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
NNGO has long called for changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and therefore welcomed the Government’s recent consultation on a revised approach. Sadly, there was no attempt to abandon the punitive 5 Year Housing Supply rules or increase pressure on developers to stick to their promises on affordable housing, but instead the potential for further penalties for councils if they fail to meet targets and further weakening of planning protections. In our view, it’s time to re-write the rule book and focus on sustainable, democratically accountable planning.
The opportunity to respond to consultation on the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) closed on 10 May 2018.
Read NNGO’s response: NPPF Consultation Draft NNGO Response May 18 FINAL .