West Oxfordshire District Councillors have voted in favour of formally adopting the Local Plan for West Oxfordshire.
At an extraordinary meeting of the full council, the document which establishes a blueprint for the development of the District until 2031, was given the final seal of approval, ending a process which stretches back nine years.
The Local Plan sets out how the District can achieve economic growth and a housing target of 15,950 new homes, although some have already been built as the Plan covers the period from 2011 to 2031.
It identifies the most suitable sites for new housing and what accompanying infrastructure, such as road improvements, new schools and play facilities, is needed to achieve the greatest benefits for the new development and, wherever possible, a wider area.
Cllr James Mills, Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council, said:
“There are many competing demands in West Oxfordshire and we have had to strike a balance that secures the greatest number of benefits for the largest number of people.
“I believe this Plan will deliver those benefits and ensure the future prosperity of the residents of West Oxfordshire.”
Cllr Jeff Haine, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing, added: “Over the last few years we have had a number of planning decisions overturned because we did not have a Local Plan in place.
“But the adoption of this Plan means speculative developers will no longer have their way and ensures housing meets local need and employment requirements while also improving local infrastructure.”
The draft Local Plan was first submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in July 2015 but the Examination was suspended due to the Inspector’s concerns around housing targets and he requested that more work be undertaken.
It was re-submitted in March 2017 with 15,950 new homes proposed compared to 10,500 previously including a contribution of 2,750 homes towards Oxford’s ‘unmet’ housing need.
The Local Plan report has been accepted by the Inspectorate subject to the modifications set out in the Inspector’s report on