New Local Plan to promote balanced growth of Oxford’s economy

Published: Friday, 29th July 2016

The City Council is calling on the public to get involved in shaping the vision for Oxford’s development over the next 20 years as the first phase of consultation on a new Local Plan draws to a close.

With a population of 160,000 that is estimated to grow by 20 per cent by 2036, and a thriving economy that continues to yield new enterprises and jobs, Oxford faces the challenge of balancing demand for employment sites and housing development. Land for both is in short supply, and the new Local Plan will need to explore options to ensure the city grows in a sustainable manner.

Over the last 10 years, the City Council has granted planning permission for up to 374,000 sqm of employment floor space, mainly on allocated and/or protected employment sites. These have contributed to the creation of an estimated 15,000 jobs in Oxford. The highest proportion of these jobs is within the knowledge intensive sectors including financial and business services, ICT and science related activity that builds on Oxford’s key strengths in the knowledge economy. 

The city’s thriving economy is expected to continue to grow over the next 20 years, yielding more jobs and making a substantial contribution to the national economy. From 2010 to 2015, the number of total enterprises in the city increased from 3,895 to 4,585. Oxford currently provides 114,000 jobs, while planned economic growth forecasts predict that by 2031 the city will have 24,300 new jobs. 

Oxford needs a growing economy to ensure that all of its residents can benefit from a range of employment opportunities while also continuing its substantial contribution to the national economy. The city’s unique position as a global centre of scientific and technological excellence puts it at the forefront of addressing global challenges, now and in the future.

Patsy Dell, Head of Planning and Regulatory Services, said: “Oxford’s globally competitive knowledge-based economy is expected to continue to grow with businesses creating new jobs for the city and the county. With this comes the challenge to meet the city’s acute housing need and to strike the appropriate balance between employment sites and housing development. The new Local Plan will allow us to ensure that Oxford evolves in a sustainable manner.”

The consultation - which started on 27 June and will close on 5 August – is intended to give the public an early opportunity to get involved in shaping the Local Plan. Subsequent phases of the Local Plan will also be opened to public consultation over the next three years.

To get involved, visit our website.