Vale District Council begins its preparations for Local Plan 2031 Part 2


13th June 2016

The Vale has made public its outline of the work it will be doing over the coming months on preparing its Local Plan 2031 Part 2. The Preferred Options Consultation is due to be held in February 2017.

The Vale has issued the first in a series of progress updates on the Local Plan 2031.

Update of Local Plan 2031 Part 1:

In his Interim Findings on the Local Plan Part 1, the Inspector reported that the Plan can be found sound and adopted if certain modifications are made to it. Depending on the scope of these modifications, further public consultation will be held on the proposed changes. Further information and updates will be available on the Council website and will be included in the Vale’s next update bulletin.

Introduction to Local Plan 2031 Part 2:

The Local Plan 2031 Part 2 will comprise of four key components:

  • Non-strategic sites – it will address the more detailed policies and non-strategic site allocations of less than 200 homes, not included in Part 1 of the Plan.
  • Oxford’s unmet housing need – it will deal with the Vale’s contribution to meeting Oxford’s unmet need.
  • Didcot Garden Town – it will focus on supporting Didcot Garden Town.
  • Detailed development management policies – the Plan will contain detailed policies that will guide the day-to-day decision making on planning applications.

The Vale expects to identify sites for assessment and to do the detailed site assessment work during the autumn of this year and to draft sites for inclusion in the Preferred Options consultation by late 2016 and to publish its Preferred Options Consultation in February 2017.

Call for Sites consultation:

As part of its preparation for Local Plan 2031 Part 2 the Vale is updating its Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) and is inviting landowners and agents to submit potential development sites for consideration.

This will help to inform its emerging Local Plan 2031 Part 2, which will allocate sites to meet the remaining housing target for the district, and a yet to be agreed portion of unmet housing need for Oxford City. The new Local Plan 2031 Part 2 may also consider sites for other uses, such as retail.

As the updated SHLAA will also include land for employment and retail uses, it will be referred to as a Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA).

The Call for Sites consultation closes on 22 July 2016.

Draft HELAA Methodology:

The Vale is also preparing a draft methodology which sets out how it intends to assess sites for allocation in Local Plan 2031 Part 2. It will set out how the council will assess sites after they have been submitted, how sites can be discounted and how the most sustainable sites will be chosen for allocation in Local Plan 2031 Part 2.

The methodology will be published on the Vale website in due course.

The Vale will be inviting comments on this document.


CPRE Oxfordshire, 13 June