Oxford Local Plan 2016-2036 Examination

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The Oxford Local Plan 2036 was submitted for examination in March 2019, and public hearings took place in December 2019. 

As part of this examination process, the independent Local Plan inspectors have identified various amendments that they consider necessary to ensure the Plan is 'sound'. These are known as 'Main Modifications'. The Council prepared a schedule setting out the proposed Main Modifications considered necessary for the Local Plan to be found sound. This document, along with an associated Sustainability Appraisal of the Main Modifications were consulted upon during a 6 week consultation period from Friday 14 February to Friday 27 March 2020. More information on the Main Modifications consultation, as well as associated consultation documents can be found on our Main Modifications consultation page

All comments relating to the Main Modifications to the Plan have now been submitted to the Inspectors via the Programme Officer. The Inspectors will now consider all the comments received and decide whether any further hearings are necessary, or any issues need to be revisited. The Inspectors will then present their final conclusion in a report. If the report concludes that the Local Plan is ‘sound’, the Council can adopt the Local Plan, subject to making the Modifications identified.

Correspondence between Oxford City Council and the Inspectors

Correspondence exchanged between the Inspectors and the City Council surrounding the Inspectors' initial questions and comments can be found in the Inspectors Correspondence folder of the examination library. This includes the latest schedule of modifications that have emerged from the correspondence exchanges. 

Latest Documents 

The latest documents can be found in the following folders: 

The Inspectors

Planning Inspectors Jonathan Bore MRTPI and Nick Fagan BSc(Hons) DipTP MRTPI have been appointed to undertake an independent examination into the soundness of the Oxford City Local Plan (the Plan).

The Inspectors’ task is to consider the soundness of the submitted Plan, based on the criteria set out in paragraph 35 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2019 (the Framework).  The relevant soundness criteria are whether the Plan is:

  1. Positively prepared (providing a strategy which, as a minimum, seeks to meet the area’s objectively assessed needs; and is informed by agreements with other authorities, so that unmet need from neighbouring areas is accommodated where it is practical to do so and is consistent with achieving sustainable development);
  2. Justified (an appropriate strategy, taking into account the reasonable alternatives, and based on proportionate evidence);
  3. Effective (deliverable over the plan period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic matters that have been dealt with rather than deferred, as evidenced by the statement of common ground); and
  4. Consistent with national policy (enabling the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the Framework). 

The Inspectors will take into account the representations submitted upon the Proposed Submission Plan as far as they relate to soundness considerations. A number of informal debates will take place on the principal matters identified by the Inspector. These are termed Hearing Sessions.

At the end of the Examination, the Inspectors will prepare a report to the City Council with precise recommendations, these recommendations may include modifications to the Plan, if such a request is made by the Council.

Guidance Notes have been prepared by the Inspectors to help people understand the process. Any queries people may have regarding the Examination process should be directed to the Programme Officer who will be happy to assist.

The Programme Officer

The Programme Officer, Ian Kemp, will act as the contact for any person who has an interest in the Examination and as a liaison between the Inspectors, Council and Representors.

He is an independent Officer of the Examination and works on behalf of the Inspectors to organise and manage the administrative and procedural elements of the Examination process. All statements will also be submitted through him.

Any matters that anyone wishes to raise with the Inspector should be submitted via the Programme Officer.

Contact details

Ian Kemp, PO BOX 241, Droitwich, WR9 1DW

Mobile: 0772 300 9166

Email: [email protected]

Hearing Sessions Venue and Timetable

Hearing Sessions concluded on 19th December 2019. The final agenda can be found in the Examination Library here

Written Statements 

The following written statements have been received in response to the Inspectors’ Matters, Issues and Questions:

Evidence Base Documents

In preparing the Plan the Council both refer to and were informed by a number of documents that together form the 'Evidence Base' for the Examination.

Examination Documents 

Documents submitted during the course of the Examination can be accessed within section 20 of the Evidence Base Documents.