Oxford Local Plan 2036 consultation now live

Members of the public are invited to take part in the consultation on the Preferred Options main document for the emerging Oxford Local Plan 2036.

The consultation is open from 30 June to 25 August, Oxford City Council states:

The Oxford Local Plan 2036 will become the main planning policy document for Oxford. The Local Plan is important because it will set out how we want our city to look and feel, guiding new developments to the right locations whilst protecting and improving the environment and people’s quality of life. 

Last summer we asked you what issues the new Local Plan should cover. We have listened to what local communities, businesses and other organisations told us and are now considering a range of policy options. The Preferred Options document gives you the chance to comment on our proposed approaches to a range of issues. The consultation period runs from 30th June 2017 until the 25th August 2017. 

On our website (www.oxford.gov.uk/localplan) we have published the main Preferred Options document, background papers and studies on key issues, and a draft sustainability appraisal. There is the opportunity to respond to the main document using our detailed questionnaire online, or to complete the shorter online questionnaire. If you prefer to respond in writing or email, please send to Planning Policy at the address above.

Paper copies of the main Preferred Options document and the draft Sustainability Appraisal are available to view in libraries and St Aldate’s Chambers. In St Aldate’s Chambers we also have paper copies of all the background papers and studies on the website. We also have a consultation leaflet and questionnaire available at libraries, leisure centres, community centres and the Town Hall. 

You can come and see us at events around the city during the consultation period:
Fri 4th August: Templars Square Shopping Centre 11-1.30
Sat 15th July: Headington Funday 2-5; Bury Knowle Park

We urge residents to take a look at the consultation document which is available online and at Bury Knowle Library. Headington residents may be particularly interested in the sections on affordable housing, key worker housing, student accommodation, the use of space in district centres, and sites earmarked for further development.

At a recent briefing to community groups, residents from across Oxford raised some interesting points and comments which included:

  • Is the city council working with planning authorities in neighbouring districts to solve housing crisis?
  • Why is the city council appearing to want a no car policy?
  • What is affordable housing? Should be for those earning c £26K
  • How do we stop private investors buying up all the new build properties?
  • Is there too much emphasis on growth?
  • Why hasn’t some land been allocated specifically for community-led housing groups?
  • Are you saying it’s ok to put up high rise buildings so long as air quality doesn’t get worse?
  • What do you mean by a “tall” building? There’s a 15 storey one proposed for Templars Square at EAPC next week
  • Height limit/constraint for buildings shouldn’t just be in the city centre – consistency and good design is needed
  • Does the consultation adequately take into account the thousands who work or study in Oxford but live elsewhere?
  • Won’t reorganization affect the local plan? More needed for cyclists.
  • See p175 – balance of use in district centres has changed from A1 to Class A so more cafes/fast food/restaurants in Headington and Summertown?
  • Could consent for developments include a condition for car clubs?
  • What can be done about Airbnb?
  • Classification of HMOs – an HMO owned, managed and run by the universities does not count as an HMO for the planning stats, but an HMO owned by a landlord and rented out does. Currently, a road almost full of HMOs containing students had an application to change a property from residential to HMO approved as it was the only private HMO in the street. Change of definition needed?
  • With the emphasis on creating purpose-built HMOs, will private landlords intensify build on their existing sites as this will bring them increased income?

The Local Plan preferred options will be a major topic for debate at the next Headington Ward Focus meeting on Tuesday 25 July from 6:00-7:30pm at All Saints Church House.

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