Our Expertise

OPT has been described as ‘punching above its weight’. It has a strong reputation and voice on planning matters at a local and national level.

The OPT team has years of experience and professional accreditations within the fields of history, heritage and architecture. 

Headed up by OPT Director Debbie Dance OBE, MSc, FRICS, IHBC, RSA,

Supported by Laura Warden BA (Hons), MSc, MRTPI 

and Shona Carr BA (Hons), MSc

What do we look at?

OPT was established in 1927 to achieve two important aims: 

  • To preserve and enhance for the benefit of the public the amenities of the city of Oxford and its surroundings.
  • To promote and encourage public interest in and knowledge of the history of the city of Oxford and its surroundings

Our Strategic Plan to 2027 sets out OPT's priorities today, across all areas of work we undertake.  Priority 2 sets out our Planning aims going forward.  With increasing pressure to expand upwards and outwards, we will: 

  • Take a strategic approach to our responses, concentrating on areas where we have the expertise and can best make a difference
  • Defend Oxford's views and landscape setting
  • Encourage the enhancement of Oxford's built heritage
  • Support good design and sustainable living
  • Champion the importance of green space and access to the countryside
  • Facilitate Active Travel, cycling and walking

OPT has a strong reputation for our professional and forward approach and work hard to uphold this and to add value with our comments and views to ensure that the Oxford of the future is one of which we can all be proud.  Please click HERE to read more about OPT's Strategic Plan to 2027.

How do we keep in touch with changes?

We receive details of all planning and listed building applications for the District and City, and County Councils. We have a strong network of connections at a national, city wide and local level keeping us aware of issues and helping us to protect and enhance Oxford’s character.


OPT are looking towards how we can be sustainable in all areas of our work.  We are in the process of upskilling team members on issues such as sustainability in construction and energy efficiency in buildings, to include retrofitting of Historic Fabric.

OPT Awards

We are always on the lookout for future OPT Award projects – see past winners HERE