Rural councils join forces to review city’s housing target

Matthew Barber

Matthew Barber

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering North Oxford, Jericho and Summertown. Call me on 01865 425498

A SQUABBLE over where houses can be built in the city has prompted three different councils to launch two identical reviews on the matter.

Oxford City Council had said it would carry out a study of how much housing it had included in its local plan, in light of the findings of a county-wide housing report.

But now the South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils have commissioned their own joint-report of the city’s housing plan as well.

Neither of the two rural councils have any planning powers within the City of Oxford.

Vale leader Matthew Barber said: “We need to ensure that there is fair scrutiny and it is quite reasonable to properly look at this issue.

“It does no harm to make sure a robust study is done so that when Oxford later asks other district councils to take on some of its housing there will have to be evidence to show the planning inspectors.

“It will hopefully produce some common ground and figures we can all be confident in.”

In March councils were left reeling after the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) said 100,000 new homes were needed by 2031.

Oxford City Council was allocated 28,000 homes to build – a 20,000-home increase on its previous target of building 8,000 by 2026.

It has said it cannot meet the new target on its own and suggested some be built on land outside of its boundaries.

But councils have so far been unable to agree on where 20,000 extra homes not included in Oxford’s current Local Plan will go.

Oxford City Council leader Bob Price said: “We said we would commission a study that would look at the capacity of the city to test if our Local Plan was realistic.

“That will be done on an open basis with the other councils able to follow the process, so why [South and Vale district councils] are doing one of their own is not quite clear.

“You may ask if that is a sensible use of taxpayer money, but it is for them to decide.”

None of the three councils were able to confirm how much the two separate reviews would cost, nor which consultants would be carrying them out.

All except Oxford City Council were legally obliged to create new local plans as a response, which they will have to present to the planning inspectorate.

South Oxfordshire District Council was aiming to build 11,500 homes by 2027, but now must build 15,500 by 2031.

Vale of White Horse had set the target of 13,000 by 2029, but now must meet 20,560 by 2031.

Both have been vocal critics of the SHMA report.

Top News

• Our top stories:

Jayden trial: Jake Blakeley tells jury his killer brother was evil

Oxford Mail: Jake Blakeley, 18, from Didcot

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

A TEENAGER accused of helping his brother bury the body of Jayden Parkinson wept in the dock as he was told to look at photos of the two graves.

'I'm glad my evil ex has been jailed for injuring me'

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

A WOMAN left with life-changing injuries after her violent boyfriend pulled her car’s handbrake on the A40 said she is glad the “evil” man has been jailed.

Johnny Mullins backing Oxford United's quality

Oxford Mail: Johnny Mullins

9:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

Johnny Mullins says Oxford United’s squad have the quality to get themselves out of trouble even without help from new signings.

Haggis and a wee dram on menu for Burns Night

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 24th January 2015

FAMILIES and friends across Oxford are coming together to celebrate Sunday’s Burns Night in style.

Delight at decision to replace whole water pipe in Normandy Crescent

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 24th January 2015

RESIDENTS have welcomed Thames Water’s decision to replace the water pipe running through a flood-blighted street as “a step in the right direction.”

A34 northbound re-opened after lorry crash

Oxford Mail:

8:28am Saturday 24th January 2015

THE A34 northbound between Marcham and Milton re-opened this evening after the road was closed when a lorry crashed into a ditch last night.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:03am Fri 30 May 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Further clear evidence of the need for a unitary authority for Oxfordshire.
Further clear evidence of the need for a unitary authority for Oxfordshire. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 1

7:23am Fri 30 May 14

Myron Blatz says...

Coty Council doesn't want to share power or revenue with anyone else - it just wants to take over everything! Labour has become a power-hungry machine, with only its own political aims and gains to consider. The County is Tory-run, and unlike with the LibDems in the Coalition, there is no way Oxford's Labour Group would share the same unitary 'bed' with the Tories. As for housing, more and more people are now questioning the need to build yet more houses to sell, as opposed to a very real need for council or social housing to rent. For Oxford, the housing problem is compounded by the massive and ever-increasing demand for student accommodation, which places imbalance in the avilability of affordable homes and flats to rent by people who live and work in the City and its suburbs.
Coty Council doesn't want to share power or revenue with anyone else - it just wants to take over everything! Labour has become a power-hungry machine, with only its own political aims and gains to consider. The County is Tory-run, and unlike with the LibDems in the Coalition, there is no way Oxford's Labour Group would share the same unitary 'bed' with the Tories. As for housing, more and more people are now questioning the need to build yet more houses to sell, as opposed to a very real need for council or social housing to rent. For Oxford, the housing problem is compounded by the massive and ever-increasing demand for student accommodation, which places imbalance in the avilability of affordable homes and flats to rent by people who live and work in the City and its suburbs. Myron Blatz
  • Score: 2

11:17am Fri 30 May 14

Canismajoris says...

Myron Blatz wrote:
Coty Council doesn't want to share power or revenue with anyone else - it just wants to take over everything! Labour has become a power-hungry machine, with only its own political aims and gains to consider. The County is Tory-run, and unlike with the LibDems in the Coalition, there is no way Oxford's Labour Group would share the same unitary 'bed' with the Tories. As for housing, more and more people are now questioning the need to build yet more houses to sell, as opposed to a very real need for council or social housing to rent. For Oxford, the housing problem is compounded by the massive and ever-increasing demand for student accommodation, which places imbalance in the avilability of affordable homes and flats to rent by people who live and work in the City and its suburbs.
I see you failed to mention immigration.
[quote][p][bold]Myron Blatz[/bold] wrote: Coty Council doesn't want to share power or revenue with anyone else - it just wants to take over everything! Labour has become a power-hungry machine, with only its own political aims and gains to consider. The County is Tory-run, and unlike with the LibDems in the Coalition, there is no way Oxford's Labour Group would share the same unitary 'bed' with the Tories. As for housing, more and more people are now questioning the need to build yet more houses to sell, as opposed to a very real need for council or social housing to rent. For Oxford, the housing problem is compounded by the massive and ever-increasing demand for student accommodation, which places imbalance in the avilability of affordable homes and flats to rent by people who live and work in the City and its suburbs.[/p][/quote]I see you failed to mention immigration. Canismajoris
  • Score: 1

11:32am Fri 30 May 14

TobyB1960 says...

If the assessment says Oxford City needs 28,000 news homes it's pointless in putting the houses else where as Oxford City still needs new homes, otherwise you could say lets put Oxford City's allocation of new homes on the Isle of Man!

If there is physically no space to put these new homes then the only way is up in tower blocks.
If the assessment says Oxford City needs 28,000 news homes it's pointless in putting the houses else where as Oxford City still needs new homes, otherwise you could say lets put Oxford City's allocation of new homes on the Isle of Man! If there is physically no space to put these new homes then the only way is up in tower blocks. TobyB1960
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree