In 2018, the Oxfordshire authorities signed the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal with the government, securing guaranteed funding for affordable housing, infrastructure and economic growth in Oxfordshire.
As part of this deal, the Oxfordshire authorities have agreed to produce a plan for the whole of the county, which will guide development in the area up to the year 2050.
Like the Strategy Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) produced in 2014, the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 and the associated Oxfordshire Growth Needs Assessment (OGNA) aim to justify the number of new market and affordable homes, the level of economic growth and related infrastructure that the Government want to see across Oxfordshire, but it will do more than that.
The Plan’s strategic policies will cover the following matters:
County wide housing targets
Affordable housing requirements
Identification of strategic growth areas
Strategic housing trajectory
Gypsy, Traveller and boat dwellers, needs and distribution
County wide employment growth figures
The spatial dimension of the Local Industrial Strategy
Green Belt strategy and policies
Biodiversity and natural environment
Placemaking and built environment
Health and wellbeing
Strategic environmental allocations
The places where homes could be put in the Vale will have a significant impact on our communities:
Based on CPRE's figures, this would mean at least another 20,000 for the Vale and possibly as many as 50,000.
I guess if we don’t get the reservoir then we can fit a new town between Hanney, Steventon and Marcham or if not, it might mean that Challow, Grove and Wantage become one settlement as might Milton, Harwell, Sutton Courtenay and Didcot.
If the plan wants to strengthen the Science Vale then it could try to join Wantage and the villages to Harwell Campus!
Wherever they decide to impose the new homes, we must make sure that they ensure funding for the infrastructure needed to support them. We still don’t have any improvements to roads, health and leisure facilities and schools are still a promise – not fact.
The first consultation considered the issues that the Oxfordshire Plan should deal with, a vision for the plan and a series of objectives and aspirations to guide the plan to 2050. It closed on 25 March 2019. To see our response, click here
The second consultation looked at the impact of Covid-19 on the ideas and the consultation closed on 14 August 2020. Our response is available here.
The most recent consultation on the Oxfordshire 2050 Plan closed on 10 October 2021, with the final submission of the Plan not due until September 2022 (although this date could change).
The response from Need Not Greed Oxon (NNGO)is available on their website http://www.neednotgreedoxon.org.uk/resources/ and our response is available here
NNGO make the point that the Vision explicitly omits the ‘quantum of housing or economic growth for Oxfordshire’ which is having such a detrimental impact across our landscape and many existing communities. Without this, the word risk becoming meaningless ‘motherhood and apple pie’.