Oxford City Council


            Local Development Scheme

          2020 - 2025











Planning Policy Team

Planning, Sustainable Development and Regulatory Services

            Oxford City Council

            109-113 St Aldates                             


            OX1 1DS


            E: planningpolicy@oxford.gov.uk

            T: 01865 252847

            W: www.oxford.gov.uk/planning/lds





Introduction.. 3

What is the Local Development Scheme?. 3

Oxford’s Local Plan.. 3

Documents in Oxford’s Local Plan.. 3

Oxford Local Plan 2036. 4

Neighbourhood Plans. 4

Other Documents. 5

Statement of Community Involvement in Planning (SCI) 5

Annual Monitoring Report 5

Work Programme for 2020-2025. 6

Development Plan documents. 6

Oxfordshire Plan 2050. 6

Local Plan 2020-2040. 7

Neighbourhood Plans. 9

Other documents. 9

CIL Charging Schedule Review and Infrastructure Funding Statement 9

West End SPD.. 10

Review of the Statement of Community Involvement for Planning (SCI) 12

Annual Monitoring Report 12

Appendix 1: Gantt chart of the LDS work programme 2020-2025. 13













1.1.       The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 introduced the requirement for councils to prepare and maintain a Local Development Scheme (LDS).  The LDS sets out the work programme for the preparation of documents to be included in the Local Plan. This document supersedes the Oxford 2019-2022 LDS. 

What is the Local Development Scheme?

1.2.       This LDS is a five year project plan for preparing documents and provides the starting point for the local community, businesses, developers and other interested parties to find out what the City Council’s current planning policies are for the area.  It includes ‘milestones’ to inform the public about opportunities to get involved with the plan making process and to let them know the likely dates for involvement.  The LDS is published on the City Council’s website at www.oxford.gov.uk/lds.

Oxford’s Development Plan


2.1.       Oxford’s Development Plan contains a range of documents to guide development within Oxford. Applications for planning permission are to be determined in accordance with the Development Plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. Council-produced documents within the statutory Development Plan are subject to extensive community and stakeholder involvement, and an independent examination by an Inspector to ensure that the necessary legal requirements for the preparation of the document have been met and the document is ‘sound’.  All these documents are subject to the European Strategic Environment Assessment Directive and will incorporate a sustainability appraisal to ensure that they accord with the principles of sustainable development. They must be consistent with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).


2.2.       Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) provide further details and guidance to supplement policies.  SPDs are adopted by the City Council following public consultation, and are not part of the statutory Development Plan.

Documents in Oxford’s Local Plan

2.3.       Currently, the statutory Development Plan consists of:

·           Oxford Local Plan 2016-2036 (June 2020)

·           Barton Area Action Plan (December 2012)

·           Northern Gateway Area Action Plan (July 2015)

·           Headington Neighbourhood Plan (July 2017)

·           Summertown and St Margaret’s Neighbourhood Plan (April 2019)


Oxford Local Plan 2036

2.4.       The Oxford Local Plan 2016-2036 was adopted very recently and supersedes the following documents:

·         Saved policies of the Oxford Local Plan 2001-2016 (November 2006)

·         Oxford Core Strategy (March 2011)

·         Sites and Housing Plan (February 2013)


2.5.       The Adopted Policies Map (2020) (previously referred to as the Policies Map 2015) illustrates graphically the policies and proposals of the recently adopted Local Plan.  The Policies Map (2020) has been revised and updated to reflect the new policies that have been adopted.


2.6.       A series of Technical Advice Notes (TANs) are being prepared to support the implementation of the Oxford Local Plan 2036. These provide technical advice to developers and decision-makers. TANs are not adopted planning policy documents. Officers are scoping these now and working on a detailed timeline with the aim for their completion by the Autumn this year.


2.7.       The TANs being produced for publication in the Autumn are:

·         Sustainable design and construction

·         Heritage and carbon efficiency

·         Parking

·         New homes, student and self build accommodation including affordable housing

·         Green and Blue Infrastructure inc. biodiversity

·         Health impact assessments

·         Community Employment Plans

·         Shopfronts and advertisements

·         Waste

Neighbourhood Plans

2.8.       The Localism Act introduced new rights and powers to enable communities to get directly involved in planning for their areas. Neighbourhood planning allows communities to come together through a parish council or formal neighbourhood forum and produce a neighbourhood plan. Neighbourhoods can decide what they want to cover in their neighbourhood plan. They may allocate land for development, or influence the type and design of development that comes forward. Neighbourhood plans must however be in general conformity with the strategic planning policies already adopted by the City Council.  They should not promote less development than set out in the Local Plan and/or undermine its strategic policies. They are also subject to an independent examination and need to be approved by a majority vote in a local referendum. 


2.9.       Once plans are adopted they will become part of the Development Plan. To date, Oxford City Council has formally designated four neighbourhood areas where plans are being led by neighbourhood forums. Two Neighbourhood Plans, Headington and Summertown and St Margaret’s are made.  

Other Documents

2.10.   In addition to the Oxford Development Plan there are several other important planning documents:

·        Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Charging Schedule (October 2013)

·         Oxpens Masterplan SPD (November 2013)

·         West End Design Code (2008)

·         Oxford Station SPD (November 2017)

·         Jericho Canalside SPD (December 2013)

·         Diamond Place SPD (July 2015)

·         Statement of Community Involvement in Planning (July 2015)


2.11.   The City Council also has an Affordable Housing and Planning Obligations SPD (September 2013). This guidance does not currently include the Local Plan 2036 policies and relates to policies in the Oxford Core Strategy 2026 and Sites and Housing Plan. Despite this a lot of the guidance remains relevant. Therefore, it remains in place until it is replaced. Updated guidance on affordable housing will be set out housing technical advice note listed in paragraph 2.7 and guidance on planning obligations will be produced as part of the CIL charging schedule review.


Statement of Community Involvement in Planning (SCI)

2.12.   The Statement of Community Involvement in Planning sets out how the Council will involve the community in the planning process, including Local Plans and Development Management.  It sets out the activities that the Council will undertake to reach stakeholders and the public during the various stages of preparation of Local Plan documents.  The most recent SCI was adopted at City Executive Board on 9th July 2015. It can be viewed at www.oxford.gov.uk/sci.


2.13.   Consultation has been at the heart of development of the recently adopted Oxford Local Plan 2016-2036 at every stage and has helped to inform and shape it.  The most recent consultation undertaken in February 2020 was for the Main Modifications to the Local Plan that the Council considered necessary for the Plan to be found sound. The responses received to the Main Modifications consultationhave been published on the Council’s website.


2.14.   An Addendum to the SCI was approved by Cabinet on 8th June 2020. This was a focussed update on how the Council will amend its approach during the restrictions imposed by Government during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is available on the City Council’s website at:



Annual Monitoring Report

2.15.   Each year the City Council produces an Annual Monitoring Report, which is approved at the City Cabinet in the autumn. The Annual Monitoring Report has the following main functions:

·         to measure progress made in respect of the planning documents being prepared;

·         to review the effectiveness of the adopted planning policies;

·         to monitor the extent to which policies and targets in adopted documents are being achieved against a range of indicators.


2.16.   All of the Annual Monitoring Reports produced by the City Council can be viewed on the City Council’s website at www.oxford.gov.uk/amr.


Work Programme for 2020-2025


3.1.       During the period covered by this LDS, the City Council will commence / continue work on the following documents:

Development plan documents

§  Oxford Local Plan 2021-2040

§  Oxfordshire Plan 2050

§  Neighbourhood Plans

Other documents

§  Technical Advice Notes to support the implementation of the Oxford Local Plan 2036

§  CIL Charging Schedule Review and Infrastructure Funding Statement

§  West End SPD

§  Review of the Statement of Community Involvement for Planning

§  Annual Monitoring Report


Development Plan documents

Oxfordshire Plan 2050

3.2.       The Oxfordshire Plan 2050 will set out strategic policies to deal with key issues for Oxfordshire with a cross-boundary approach. The plan period for the Oxfordshire Plan is 2020 to 2050.


3.3.       The Oxfordshire Plan 2050 will cover the administrative county area of Oxfordshire. This will comprise the local planning authorities of:

·         Cherwell District Council

·         Oxford City Council

·         South Oxfordshire District Council

·         Vale of White Horse District Council; and

·         West Oxfordshire District Council.


3.4.       The Oxfordshire Plan will be a formal Development Plan Document, prepared under Section 28 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended) which enables two or more local planning authorities to agree a joint Plan. It will form part of the development plan for each of the authorities in Oxfordshire and will used in the formulation of more detailed plans locally and in determining planning applications where appropriate.


3.5.       The scope of the Oxfordshire Plan was developed in the Scoping Document[1] which was agreed by the partner authorities in October 2018 and endorsed by the Oxfordshire Growth Board. This set out that Oxfordshire Plan will build on the foundations set by the suite of current and emerging Local Plans and look at the strategic planning issues for the period up to 2050. It will take into account the existing commitments made by this suite of Local Plans through their site allocations as a baseline for the earliest part of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 plan period. The agreed Statement of Common Ground identified the following key matters for the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 to set out:

·         An overall strategy for the pattern and scale of development in Oxfordshire to 2050

·         Identify the number of new market and affordable homes and level of economic growth needed across Oxfordshire

·         Identify an appropriate spatial strategy and strategic locations for new development based upon an understanding and appreciation of both the environmental quality and natural capital of Oxfordshire

·         Outline the strategic transport and other infrastructure that needs to be provided to support sustainable growth


3.6.       The Oxfordshire Plan will identify broad locations for housing and economic growth but will not allocate sites except at the request of the relevant local planning authority. This will follow through separate plans produced at the local level.


3.7.       A Regulation 18 Part 1 consultation on the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 was undertaken in June 2019. Work on the Plan will be undertaken during the LDS period, with the intention of adopting the Plan in late 2022. This timetable has been revised from September 2019 as per the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal report[2] considered by the Oxfordshire Growth Board on 2nd June 2020.

Local Plan 2020-2040

3.8.       The Local Plan 2016-2036 was only very recently adopted (8th June 2020) and contains policies based on recent evidence and is compliant with current guidance. However, government guidance requires that all Plans are reviewed every 5 years. That is to say that the Plan must have been reviewed by the date 5 years after adoption. Given that a Local Plan takes considerable time to produce, a review must be started a relatively short time after adoption of a Local Plan.


3.9.       The Oxford Local Plan 2040 will replace the Oxford Local Plan 2036. The Barton and Northern Gateway AAPs will remain relevant to those sites if they are not yet fully built out although some policies may be superseded. These documents, as well as the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 and any neighbourhood plans, will form the statutory Development Plan. Following the council meeting to approve the pre submission draft, that draft will be used as a material consideration for development management decisions on planning applications.


3.10.   There are several reasons for expediting the start of the review of the Local Plan. One of these is the need to co-ordinate plans across Oxfordshire. This will help to avoid the issue of trying to apportion housing need generated across the whole county and calculated for a particular period, between local plans that have differing base and end dates.


3.11.   In addition, it will be important for the next Local Plan for Oxford to reflect the policies of the Oxfordshire Plan and put in place the detailed policies for Oxford that will implement that plan. Therefore it is important that the timeline for the next Local Plan follows the key stages of the Oxfordshire Plan. 


3.12.   The Oxford Local Plan 2016-2036 has a great deal of flexibility in order to deal with a twenty year period and many of the policies within it place Oxford in a strong position to effectively manage growth and change that will face the City over this period. The Inspectors’ report in paragraph 39 says that: ‘the examination hearings took place before the Covid-19 epidemic. Whilst the short-term effects are here for all to see, there is currently no evidence that the fundamental assumptions and requirements of the plan in respect of housing need, or indeed any other strategic matter, will be affected to the extent that its soundness will be undermined.’


3.13.   Although the Oxford Local Plan 2036 will already help us carefully manage change and assist the city to “build back better” it will be important for the new Local Plan 2040 to actively look at the issues the pandemic will leave with us and to consider if any alterations of policies are required as a result. The effectiveness of policies are always monitored and this will be important in understanding the scope of the new Local Plan. We need to give enough time to understand how our new policies are working and better understand any challenges posed by Covid-19 before taking action. Through the process of producing another local plan the needs and opportunities that emerge be understood properly considered collectively and ensure that the response to the crisis is not reactionary. It can also seek to balance carefully issues such as carbon efficiency, inequalities and the quality of the built and natural environment as the existing Local Plan does and seek to build upon these comprehensively.  


3.14.   In order for the Oxford Local Plan 2040 to have 15 years to run from adoption, adoption will need to be in 2025 at the latest. Therefore, the plan will need to be submitted to the secretary of state in early 2024, based on the timescales from the Oxford Local Pan 2036 that was submitted in March 2019 and adopted in June 2020.  Because of the uncertainty of the current time, significant stakeholder engagement and input will be needed in the early stages to try and clarify what the plan needs to address.


3.15.   Early, non-statutory engagement will begin in 2021. The Regulation 18 consultation will be in the form of preferred options in summer 2022. Engagement on the pre-submission draft of the Local Plan will be then be in summer 2023, with the expectation to submit the plan for examination by the end of 2023. Once submitted for examination the timetable is not within the council’s control. Based on the timescales for the examination of the Oxford Local Plan 2036 we have allowed 15 months from submission to adoption. This would mean adoption would be expected in March 2025.


3.16.   This timetable will also allow the plan to take account of emerging evidence and policies from key stages of the Oxfordshire Plan with some room for slippage in the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 if that arises. If the Oxford Local Plan is to take account of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 then certain milestones of the Oxfordshire Plan will need to be reached before the Oxford Local Plan can progress to the next key stage.

Neighbourhood Plans

3.17.   The remaining neighbourhood areas, which are at various stages of plan production, are:

·         Littlemore; and

·         Wolvercote.


3.18.   The Wolvercote Neighbourhood Plan was due to have its referendum in May 2020. However, the government published guidance in April 2020outlining changes that have been introduced to neighbourhood planning in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This referendum is now postponed until 6th May 2021 as regulations linked to the Coronavirus Act 2020 postpone all neighbourhood planning referendums until then. The Government is committed to keeping these regulations under review, so they may be amended or revoked in response to changing circumstances.


3.19.   In response to these delays, the Wolvercote Neighbourhood Plan can be given significant weight in decision-making, so far as the plan is material to the application. This is due to the fact that the council has issued a decision statement detailing its intention to send the neighbourhood plan to referendum. This was approved at Cabinet on 9 October 2019.


Other documents

CIL Charging Schedule Review and Infrastructure Funding Statement

3.20.   Oxford City Council was in the process of reviewing its Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) alongside the Oxford Local Plan 2036. The CIL Charging Schedule was submitted to the Secretary of State for Examination in June 2019 with hearings scheduled for March 2020. However, amended CIL regulations came into force in September 2019, subsequent to the submission of the CIL Charging Schedule. It became clear that the changes to the CIL Regulations affected how developer contributions could be collected.  In March 2020, the City Council withdrew the CIL Charging Schedule reviewfrom the Examination resolving to continue to apply the existing CIL Charging Schedule. 


3.21.   Withdrawing this review from examination (under Regulation 18 of the CIL Regulations 2010 as amended) allows the City Council time to take account of the regulatory changes comprehensively, working with key stakeholders. It is worth noting that the 2019 CIL Regulations remove Regulation 123 and with it the requirement to produce a Regulation 123 List and replaced it with a requirement to produce an Infrastructure Funding Statement by 31 December 2020. 


3.22.   Presently, there are a number of different ways for the City Council to undertake a review of CIL.  These include a simple review of the methods and also looking at whether certain developments could have abnormal infrastructure costs that would result in, with the inclusion of CIL, negative implications for the viability of these developments.


3.23.   The City Council will therefore be appointing consultants in July 2020 to investigate the most appropriate way forward for collecting developer contributions, looking at both a simple review of CIL (such as that as previously undertaken) and a more involved CIL review which takes accounts of the potential infrastructure needs of certain development sites. This work is expected to be ready for consultation in November 2020. It is anticipated that the revised CIL Charging Schedule will be submitted to the Secretary of State for independent examination in March 2021. Once submitted for examination the timetable is not within the council’s control but it would be anticipated that the examination would be completed in a timescale to enable the council to adopt by September 2021. Once adopted this would replace the current CIL charging schedule adopted in October 2013.


3.24.   Alongside this work the City Council will produce an Infrastructure Funding Statement, which will be published in December 2020 in accordance with the national requirements.

West End SPD

3.25.   Much of the West End is under- utilised and does not reflect Oxford’s international reputation or live up to its potential. There is a clear vision and objective for the West End to “be developed as part of a comprehensive regeneration plan for the area.” There is a recognition within the supporting text that “with a number of different landowners within the site this would help delivery and ensure that piecemeal development does not prejudice the overall aim of a comprehensive regeneration of the site.” The role of the SPD is to provide some detailed advice and guidance to show how working with landowners, partners and key stakeholders, this regeneration can be delivered. The west end is also identified as a key opportunity in the Oxfordshire Local Industrial Strategy that identifies the areas as a Global Business District.


3.26.   There are currently several supporting documents that cover the west end area. These include:

·         Oxpens Masterplan SPD (November 2013)

·         West End Design Code (2008)

·         Oxford Station SPD (November 2017)


3.27.   There had also previously been a West End Area Action Plan but this has already expired and no longer forms part of the current development plan.


3.28.   The new West End SPD will replace these documents and provide detailed guidance to support the over-arching policies in the adopted Oxford Local Plan 2016-2036 in a single document.


3.29.   Policy AOC1: West End and Osney Mead and Policy SP1: Sites in the West End set the strategic policy context for the West End Area, within the Area of Change. It therefore provides the opportunity for an SPD to provide some further detailed advice and guidance on these adopted development plan policies to manage change within this area. The bullet points in Policy AOC1: West End and Osney Mead help to provide the scope for the SPD. These set out the need for:

·         High density urban living

·         Vibrant mix of uses

·         Maximising contribution to Oxfordshire’s knowledge economy

·         Improved public realm

·         Better connections for all users, including across the rivers

·         Improved space for pedestrians and cyclists

·         Respect for the heritage of the area

·         Development of a well-designed transport interchange around the station

·         Reduce the amount of car parking 


3.30.   In addition of course there should be a recognition that this advice and guidance does need to fully take into account the over-arching policy framework set out in the adopted Local Plan, which seeks to promote a presumption in favour of sustainable development, sustainable travel and the importance of making the best use of resources to secure a good quality environment. There are also key issues around climate change, flooding and heritage matters that can be looked at in a locational specific way through this SPD.


3.31.   The complex issues present in the West End means the SPD will have a key focus on creative and deliverable solutions to achieve a co-ordinated approach to development and comprehensive regeneration. It will seek to provide clarity on what is needed to support the development in this area. The intention is that this will include detailed information on infrastructure that is needed to facilitate and support the change. Masterplanning of key sites will be included in the SPD as part of providing locational specific guidance. Work on the masterplanning of Oxford Station has already commenced due to specific needs around that site. This will be reviewed and embedded as appropriate into the guidance in the West End SPD.


3.32.   In accordance with the Statement of Community Involvement for Planning (SCI) two key consultations will be undertaken alongside ongoing engagement. The first will be to consult on the scope of the SPD. This is expected to take place in Autumn 2020. This will include the reasons for producing the SPD and identifying its geographic scope and key deliverables. The second consultation will be on the draft SPD and this is expected in Spring 2021. More informal engagement will also happen throughout the preparation of the document.


3.33.   Based on this timetable we would expect to adopt the West End SPD in August 2021. Once adopted, it will be a material consideration in determining future planning applications. 

Review of the Statement of Community Involvement for Planning (SCI)

3.34.   The SCI will be updated to inform the development of the Oxford Local Plan 2040. A six week consultation on the draft SCI will take place in October/November 2020. Comments will be considered and a final draft taken for consideration at Cabinet for adoption in March 2021.

Annual Monitoring Report

3.35.   Each year the City Council produces an Annual Monitoring Report. This will be taken for Cabinet approval in November 2020 for publication in December 2020. The Annual Monitoring report published in December 2020 will be reporting on the monitoring year 2019/20.



Appendix 1: Gantt chart of the LDS work programme 2020-2025























































Oxfordshire Plan 2050













































Local Plan 2020-2040













































CIL Charging Schedule Review














































West End SPD













































Annual Monitoring Report













































Statement of Community Involvement for Planning













































Technical Advice notes to support the implementation of Oxford Local Plan 2036



































































































































































Issues/Scoping Consultation





































Consultation on draft document





































Preferred Options Consultation (Reg 18)





































Proposed Submission Consultation (Reg 19)










































































Inspector’s Report











































































[1] Oxfordshire Joint Statutory Spatial Plan Scoping Document (Oct 2018)

[2] http://democratic.southoxon.gov.uk/documents/s19516/OGB.Covid-19%20Impact%20Report.pdf