Latest planning projects

Each week OPT look at planning lists for all the Districts and the City. We regularly attend pre-application discussions with owners and developers, which helps us to give our views early when we are more likely to have an influence. We do stick to matters in the public domain, conservation areas and our wonderful ‘villages within the towns’ with the support of our local members. Small or large, from railings and side extensions to masterplans and multi-million pound developments, we are interested in them all. Oxford is always under pressure to change – OPT continue to do our best, and we are always on the lookout for next year’s OPT Awards winners!

Oxfordshire Plan 2050 

The strategic vision for the County was agreed by all Oxfordshire local authorities in June. Following that a further round of consultation on the strategic aims for the Plan has recently taken place between July - October.  OPT submitted comments highlighting issues such as climate change, Oxfordshires historic built and natural environment, protecting the Green Belt, landscape and green spaces and the health and well-being of Oxfordshire's residents. 

Aim for the consultation of the Submission (Draft) Plan -  Spring 2022

Oxford City Council 

The City Council has begun work on the Oxford Local Plan 2040. An Early Issues Consultation was carried out between August and September. An Issues Paper was also produced which identified specific issues he Local Plan should address. A summary of responses to this consultation will be published in due course. The next step in the process is a consultation on policy options and potential development sites, which is expected to take place during the summer of 2022. 

South Oxfordshire District Council and Vale of White Horse District Council 

Currently working on the Joint Locala Plan 2041 with the Vale of White Horse. SODC and VOWh are working together to prepare a new Joint Local Plan 2041 - this will replace the current local plans. There has been a recent 'Call for Sites' across the two districts, and the Joint Local Development Scheme states that the public consultation on the Preferred Options/Draft Plan is expected to take place in July/August 2022. 

Cherwell Distict Council 

September 2021 2021 the Councils Executive approved the 2021 Local Development Scheme.

West Oxfordshire District Council 

Wokr on the West Oxfordshire District Council Local Plan 2040 is underway. A consultation on the draft plan is expected to take place in September 2022. 

Current issues being considered

The OPT Planning Committee visited Old Marston to see at first hand the sites being taken out of the Green Belt that will bring nearly 400 houses to the village. Two permissions have since been granted, with a third in the wings. We understand the need for housing but are disappointed that in the rush to build the City Council have accepted an overreliance on the car and very poor active travel plans which do little to encourage cycling and walking. Whilst in the city centre and the West End where a zero carbon zero car district could so easily happen emerging plans talk of an Innovation district with a commercial focus.

Development brings a need for infrastructure and OPT is facing pressures on our remaining green open spaces. We are also encouraging a more strategic approach as we see competing plans for five solar farms coming forward.  We are keen to support green energy and are asking for a way to be developed to allow the merits of the various sites to be considered against each other, and for high visual impact and the effect on local communities who will lose access to green open space.