New Local Plan takes shape with next steps agreed

West Oxfordshire District Council’s Executive has agreed the next stage of developing the district’s new Local Plan, with further consultation taking place in late summer this year. 

Councillor Carl Rylett, Executive Member for Planning and Sustainable Development said: “One of the most important functions of the council is ensuring we have a robust and ambitious plan for the future, and that plan needs to be shaped in partnership with the people it will affect - our residents, businesses and stakeholders.

“The current plan is nearly five years old and needs to be updated. This gives us the opportunity to tackle important topics like climate change and health and wellbeing - subjects we know are important to you. 

“One of the most important priorities for us as a council is to make sure that communities are heard in everything we do, and we urge residents to give us their views now so that we can take those on board as we start to work up the content of the new plan in more detail.”

The Council undertook an initial consultation on the Local Plan in autumn 2022 to seek early views on the sort of issues people would like the new Local Plan to address. A summary report highlighting the main issues was published to the council’s website in April 2023. 

The consultation responses showed a strong level of support for many of the initial themes and ideas that were put forward including tackling climate change, improving the health and well-being of our local communities, ensuring vibrant communities and providing new housing and job opportunities.It was also clear that communities valued the consideration of supporting infrastructure, at an early stage of any development. 

The next consultation will help us firm up on our overall objectives and potential policies as well as starting a discussion around the future pattern of development across the district. It also includes a ‘call for sites’, ideas and opportunities and how sites or areas of land might be used in the future such as nature recovery, renewable energy, green space provision and new housing or employment. 

Councillor Andy Graham, Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council continued: “This is a great opportunity for communities to engage with a more inclusive and holistic approach, creating joined up thinking between the council and the community that will focus on quality of life for generations to come.”

Alongside the consultation we will continue to gather various pieces of evidence and use this along with the consultation responses we receive, to inform a series of preferred policy approaches which will be the subject of further consultation later in the year. The final draft plan will then be prepared and published in late spring 2024. 

The consultation will be held online and supported by a number of in-person events. To sign up for more information on the forthcoming Local Plan consultation please visit https://yourvoice.westoxon.gov.uk/en-GB/ 

Contact Information

West Oxfordshire District Council Communications Team

[email protected]