Need not Greed Oxfordshire has for some time now been promoting the idea of a joint planning framework for Oxfordshire.
We believe a joined-up approach to planning on an Oxfordshire-wide basis could resolve many of the planning issues which we are currently facing in the county and allow the overall environmental and social impacts of development to be taken into account.
We therefore welcome the recent announcement by all our Oxfordshire local authorities that they will work together to create a ‘Joint Spatial Plan’ for the county as a whole.
On 30 October, the Oxfordshire Growth Board tabled its Business Case for a Joint Spatial Plan. According to the report ‘Having full development plan coverage for Oxfordshire would provide a strong foundation for development to happen in a planned and sustainable way, aligned with infrastructure provision’.
NNGO attended the Board meeting and took the opportunity of tabling a question – we were keen to know more about the Board’s plans for public engagement at the relevant stages of the emerging document.
In a letter sent this week to the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid MP, NNGO has raised its concerns about the lack of adequate public consultation on the Better Oxfordshire Unitary bid and to the growth strategy on which it is based.
The Better Oxfordshire Unitary Bid was submitted to the Secretary of State from Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire District Council and the Vale of White Horse District Council, on 3 March 2017.
The Raynsford Review of Planning has been set up to identify how the Government can reform the English planning system to make it ‘fairer, better resourced and capable of producing quality outcomes, while still encouraging the production of new homes’.
It will be informed by a task force chaired by former planning minister Nick Raynsford and will include politicians, housing providers, developers, consultants, academics and the public.
Evidence is being collected over an 18-month period and a report formally presented at all major party conferences in autumn 2018.
The deadline for comments is 31 October.
Need not Greed Oxfordshire has long been concerned about the adverse impacts of the deregulated planning system on Oxfordshire’s communities and landscape. We have therefore welcomed the opportunity to respond to this consultation.
The Oxfordshire Infrastructure Strategy (OxIS) is an independent report commissioned by the Oxfordshire Growth Board.
The aim of the strategy is to set out the investment in transport, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure needed to support the predicted growth in population, jobs and homes up to 2040.
A technical Stage 1 report was published in April 2017 and work has been progressing on Stage 2 of the work.
The public were asked for their views on the work to date were invited to participate in an online engagement exercise.
The consultation closes on 10 September 2017.
NNGO has responded to the consultation saying OxIS is over optimistic and massively under-funded.