Call for views to help shape district’s future

People will soon be able to have their say to help shape policies on the future development of homes, workplaces, and infrastructure in north Oxfordshire.

Published: Wednesday, 8th September 2021

Cherwell District Council’s adopted Local Plan is the key document that guides development in the district. Work is underway to create a new plan, covering the period to 2040.

At a meeting on Monday 6 September, the council’s Executive gave the green light to an options paper, which will be going out for public consultation from 29 September.

Councillor Colin Clarke, Lead Member for Planning, said: “This options paper doesn’t propose new sites for development or set targets for the number of homes that may be needed. Instead, it asks people to have their say on what the key themes of future planning policies should be.”

The council’s current Local Plan is now five years old and there is a new national and local context emerging. The Local Plan review is a chance to develop new policies for matters including: the climate emergency; creating a built environment that promotes heathy lifestyles; achieving net increases in biodiversity; supporting town centres; and rural housing.

The council also intends that its new Local Plan will be a key strategy to drive the district’s recovery from pandemic restrictions.

The options paper proposes a place and people based vision for the district with a focus on developing a sustainable local economy, meeting the climate change challenge, and healthy place shaping. The paper includes a place-based discussion for Banbury, Bicester, Kidlington, Upper Heyford and the rural areas.

Cllr Clarke added: “We are still at a very early stage of the plan-making process. The council anticipates consulting on a draft Local Plan in 2022 and then submitting it to the Planning Inspectorate for examination in 2023.

“This may all seem a long way off, but the Local Plan is a key document that will have a big effect on our area. We want as many residents as possible to have their say and help shape the future of housing, infrastructure and the local environment for the years to come.”

The consultation will start on 29 September and run for six weeks.