Agenda item

Agenda item

Adoption of Oxford Local Plan 2036

At its meeting on 08 June , Cabinet will consider a report on the Adoption of the Local Plan 2036. This item provides an opportunity for the Committee to comment on the report and make such recommendations to the Cabinet as it wishes. Councillor Alex Hollingsworth, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Delivery, and Sarah Harrison, Team Leader, Planning Policy have been invited to attend for this item.

Please note that because of the size of the documentation associated with this item, its delivery via ‘Mod Gov’ will be in two parts. The first with this agenda, the second via a supplement.  Please note also that Members will receive a hard copy of all the Local Plan documentation early next week.


Councillor Alex Hollingsworth, Cabinet Member for Planning & Housing Delivery, introduced the report noting that there was no option, at this late stage, for the Committee, Cabinet or Council to make amendments to the plan. The plan had been some 4 years in the making and he thanked officers for their significant contribution to it over that time. He said officers were liaising closely with the County’s other authorities to bring the timescales for all of Oxfordshire’s local plans into line as far as possible. This would be particularly valuable in the future in relation cross-county discussion of housing numbers. 

The Committee considered a suggestion to make a recommendation that would require a timetable for the next Local Plan, which is aligned to the latest Oxfordshire Plan 2050 timetable, to be brought to Cabinet in July 2020 with a view to urgently addressing the recent challenges presented by the Climate Emergency, in particular the recommendations presented by the Climate Emergency Review Group and the intent to 'build back better' post-COVID-19.

 Cllr Hollingsworth said that the Forward Plan already included a new Local Development Scheme to go to Cabinet in July, which as set out in the introduction, would seek to align to the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 timescales. He explained that he would not be able to commend such a recommendation to Cabinet as the second part of the recommendation implies that the current Local Plan does not take account of issues like Climate Change, which was not the case although it was acknowledged that some would have liked it to go further. Councillor Hollingsworth and officers advised against making such a recommendation at this point, not least because of  forthcoming Government White Papers on Planning.  It was noted that if Scrutiny did not wish to make such a recommendation to Cabinet, Councillors could  put such a recommendation to Full Council.

Officers answered several questions on the plan. This included clarification around the removal of Policy E3 was due to the Inspectors view that it made distinctions on the basis of the nature of the applicant that was not in accordance with national policy.  Officers also explained why the increased capacity for the City to meet its housing need did not result in a reduction of neighbouring authorities’ unmet need allocations. 

The Committee Clerk drew attention to a number of detailed corrections to Appendix 1 to which the Committee had been alerted before the meeting  and which had since been published on the Council’s website.





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