Oxford City Local Plan update

Local Plan amendments recognise water and sewerage constraints

In December last year I posted this article about Oxford City’s Local Plan 2036, listing the possible development sites (“Sites”) in the OX3 area. The formal consultation on the Plan was then in progress; things have now reached the stage when the Plan has been formally submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration.

Following the consultation the City Council has made some changes to the Plan documents which it hopes will remove some possible problems which the Inspector might otherwise have picked on. For many of the Sites Thames Water has warned there could be problems with water and sewerage capacity. Typically, the Plan has been amended to include something like this in the descriptive part of the site policy:

[Both the] Water supply network capacity [and the sewerage network capacity] in this area is unlikely to be able to support the demand anticipated from this development. Investigations by Thames Water, funded by the applicant, will be necessary to determine whether upgrades to the water supply capacity [ or sewerage network] are required. Up to three years lead in time could be required to undertake any such works.

… and this in the Policy itself:

Development must not lead to water supply [and sewerage network] problems for existing or new users. Applicants will be required to demonstrate that there is adequate water supply capacity both on and off the site to serve the development and that it would not lead to problems for existing or new users.

Not all these changes mention water and sewerage. I think the changes will generally be welcomed by people living in areas already known to have problems with either or both these services.

These and all the other main changes are set out in the document “CSD10 Schedule of Proposed Main Modifications” which is available on the Council’s website.

Headington Headlines #000

Maybe everything’s on hold over half term, but it seems nothing of note happened in the whole of OX3 last week, or if it did I missed it. Headlines will be back next week – there must be something to report by then!

Local Plan Sites in OX3

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.