Latest planning projects
OPT are not a statutory consultee and focus our limited time and resources in areas where we can make a difference.
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 stick to matters in the public domain, conservation areas, our wonderful ‘villages within the towns’ and green spaces with the support of our members. Oxford is always under pressure to change – OPT do our best to positively guide this change to promote both the best of the old, and the best of the new.
Oxford Local Plan 2040
Do you know what the plans there are for future development in your area? Now is the time to comment on Oxford City Council’s draft Oxford Local Plan 2040 which will act as the blueprint for the future development of the City over the next twenty years.
OPT will be looking at the Plan for the City as a whole, looking at such issues as the historic environment, building heights and views, where housing sites are proposed and where they want to target growth. But we also know that local residents often miss this chance to influence local development at this early stage. They often learn about it too late after sites have been allocated and policies agreed, so we encourage you to take a look and to comment.
Once the current consultation closes, the City will submit the draft plan to the Secretary of State who will appoint an Independent Inspector to look at it in detail. There will then be a Public Inquiry before it is adopted, but after that it may be too late.
Don’t miss the chance for you and your neighbours to make your views known.
Have a look at the document and its proposed policies and site allocations and take the time to submit your comments before the deadline 5 January 2024. More information on the consultation can be found here: Oxford Local Plan 2040 Submission Draft (Regulation 19) Consultation - Oxford City Council - Citizen Space
OPT Awards 2023
Congratulations to all our winners in the OPT Awards 2023. Find a full list of this year's winners HERE. If you know of any projects that might make good entries for 2024 or beyond, please get in touch!
Broad Street is one of the great urban spaces of Europe. OPT was pleased to give an OPT Award to Oxford City Council's Broad Meadow scheme in 2021- almost 18 years after the Broad Street Plan 2004 was originally published in association with Kim Wilkie Architects.
A temporary pedestrianisation scheme was implemented by Oxfordshire County Council in October 2022 and a Cabinet Meeting will be held later this year to decide on the future of the scheme. OPT look forward to future schemes to promote the permanent pedestrianisation of the street and to ensure any change highlights the street's beauty and significance.
Covered Market Masterplan
OPT are glad to see £6.8m worth of funding has been granted towards the regeneration of Oxford's Covered Market. OPT played an active role in the ideas behind the Masterplan together with the success of our restoration project in the units at 46-48 Covered Market. The Covered Market should be the first point-of-call for food, drink and socialising within the city centre, whilst also representing the city's wonderful heritage. OPT is in regular communication with those responsible for the delivery of the Masterplan and look forward to continue influencing plans and celebrating this historic market.
Oxford Traffic Measures
OPT support the principle behind the recent traffic schemes in Oxford. However, we have significant concerns over their implementation in the city.
Buildings at Risk
OPT were glad to help get 29A Castle Street added to SAVE's Buildings at Risk register. We know this is only the beginning of the journey towards saving this historic building, but we are hopeful that, like the Rewley Road Swing Bridge, we can help raise awareness and ultimately restore this important piece of local heritage to its former glory. We are also keeping a close eye on other dilapidated historic buildings such as Grade II St Paul's Church (Freud's) on Walton Street, and Grade II* Priory next to the Kassam Football Stadium.
A proliferation of Solar Farm applications are also being monitored within green-belt land surrounding Oxford City and OPT are calling for a more strategic approach to the developments, including the significant Botley West Solar Farm application. Whilst OPT recognise the importance of sustainability and renewable energy in the face of the current Climate Emergency (click HERE for OPT's statement on Climate Change), we also want to ensure that this does not come at the cost of Oxfordshire's green spaces which must remain open and free for all to enjoy. For more information on OPT's views on Solar Farms, please read Debbie's article HERE.
OPT are always looking for ways to be sustainable across all areas of our work. This is especially important for the Planning and Construction sectors and we are delighted to welcome Professor Rajat Gupta to our Planning Committee as an expert on Sustainable Architecture and Climate Change. Rajat will help us to formulate a sustainability policy for OPT.
Congratulations to Debbie who won the Matt Batt Award at the OxPropFest Awards 2023. Find a full list of this year's winners HERE.
Congrats also go to Shona who recently submitted her dissertation for the Oxford Brookes Historic Conservation MSc. Her dissertation, titled: Colleges, Conservation and Carbon explored how best to balance preserving the heritage values of Oxford's Colleges whilst also encouraging retrofitting and decarbonisation measures. She used Wolfson College's Decarbonisation project as a case study, which won an OPT Award in 2022.
Broad Meadow won an OPT Award in 2021
OPT's Restored Units at 46-48 Covered Market
29A Castle Street has been added to SAVE's Buildings at Risk Register
Debbie was invited as a panel member to discuss “Reaching New Heights!” in Oxford at OxProp 2023 Summit