Local Plan: latest news

The draft plan was originally submitted for examination in 2015 but pushed back due to concerns about the proposed housing target. An initial set of changes proposed by the Council in 2016 saw the target increased from 10,500 homes to 15,950 homes including a contribution of 2,750 homes towards Oxford’s ‘unmet’ housing need.

Those initial changes were considered through examination hearings held in May and July last year and in January the Inspector wrote to the Council stating that subject to a number of further changes, the draft plan is likely to be capable of being found legally compliant and ‘sound’.

Consultation on these further changes, known as main modifications, took place from 22 February to 9 April 2018.

Taking account of the comments received, and some additional work carried out by the Council in June 2018, the Inspector has now published his final report which concludes that the West Oxfordshire Local Plan 2031 provides an appropriate basis for the planning of the District, provided that a number of main modifications are made to it. 

Background

  • We first formally submitted our draft Local Plan to Government for independent examination by the Planning Inspectorate in July 2015.
  • The subsequent examination hearing was suspended in January 2016 following recommendations by the Planning Inspector that elements of the Plan should be reconsidered, including the overall housing target.
  • As a result, our planners undertook a range of further work and consulted on proposed changes to the Plan.
  • Responses were received from around 1,000 individuals and organisations during the 6-week consultation stage which ran from 11 November until 23 December 2016. These were submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration on 10 March 2017, together with the proposed modifications and a range of supporting documents.
  • Two further examination hearings took place from 9 - 18 May 2017 (stage 2) and 11 - 20 July 2017 (stage 3). After which we agreed to undertake further work for the Planning Inspector.
  • Consultation on additional technical evidence including housing need, landscape and heritage impact and sustainability appraisal took place between November and December 2017.
  • Letter received from Local Plan inspector in January stating that subject to a number of further changes, the draft plan is likely to be capable of being found legally compliant and ‘sound’.
  • Consultation on the main modifications, took place from 22 February to 9 April 2018.
  • Further work on Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) and consultation with Natural England in June 2018.
  • Inpsector’s report received August 2018.

 

 

West Oxfordshire District Council
Elmfield
New Yatt Road
Witney
OX28 1PB