The new Local Plan for Oxford City covering the period 2016 – 2036 has reached the stage called the Submission Draft. This means that the City has consulted on its preferred policy options (this all happened last year) and has now decided on the policies it wants to put forward to the Planning Inspector for approval.
The Submission Draft is open for public consultation until 28 December. The way into all the documentation is the City’s Local Plan web page. There you can download the complete Submission Draft together with as many of the literally dozens of supporting documents as you feel you can handle!
It’s important to realise that at this stage the only comments that will be accepted as valid relate to the ‘soundness’ of the plan. I have cribbed (with permission) this explanation from the Oxford Civic Society’s article on the subject:
For example, it wouldn’t help just to say that you disagree with the policy on car-free developments because your elderly relative wouldn’t be able to visit you if you lived in one. You would need to look at the evidence behind the Council’s decision to adopt the policy and argue that the evidence was flawed, incomplete, or failed in some other way to justify the policy.
Last year’s Preferred Options stage listed dozens of sites for which the council was considering writing policies covering potential development. This list has now become fixed (subject to the Planning Inspector’s approval).
Within the OX3 area there are 20 such sites and two ‘Areas of Change’. I have extracted the relevant parts of the Submission Draft – a preamble and a policy statement for each site – and put them in one complete 18Mb document which you can download here. These sites are:
SP 17 Government Buildings and Harcourt House, Marston Road
SP 18 Headington Hill Hall and Clive Booth Student Village
SP 19 Land surrounding St Clement’s Church
SP 20 Churchill Hospital site
SP 21 Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre
SP 22 Old Road Campus
SP 23 Warneford Hospital
SP 24 Marston Paddock
SP 26 Hill View Farm
SP 27 Land West of Mill Lane
SP 28 Park Farm
SP 42 John Radcliffe Hospital site
SP 48 Nielsen, London Road
SP 51 Oxford Brookes University Marston Road Campus
SP 54 No. 1 Pullens Lane
SP 56 Ruskin College Campus, Dunstan Road
SP 57 Ruskin Field
SP 58 Slade House
SP 62 Valentia Road site
SP 65 Bayards Hill Primary School Part Playing Fields
The two Areas of Change are:
Marston Road Area of Change
Old Road Campus Area of Change
There are links in the downloadable document which take you straight to the relevant sections, and an interactive map covering the whole of Oxford on which the OX3 sites also link to the relevant parts of the text. I hope you find it useful.
The planning application for the Swan School (ref: 18/01173/FUL), refused by East Area Planning Committee on 5 September, has been called in by city councillors. This means the application – and the refusal – will be reconsidered by the Planning Review Committee. The minutes of the EAPC meeting show that the reasons for refusing the application were its impact on the Green Belt and a failure to ensure that access to the site gives priority to pedestrians and cyclists. The earliest date for the PRC to consider the matter is 10 October, though as yet this date is not definite.
At the EAPC meeting there were two votes on the application, the first to approve the application and the second to refuse it on the grounds mentioned above. Thanks to the report by Sophie Grubb (@OxMailSophieG) in the Oxford Mail we know that Councillors Nigel Chapman (Lab, Headington Hill & Northway), David Henwood (Lab, Cowley) and John Tanner (Lab, Littlemore) voted to approve the application; Shaista Aziz (Lab, Rose Hill & Iffley), Mary Clarkson (Lab, Marston), Alex Hollingsworth (Lab, Carfax), Mark Lygo (Lab, Churchill) and Roz Smith (LibDem, Quarry & Risinghurst) voted against. Stef Garden (LibDem, Headington) abstained, so the vote was 5-3 against the application with one abstention.
On the second vote, to refuse the application, the voting was the same (or more accurately, reversed) except that Shaista Aziz abstained instead of supporting the motion so the result was 4-3 in favour of refusal with two abstentions.
Your weekly round-up of local news for 14 – 20 May. As I’m not going to be around much for the next couple of weeks the next Headlines won’t be until 11 June. See you then!
Another strange thing came to light in the rather weird story of the Wychwood Lane planning application – that’s the one to build next to the C S Lewis Nature Reserve. Read “Latest News from Narnia” here.
There’s a move afoot to get the “Shark House” in New High Street onto the City’s Heritage Asset Register.
One of the items on the East Area Planning Committee agenda on Wednesday this week is a recommendation to refuse planning permission to build flats on the site at 4 Lime Walk. The committee papers say “The application has failed to demonstrate that development of the site would not be viable if a contribution towards affordable housing were made.” In other words there needs to be an element of affordable housing if this site is to be developed for housing.
Wingfield House in Gathorne Road was built under a planning condition that it should be car-free. Residents do not qualify for parking permits in the local controlled parking zone (CPZ). At the County Council’s Cabinet meeting tomorrow (22 May) a request for the condition to be set aside so that residents can get parking permits has an officers’ recommendation that this should be turned down.
@oxcivicsoc recommends that Frontier Estates’ planning application for a care home at 1 Pullen’s Lane should be refused. To summarise their comments; “It was refused before and nothing’s changed”.
My favourite Headington-related tweet:
Active posts on the Headington & Marston e-democracy forum this week: