Oxford City Local Plan

Consultation on the Local Plan is open.

30 October 2018

After last year’s consultation on ‘Preferred Options’ the City Council has been working on the next stage of its new Local Plan 2016 – 2036. The Plan is now at the point where the Council considers it ready to be submitted to a Planning Inspector. Before they do there is another consultation period which runs from 1 November to 13 December. [Update 26/11/2018: the consultation period has been extended to Friday 28 December].

Oxford aerial view
Photo: NPAS Benson

An invited audience of Residents Associations and other interested groups and individuals was given a preview of the Plan at the Town Hall on 29 October. City planning officers explained that this consultation is not about trying to change the policies – the Council has considered all the views from last year’s consultation and believes this version is the right way forward.  When the Plan goes to the Planning Inspector he or she will have to decide whether the Plan is ‘sound’. This means that it must conform to national planning policy and be based on good evidence and analysis.

Comments on the Plan must therefore only relate to the ‘soundness’ of the Plan. For example, it wouldn’t help just to say that you disagree with the policy on car-free developments because your elderly relative wouldn’t be able to visit you if you lived in one. You would need to look at the evidence behind the Council’s decision to adopt the policy and argue that the evidence was flawed, incomplete, or failed in some other way to justify the policy.

The Civic Society encourages everyone, either as individuals or through their Residents’ Association or other group, to study the Plan and comment on it. It will determine how Oxford develops over the next 25 years and more. We shall be making our own comments by the closing date.

The Proposed Submission Document (as it is formally called) and supporting documents are available online at oxford.gov.uk/localplan. There are printed copies in local libraries and at the City Council offices in St Aldate’s. Background papers and other papers and studies are at the Council offices and online.

Additionally there are two drop-in sessions at the Town Hall where you will be able to speak in person to City planning officers. The sessions are:

  • Wednesday 7 November, 4 – 7pm in the St Aldate’s Room, and
  • Saturday 17 November, 10am – 1pm in the Judges Room.