Vale Local Plan update

Hulton Park

18th October 2016

Vale of White Horse Local Plan Part 1 could be adopted by January 2017, while Part 2 of the Plan needs to find sites for an additional 2,200 homes to meet Oxford’s unmet need.

Local Plan Part 1

The Council’s consultation on its Main Modifications to the Local Plan is now closed – it received a total of 178 comments from 70 individual participants (including CPRE Oxfordshire). The comments have been forwarded on to the Inspector for his consideration in preparing his Final Report – this is expected in November, so the plan may be adopted as early as January 2017. 

Local Plan Part 2

The Council is currently preparing Local Plan Part 2 – there will be a Preferred Options consultation in February 2017. 

Oxford Unmet Housing Need:

The Oxfordshire Growth Board has agreed the apportionment of Oxford City’s unmet need to be located in the Vale – the Council has agreed to take 2,200 homes. This figure will feed into Part 2 of the Local Plan process to identify suitable locations for housing to meet this need. 

We note in particular this paragraph on the Green Belt:

‘It is necessary for the Council to consider all ‘reasonable and realistic’ alternative sites, and given the nature of the Vale and its proximity to Oxford this will need to include consideration for some Green Belt sites. However at the present time, the Council has not concluded as to whether an additional Green Belt Review will be needed to inform this process. This will be set out in the Preferred Options document to be published in February 2017.’

The ‘Oxford Spatial Options Assessment‘ contains the list of sites in the Vale (Green Belt and non-Green Belt) that will be considered for the allocation of homes to meet Oxford’s unmet need in Part 2 of the Plan.

Non-strategic sites:

The Call for Sites consultation closed in July and the Council is now assessing all the sites to determine the most suitable for allocation in Part 2. The Council will consult on its preferred options site allocations in February as part of the Preferred Options consultation.

Didcot Garden Town:

The Local Plan Part 2 will contain policies for the part of the Didcot Garden Town that lies within the Vale.

Development Management Plans:

The Council is preparing Detailed Management policies for inclusion within Part 2 of the Plan – these will complement the strategic policies in Part 1 and will help to guide day-to-day decision-making on planning applications.

What next?

Following the Preferred Options consultation, the Council will hold a second round of consultations on the Publication Version of Part 2 – this will take place in October 2017.

The Council anticipates submitting the Part 2 of the Local Plan to the Secretary of State in early 2018.


CPRE Oxfordshire, 18 October