Oxfordshire Councils agree new approach to co-ordinating planning in county

 27 September, 2022

housing development in Oxfordshire

On Wednesday 27 September, following the cessation of work on the Oxfordshire Plan 2050, the Future Oxfordshire Partnership agreed a new approach to co-ordinating planning across the county by updating the remit of the Oxfordshire Plan Advisory Group.

The work towards the Oxfordshire Plan was only one part of a long-standing and continued collaboration between the local authorities in Oxfordshire. The valuable insights gained in the progress of drawing up the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 and the results of its public consultations will be carried into the next phase of delivering their shared goal of shaping a healthy, happy future for the county and ensuring Oxfordshire is at the forefront of tackling the most pressing problems facing humanity.

All six councils have formally adopted a shared Strategic Vision for the county, which sets out ambitious goals for sustainable travel, affordable housing, and a healthy natural environment, accessible to all. Each coucil is working to deliver this vision. Following Wednesday’s meeting, the councils have also agreed that continued collaborative working on spatial planning matters will be valuable.

A new Terms of Reference is being drawn up to ensure that a members’ advisory group with planning policy portfolio holders from each authority can continue to discuss spatial planning and issues that impact the County as a whole. The Advisory Group will continue to update the Future Oxfordshire Partnership to ensure a full picture of progress on District and City councils’ Local Plans and other relevant plans like the county’s Local Transport and Connectivity Plan.

Councillor Emily Smith, Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council and Chair of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 Advisory Group on behalf of FOP, said:

“A huge amount of positive work went into the Oxfordshire Plan process, and while I am disappointed that the approach to creating a joint strategic spatial plan could not be agreed, I welcome FOP’s agreement that the advisory group of planning policy lead members from across the six council will continue to meet to discuss shared spatial planning challenges and ways for the councils to work together in line with the Strategic Vision”

Joint statement from Council Leaders on Oxfordshire Plan 2050

 3 August, 2022

Oxfordshire Plan 2050 – Joint statement from the leaders of South Oxfordshire District Council, Vale of White Horse District Council, Cherwell District Council, Oxford City Council, and West Oxfordshire District Council

“The five Local Planning authorities in Oxfordshire have been working together on a joint plan for Oxfordshire to 2050. It is with regret that we were unable to reach agreement on the approach to planning for future housing needs within the framework of the Oxfordshire Plan.

“Local Plans for the City and Districts will now provide the framework for the long term planning of Oxfordshire.  The Oxfordshire Plan 2050 work programme will end and we will now transition to a process focused on Local Plans.  The issues of housing needs will now be addressed through individual Local Plans for each of the City and Districts.  The Councils will cooperate with each other and with other key bodies as they prepare their Local Plans.”