Oxfordshire councils agree allocation of housing sites to meet Oxford’s need

Published: Monday, 26th September 2016

Oxfordshire local authorities working through the Growth Board have agreed plans for meeting the need for thousands of new homes that cannot be delivered within Oxford.

The agreement follows the 2014 Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) which found that over 100,000 homes are needed by 2031 to meet Oxfordshire’s housing need, with Oxford needing up to 32,000 of those.

With a longstanding housing crisis that has made it the least affordable place for housing in the country, along with a lack of available land for housing, Oxford needs land outside the city’s boundaries to be able to provide the new homes it needs. 

The councils have been working together since 2014 to resolve a number of complex, practical and political issues to reach agreement on how to allocate 15,000 homes that cannot be accommodated within the city. Today’s agreement is a culmination of this joint working through the Oxfordshire Growth Board.

These allocations will now be taken through the districts’ Local Plans where the individual allocations and necessary infrastructure will be fully assessed. 

The housing allocations were agreed by West Oxfordshire, Cherwell, the Vale of White Horse Districts and the City.  South Oxfordshire District Council has decided to accept less than their full allocation at this stage; this will be tested through their Local Plan process. 

Councillor Bob Price, Leader of Oxford City Council, said: “These recommendations on meeting Oxford's urgent current and future housing needs are the result of more than three years of complex joint work between the Oxfordshire councils, as required by the government's National Planning Policy Framework. It is a lengthy process, but the City Council is pleased that it has already begun to bear fruit in the new District Council Local Plan reviews that are under way. We look forward to the allocation of appropriate sites to meet Oxford's needs, so that the homes that are so urgently needed to tackle Oxford’s deepening housing crisis can start to be planned and built.”