The Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) is currently preparing the Local Industrial Strategy for the county. The aim of the Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) is to create an economy that boosts productivity and earning power, a long term plan that provides a policy framework against which major private and public sector investment decisions are made.
NNGO says local people and sound planning principles, not an unaccountable quango and developers’ aspirations, should have a say on a strategy that will dictate future economic strategy for the county.
Peter Jay, Chairman of ROAR (Rural Oxfordshire Action Rally), says:
“There is no process for public consultation and it appears the strategy will only receive final endorsement from the Oxfordshire Growth Board after it has already been approved by Government. This is despite ‘Ideas’ and ‘People’ being the first of ‘five foundations of productivity’ on which the Industrial Strategy is based.”
NNGO wrote to Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Oxfordshire MPs and OxLEP asking that Oxfordshire’s Local Industrial Strategy is subject to full public consultation.
We asked our local decision makers Councillors to become familiar with the emerging detail of the JSSP and associated strategies and actively engage with your local communities about their needs and priorities for these, for communication into the JSSP process via council representatives and the appropriate project processes.
Oxfordshire’s six local councils have agreed to work together to produce a Joint Statutory Spatial Plan (JSSP). The plan will look at the County’s growth in a co-ordinated, long term way and put an end to speculative development. It gives an opportunity to plan for the development we need across the whole canvas of the County rather than in a fragmented way through unsynchronised Local Plans.
It will be one of the first such plans to come forward across England, so the pressure is on to ensure it takes adequate account of our natural environment. The intention is to have the plan submitted by March 2020.
On Monday 24th September NNGO hosted an event to raise awareness of the JSSP and encourage our decision-makers to engage with local communities. Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, joined NNGO to discuss the JSSP and respond to questions from the audience.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth presentation can be viewed here: Cllr Ian Hudspeth presentation to NNGO Sept 18
In recent years, speculative developers have made hay across Oxfordshire when our local authorities have fallen foul of rules which say they have to be able to prove a 5 year supply of deliverable housing. The Oxfordshire Growth Board is now looking to negotiate with Government to reduce the rules for Oxfordshire to a 3 year housing supply. But this is only a short term measure and doesn’t address the longer-term impacts or the fundamental unfairness of making local authorities release more land, to the cost of particular communities and greenfield sites, when developers fail to build what they promise.
The opportunity to respond to consultation on the Oxfordshire Growth Board Three Year Housing Land Supply closed on 12 July 2018.
Read NNGO’s response: NNGO response to 3 Year Housing Land Supply Consultation July 18