Published: Thursday, 9 May 2024

Planning inspectors have announced dates for initial public hearings on Oxford City Council’s Local Plan 2040.

The Planning Inspectorate has appointed Kevin Ward BA(Hons) MRTPI and Martha Savage BSc(Hons) MCD MRTPI to undertake an independent examination of the plan.  

Their role is to decide whether the Local Plan 2040 meets with national planning policy and other legal requirements. 

Initial hearings have been scheduled for three days from Tuesday 11 June to Thursday 13 June. They will take place at Rose Hill Community Centre, starting at 9:30 am each day. 

The hearings will be open for the public to observe and will be livestreamed. 

About the Local Plan 2040 

The Local Plan 2040 will guide all planning decisions in Oxford for the next 16 years. It is underpinned by an extensive evidence base and four rounds of public consultation. 

The plan’s proposed policies include:  

  • requiring all new homes and businesses to be zero carbon in operation  

  • requiring all major developments to plant more trees, hedges and other greenery to meet new standards  

  • requiring developments of 10 or more homes to provide at least 40% as affordable housing  

  • allowing homes to be built on all employment sites for the first time  

  • requiring large developments to deliver a plan to employ local people and provide affordable workspaces  

The plan also identifies sites for 9,612 new homes in Oxford by 2040 to help ease the city’s housing crisis. 

Public hearings 

The initial hearings will look at three issues: 

  • whether the plan follows procedural and legal requirements 

  • whether the Council has complied with the duty to cooperate 

  • whether the plan is positive and meets national planning policy in assessing Oxford’s needs and capacity for delivering new homes 

The Council has appointed an independent programme officer, Ian Kemp, to manage the examination and be the first point of contact for anyone with an interest in the process. 

The programme officer has contacted respondents to the last round of consultation inviting them to take part in the hearings and make further written comments on the plan. 

Next steps 

The Council expects the planning inspectors will hold more hearings later this year as the examination progresses. 

The Local Plan 2040 could be adopted in the summer of 2025, when it will replace the existing Local Plan 2036. 


“Our Local Plan 2040 aims to find the right balance between helping us tackle the housing crisis and climate emergency, supporting our communities and residents, and making Oxford a fairer city for everyone. 

“Next month’s initial hearings are the next step in delivering the Local Plan 2040 and I look forward to our discussions with the planning inspectors.”

Councillor Louise Upton, Cabinet Member for Planning and Healthier Communities

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