Oxford Local Plan – ACT NOW to prevent the housing overflow!

Oxford City Council is consulting on its Local Plan through to 2040.

Last time round, its aggressive growth ambitions resulted in 15,000 houses being offloaded onto the countryside of the surrounding Districts.  This is putting pressure on local communities and impacting Oxford’s transport infrastructure and green spaces, but fails to provide truly affordable housing.

We need lots of people to tell them NOW – we want development to cater for NEED not GREED.

How Can You Respond?

Email your views to planningpolicy@oxford.gov.uk by Monday 14 November

Key points to raise

It is very important that you express your views in your own words, in your preferred order and in your own style.  The first point below is fundamental and we encourage you to include this along with other points that you feel are important.

1. If you only tell them one thing please tell them this!                                   

The housing figures should be set at the minimum that it is possible to achieve whilst meeting genuine need.  (Policy sets H1 and H2 – Housing Need & Requirement)  Exceptional circumstances (eg the climate, biodiversity and health emergencies, democratic wishes of districts, truly affordable homes, UK’s urgent need for Levelling Up, the constraints of flood plain and Green Belt, the over-delivery in relation to need already accommodated within the Oxfordshire Housing & Growth Deal) are all logical reasons for a housing figure that is below that produced by the Standard Methodology.  Housing figures above those produced by the Standard Methodology cannot be justified because of the overriding importance of our climate and nature emergencies and the constraints on delivery within the City.

2. The City should constrain itself to what is deliverable within its own boundaries, maximising sites for housing rather than employment. (Policy sets H1 and H2 – Housing Need & Requirement)

3. A further Green Belt Review is not required. (Policy Set S2: Approach to Greenfield sites)

The main purpose of the Green Belt is its openness and permanence.  Permanent boundaries have just been set in the last tranche of Local Plans. With 20,000 houses and other development already planned for the Green Belt, such a review would be premature and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Further information

You can find the Oxford Local Plan 2040 Preferred Options document (the housing information is in Chapter 2) and all the details about the consultation itself –- on the City Council website.

Our suggestion is that you don’t respond using the online questionnaires because of the extent of the leading questions. Just email planningpolicy@oxford.gov.uk

NNGO’s full consultation response includes more detailed comment and background information that could help with your own reply.  


This is the best chance we have of influencing the emerging Plan.  We therefore also ask you to encourage as many as possible of your colleagues/friends to respond.  We need Oxford City Council to understand the widespread opposition to it carrying on as before, setting unrealistic and inappropriate housing targets that it expects its neighbours to meet.

The focus must not be on pursuing arbitrary growth targets, but on providing the affordable housing that is genuinely needed in as sustainable a way as possible.