Oxford Local Plan 2040 will be ‘real-world assessment’ says council leader

Councillor Susan Brown, leader of Oxford City Council, said the plan is a “real-world assessment” which will not “hide behind outdated calculations which would only deepen a serious housing crisis”.

The city is currently the least affordable place in the country, with the average house price more than 12 times that of average earnings and a council housing waiting list of more than 3,300 households.

Underpinning all planning decisions for the next 16 years, the Local Plan 2040 bases its strategy on various key evidence.

thisisoxfordshire: Susan BrownSusan Brown (Image: Oxford City Council)

Councillor Susan Brown said: “Our Local Plan 2040 is based on robust and objective evidence.

“It does not hide behind outdated calculations which would only deepen a serious housing crisis.

“It continues the approach all Oxfordshire councils took before 2022, which rejected the ‘standard method’ as inadequate to meet our county’s need for new homes.”

Ms Brown also stated that if there weren’t enough houses built close to where they anticipate job growth, the situation will worsen.

She added: “People will be forced into paying even more for somewhere to live.

“The cost of housing already means more than a quarter of Oxford’s children live in poverty.

“Others will be forced out of Oxfordshire altogether, increasing commuting and making the roads even more congested than they are now.”

The process for this plan is similar to its predecessor, the Local Plan 2036, which takes a data-driven approach to assess the additional housing needs of Oxford since the implementation of the current plan in 2020.

Two main papers support the Local Plan 2040.

A housing and economic land availability assessment, takes a thorough approach to identifying suitable housing sites within the city.

A housing and employment needs assessment, commissioned in partnership with Cherwell District Council, calculates the housing demand relative to forecasted economic growth.

The second of these has identified capacity for 9,612 homes between 2020 and 2040.

However, although the plan aims to maximise this capacity with measures such as building at higher density and even identifying opportunities for new homes in collaboration with major landowners and agents, it would still be inadequate to meet Oxford’s requirements.

Oxford will need 26,440 new homes by 2040, requiring the construction of 16,828 new homes outside the city’s administrative boundaries.

Regarding these additional homes, other district councils have pledged to build 14,300 as part of their current local plans.

This leaves a requirement for further 2,528 homes, which equates to 126 extra houses per year until 2040 across Oxfordshire.

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