Oxford Local Plan 2016-2036

Adopted Development Plan

As current restrictions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic remain in effect, it is not possible for the City Council to deposit at its offices or elsewhere hard copies of the Inspectors’ report and the adopted Local Plan. This is because our Council offices and Oxford’s local libraries are currently closed and will continue to be closed until Government’s advice changes. In light of these circumstances, the Council has adopted additional measures to address the consequences of this unavoidable situation and ensure local people continue to be made aware of the progress of the local plan process and have access to documents associated with it. These measures can be found in our Statement of Community Involvement in Planning Addendum (June 2020). 

Oxford Local Plan 2036 – Adoption of the Plan

On March 22nd 2019 Oxford City Council submitted the Oxford Local Plan 2036 to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. The Secretary of State appointed the Planning Inspectorate (an agency of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) to review and examine Oxford’s Local Plan. The Planning Inspectorate then assigned two Inspectors, Jonathan Bore MRTPI and Nick Fagan MRTPI to carry out a review and examination of the Local Plan. The public hearings into the Local Plan took place in December 2019. The main modifications consultation took place in late February – March 2020.

The Inspectors’ report was received on 15th May 2020 and the Plan was found to be sound with the recommended main modifications. At full Council meeting on 8th June 2020 the City Council voted to adopt the Plan. The Oxford Local Plan 2036 now forms part of the statutory development plan, which means that it will have full weight in determining planning applications.

Key documents: 

Adopted Development Plan

The statutory Development Plan for Oxford contains a number of policy documents that sets out agreed planning policies for the city against which planning decisions are made.  The Oxford Development Plan consists of the Local Plan 2036, site specific Area Action Plans and made Neighbourhood Development Plans. The Policies Map 2020 displays the spatial policies included within the development plan.

The City Council's Adopted Development Plan Framework consists of the following documents:

Oxford Local Plan 2016-2036

The Local Plan is a vital document that sets out the shape of our city, and how it will look and feel in years to come. It will guide and shape new developments, so that they respect the past and present of Oxford, while improving its future by supporting our city’s people and their environment.

The Local Plan 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 2016-2036. 

Barton Area Action Plan (December 2012)

The Barton Area Action Plan sets out policies for a major housing development site at the north eastern edge of Oxford to the west of Barton. 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.

The Area Action Plan contains policies against which all planning applications made on the site will be judged.

Northern Gateway Area Action Plan (July 2015)

The Northern Gateway Area Action Plan sets 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 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.

The Area Action Plan contains policies against which all planning applications made on the site will be judged.

Neighbourhood Plans

  • Headington Neighbourhood Plan (July 2017)

    • The Headington Neighbourhood Forum adopted a Neighbourhood Plan for the Headington Neighbourhood Area in July 2017.  The Neighbourhood Plan is used to guide future development and manage change alongside Oxford’s Local Plan. 
  • Summertown and St Margaret’s Neighbourhood Plan (April 2019)

    • The Summertown and St. Margaret’s Forum adopted a Neighbourhood Plan for the Summertown and St. Margaret’s Neighbourhood Area in April 2019. The Plan comprises ‘spatial’ and ‘community’ policies that show how the community wishes to grow and develop over the coming years.

Other related planning documents

In addition to the development plan documents there are several other important planning documents that provide information and guidance about planning policies. These do not form part of the adopted development plan and include:

Oxford Local Plan Examination

On 22 March 2019 Oxford City Council submitted the Oxford Local Plan 2036 to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government along with an accompanying letter. The Secretary of State appointed the Planning Inspectorate (an agency of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) to review and examine Oxford’s Local Plan. The Planning Inspectorate then assigned two Inspectors, Jonathan Bore MRTPI and Nick Fagan MRTPI to carry out a review and examination of the Local Plan. The Oxford Local Plan 2036 public hearings took place in December 2019. The Main Modifications consultation took place in late February - March 2020.

The Inspectors’ report was received on 15 May 2020 and the Plan was found to be sound with the recommended main modifications. At full Council meeting on 8th June 2020 the City Council voted to adopt the Plan. The Oxford Local Plan 2036 now forms part of the statutory development plan, which means that it will have full weight in determining planning applications.

For more details about the examination, please see the Examination page

As part of the submission to the Planning Inspectorate, a comprehensive library of all the documentation and evidence supporting the Local Plan was compiled. This library is available for public review on our website.

Please visit our Oxford Local Plan 2016-2036 Examination library.

Previous Local Plan Consultation Documents

All documentation and evidence work from previous stages of the development of the Oxford Local Plan 2016-2036 (including the First Steps consultation of 2016, the Preferred Options consultation of 2017, and the Regulation 19 consultation of 2018) are available online. They can be found on our Local Plan documents page.