The Local Plan

Local Plan 2016-2036

We are taking our first steps towards producing a new Local Plan for Oxford. The Local Plan is important because it will shape how Oxford develops. It will set out how we want our city to look and feel; it will guide new developments to the right locations while protecting and improving the environment and people's quality of life; it will deliver the new homes, businesses, jobs, shops and infrastructure needed to support the growth of Oxford over the next 20 years; and it will be used in determining planning applications and to guide investment decisions across the city.

We want to make sure that Oxford continues to be a successful and attractive city; the kind of place people enjoy living in, working in and visiting. 

Local Plan Preferred Options

Last summer we asked you what issues the new Local Plan should cover. We have listened to what local people, businesses and other organisations told us and are now considering a range of policy options.

The preferred options for the Local Plan 2036 will be considered by the Scrutiny Committee on Monday 12 June 2017. The preferred options are available to view on the Scrutiny Committee webpage.

The consultation on the preferred options for the Local Plan 2036 will start on Friday 30th June 2017.

Evidence Base

Our background papers and the Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report are still available to view.

We are currently working on a number of technical studies to help inform the development of the Local Plan. Of these, we have now completed the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment and Employment Land Assessment.

Current Local Plan documents

Once adopted the Oxford Local Plan 2036 will replace the Local Plan 2001-2016, the Core Strategy 2026 and the Sites and Housing Plan. The term 'Local Plan' can also be used to refer to a number of policy documents that have been prepared and adopted separately. Even though work is commencing on a new Local Plan, the existing planning policies remain strong and will continue to be used for determining planning applications while the new Local Plan is being drafted. The City Council's various 'local plan' documents that are being used to determine planning applications are:

Core Strategy

Contains policies against which all planning applications are judged. Anyone considering submitting a planning application will need to consider the polices within the Core Strategy alongside other Local Plan documents.

West End Area Action Plan

The West End is an area of the city centre from Carfax to the railway station and down to the Oxpens Road area. The Area Action Plan aims to create a vibrant quarter of the city centre with a mix of uses and facilities. The Area Action Plan contains policies against which all planning applications made in the West End will be judged. They are an important way of ensuring development of an appropriate scale, mix and quality for key areas of opportunity.

Barton Area Action Plan

This Area Action Plan sets out policies for a major housing development site at the north eastern edge of Oxford to the west of Barton. The Area Action Plan contains policies against which all planning applications made on the site will be judged.

As well as helping to address the city's housing needs by providing around 1,000 new homes, the development provides an opportunity to bring benefits to neighbouring communities. New transport links will better integrate housing on the northern side of the A40 with the rest of the city and new community facilities will benefit new and existing residents. With more people living in the area there are improved prospects for more viable services and businesses. There are also opportunities to deliver regeneration benefits to existing neighbouring communities.

Northern Gateway Area Action Plan

This Area Action Plan will set out policies for a major employment-led development site at the northern edge of Oxford near to the Pear Tree roundabout. The Area Action Plan will contain policies against which all planning applications made on the site will be judged.

The AAP supports the delivery of the Oxford Core Strategy 2026 allocation, and guides future development of this site to the north of the city in the Wolvercote ward. 

Sites and Housing Plan

The Sites and Housing Development Plan Document allocate sites for development for housing, employment and other uses and sets out detailed planning policies for residential development including affordable housing. Anyone considering submitting a planning application will need to consider the polices within the Sites and Housing Plan alongside other Local Plan documents. 

A site allocation describes what type of land use, or mix of uses, would be acceptable on a specific site if a planning application was submitted on it. Allocations help local people understand what may happen in their area in the future and give guidance to developers. They are a positive policy towards redevelopment and help ensure the right type of development happens in order to meet the aims of the Core Strategy.

The housing policies contains new planning policies on affordable housing (in more detail than the Core Strategy), student accommodation, Houses in Multiple Occupation and the design, size and sustainability requirements. All proposals for residential development will be considered against these policies.

Oxford Local Plan 2001-2016

The Oxford Local Plan 2001-2016 contains detailed policies which planning applications will be judged against. Anyone considering submitting a planning application will need to consider the saved polices within the Oxford Local Plan 2001-2016 alongside other Local Plan documents listed here.

Policies Map

The Policies Map 2013 (formerly known as the Proposals Map) displays the policies included within Oxford's Local Plan. This is supplemented by the amendments following the adoption of the Northern Gateway on 20 July 2015