Councillors in South Oxfordshire have agreed to take a little more time to consider options for the district’s Local Plan following a vote at a Council meeting.
They want to find effective and suitable ways to ensure the plan takes into consideration the substantial feedback from local residents, who have raised concerns about the approach to providing land for housing in the district. Councillors also expressed their wish to use the Local Plan process to help address the climate emergency issue.
Councillors agreed to:
(1) express determination to maintain its housing land supply and avoid speculative development;
(2) express continued support for the Housing and Infrastructure Fund (HIF) funding and infrastructure projects that could be delivered by it;
(3) ask officers to explore with Oxfordshire County Council, Homes England and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government options for protecting the HIF funding whilst enabling the council to address concerns about the current emerging Local Plan 2034 including (but not limited to) climate change issues, Oxford City’s unmet housing need, and to report back to Cabinet and Council;
(4) recognise that the Climate Change Emergency is all too real and is recognised to be of key and statutory importance under the Climate Change Act 2008 and the associated objective of “zero carbon by 2050”, express its wish to do all that it can to respond through the Local Plan process;
(5) as soon as practicable, alongside satisfactory progress being made on resolving issues in the emerging Local Plan, start work on a subsequent Local Plan, strengthening climate change considerations.