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Way forward agreed for Local Plan

Cabinet Members at West Oxfordshire District Council have now agreed a timetable for taking the Local Plan forward.

Planning Inspector Simon Emerson had previously recommended that elements of the Plan should be reconsidered including the overall housing target.

Mr Emerson said the Council needed to fully engage with other authorities before producing any revised proposals and stressed the need for Districts in the County to take account of homes required to meet the needs of Oxford City.

As a result, planners will now commission further research which will include a partial update of the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) for West Oxfordshire and consult later in the year on proposed changes to the Plan before reconvening the examination.

Cllr Warwick Robinson, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Economy, said: “It is vital that we get an adopted Local Plan in place as soon as possible and we are pleased to have agreed a way forward in light of the Inspector’s findings.

“We believe that through appropriate changes the Plan can ultimately be found to be sound. The Inspector has given us a clear steer that we need to take account of joint working on Oxford City’s unmet housing need which won’t report until later in the year necessitating the proposed suspension.”

Cllr Robinson added that there were no proposals to withdraw the draft Plan altogether.

The Council is now asking the Inspector to suspend the Plan for 12 months while the changes are drawn up and considered.

More information can be found at www.westoxon.gov.uk/localplan2031

Posted : 19/01/2016 15:50:16

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