer detailed planning matters to the districts.

The emerging Oxford-Cambridge Arc Spatial Framework is likely to align growth and infrastructure investment, suggesting that there could be greater opportunities for development in and around areas of new infrastructure investment moving forwards.

Cherwell is the one Local Authority in Oxfordshire that does not currently have 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.

Market Analysis

The market for residential development sites in Oxfordshire is extremely strong. Seen as fertile housebuilder and promoter territory, house prices have remained robust with the UK House Price Index reporting growth of 9.2% in the 12 months to July 2021.

Oxfordshire contains both areas of relative affordability and areas with aspirational and prime settlements. Oxfordshire boasts renowned countryside, market towns, and world class cultural, academic and science and technology institutions, and excellent transport links.

These factors contribute to the strong ongoing buyer demand in the county, and the demand for development and strategic development land. There remains a marked lack of available sites, with many developers and promoters having little or no land bank within the county, creating a very competitive bidding environment.

Relatively few transactions have occurred in Oxfordshire in 2021 across the market. Significant land recently allocated in the constituent Local Plans will be progressing through the planning process over the next 1-2 years, providing an increase in the land coming to the market.

For detail on emerging Local Plan position in every authority please click on the map below.

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