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 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.  We are also always on the lookout for next year’s OPT Awards winners so please let us know of any projects you think could make good entries.

Local Plans

Oxfordshire Plan 2050 

The strategic vision for the County was agreed by all Oxfordshire local authorities in June 2021. Following that, a further round of consultation on the strategic aims for the Plan took place between July - October.  OPT submitted comments highlighting issues such as climate change, Oxfordshire's historic built and natural environment, protecting the Green Belt, landscape and green spaces and the health and well-being of Oxfordshire's residents. 

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 2021. An Issues Paper was also produced which identified specific issues the 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 Local 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. A consultation on the main issues currently facing the districts and how the Joint Local Plan can address them is being undertaken until late June 2022.

Cherwell District Council 

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

West Oxfordshire District Council 

Work 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

OPT are very conscious of a number of developments being proposed across the City Centre.  We have been active in the development of both Oxford City Council's City Centre Action Plan which is set to be released in Summer 2022 and the Central Conservation Area Appraisal to help guide development within the centre.  We are also conscious of the current Oxpens development scheme and have been engaging at every stage of the process so far to ensure the redevelopment of the site is as beneficial to Oxford as possible.

We are also working closely with Oxford City Council and offering our views on the temporary pedestrianisation scheme for Broad Street which is set to commence in late Summer 2022.  Last year, Broad Meadow won an OPT Award, and we are looking forward to this scheme paving the way for future permanent pedestrianisation measures in Broad Street.  

OPT are also aware of a number of Tall Building applications which are currently being proposed within the Central Conservation Area.  OPT will continue to ensure that these applications are all monitored and the utmost care is being taken to protect the iconic views of Oxford's Dreaming Spires.  

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.  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

 

Assistant Heritage Officers Laurie & Shona at an Oxpens engagement event

Broad Meadow won an OPT Award in 2021

Clarendon Centre Elevations