Oxford Local Plan 2040 Consultation

Development on the Green Belt

4th October 2022

The Preferred Options consultation on the Oxford Local Plan 2040 is now live and closes Monday 14 November.

CPRE Oxfordshire believes this consultation is not fit for purpose. 
A Local Plan’s fundamental objective is to set out the quantity and spatial distribution of proposed development – this Preferred Options consultation is completely opaque on both.

  • The level of proposed housing is not clearly identified – there are strong indications that the Council wishes to pursue a level significantly above standard methodology but this is postponed to a future consultation.
  • The spatial distribution is not identified – there are a list of sites but it is not clear which are already allocated (in the Adopted Local Plan 2036) and which are new, nor is there any clear indication of the amount of housing that is proposed to be accommodated on these sites.

Without this basic information, it is virtually impossible for local residents to make informed comment on the options outlined.

There has been a complete failure to take into account the responses from the earlier Options consultation.  We note that neither the City Council’s Scrutiny Committee or Cabinet meetings in September 2022 reviewed the consultation report before the Preferred Options document was authorised for publication (even though the consultation report itself is dated April 2022).

Over 80% of respondents identified safeguarding the natural environment and its wildlife habitat and preserving open spaces as ‘very important’.  As a comparison, only 18% of respondents identified more housing in the City as ‘very important’, although this rises to 56% for more truly affordable housing in the City.

It is completely unclear how these priorities, as expressed by local residents, have been taken into account in the preparation of the Preferred Options.  For example, the introductory paragraph 0.1.1 states:  
“The delivery of new homes continues to be a priority for this plan, whilst ensuring that we deliver and support mixed and inclusive economic development across the city.”  There is no mention at all of the natural environment, wildlife or open spaces.

Our draft response can be downloaded below, we would be happy to consider further views or additional points – please get in touch.

Visit the Oxford City Council website for more information, associated documents and to respond.

CPRE Oxfordshire has prepared a guide to help inform your response to the Oxford Local Plan 2040 Preferred Options Consultation. This includes suggestions for a quick 5 minute and a 20 minute response.
Download the guide below: