Our response to Oxford City Council’s Preferred Options for the Local Plan Review

The Oxfordshire Green Party has submitted its response to the Oxford Local Plan Preferred Options document, following an online survey within the Party, and in consultation with a number of other people and organisations with knowledge and expertise.

Why is this important?

Planning is only one of the ways we will be able to deal with the enormous pressures Oxfordshire faces in terms of environment, housing and social polarisation, but it's one of the most important.

Once planning policies are signed off by the government planning inspector they have legal force, and will shape what can be built and where for the next twenty years.  Getting the policies right at the point where it all seems a bit theoretical is important, even though it doesn't feel as immediate as fighting a particular planning application.

What is the Local Plan?

The term 'Local Plan' can also be used to refer to a number of policy documents that have been prepared and adopted separately.  Oxford City Council has prepared a new Local Plan called ‘Local Plan 2036, which will become the main planning policy document for Oxford. The Local Plan is important because it will set out a vision for the city, guiding new developments to the right locations, and influencing policies and conditions regarding the environment and people's quality of life.

Once adopted the Oxford Local Plan 2036 will replace the Local Plan 2001-2016, the Core Strategy 2026 and the Sites and Housing Plan.  https://www.oxford.gov.uk/info/20067/planning_policy/743/the_local_plan

The Oxford Local Plan 2036 Preferred Options document sets out Oxford City Council’s proposed approaches to a range of issues.  The Preferred Options document (to which Oxfordshire Green Party has made a formal response) is available as nine PDFs (dealing with different policy areas) at https://www.oxford.gov.uk/downloads/download/877/oxford_local_plan_2016-2036_preferred_options_document.  

This is the second stage of the process, but perhaps this is the one where we have most power to shape policy.  The whole process won't be concluded till mid to late 2019 (see the flowchart is on page 2, in the first PDF).

What is the response of Oxfordshire Green Party?

The Green Party response here was produced by one of our city councillors, Dick Wolff, following an online survey within the Party that produced 50 responses, and in consultation with a number of other people and organisations with knowledge and expertise.  Chris Henderson drafted the responses on green space and Green Belt."

Read the response here.

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