HISTORY has been made in Headington as city councillors agreed to a neighbourhood plan outlining how future development should be shaped in the area.

Residents of the area voted last month to back the Headington Neighbourhood Plan in a public referendum.

Oxford City Council formally accepted the plan at an executive board meeting on Tuesday night and it now falls to the full council to vote for it to officially become part of all future planning decisions for the area.

Speaking at the board meeting at the Town Hall Alex Hollingsworth praised the Headington Neighbourhood Forum, which first came up with the plan.

He said: “They have done a fantastic job. It went to a referendum in the community and was passed with an overwhelming majority.

“It was a decent turnout with some voting against it.

"It was not a North Korea-type result but it does reflect in the result the work they have done in taking the community with them.

“I think it's excellent and a landmark for Headington.”

When it comes into effect the Headington document, which outlines how the area should develop in future, will need to be considered as part of all future planning cases.

The referendum on May 4 was passed with 3,310 votes in favour and 543 against, on a turnout of 38 per cent.

Mike Ratcliffe of the neighbourhood forum said: "We are very pleased that the plan has been made.

"We have already seen it being referred to in planning application business while it was waiting this stage, and it will now be a key reference document for that process.

"We are now looking at the next stage of building on all the great ideas that were generated in the process, getting some projects off the ground to help improve things in Headington.

"Some are already being actioned, but we will be looking to the community to take forward more projects and schemes.

"We will also start serious consideration of a new structure to help keep the plan a live document, and will be looking to the city council to hold a governance review as to whether Headington should get a parish or community council."

City councillor for Headington Ruth Wilkinson said: "The neighbourhood plan is good for the area for several reasons.

"Local people have come up with planning policies specific to the Headington neighbourhood area.

"If people apply for planning consent in the area but their application fails to comply with the neighbourhood plan, then consent will be refused.

"This applies to all developments, big and small.

"The newly-formed Headington Planning Group will check that the plan policies are applied.

"It's also keeping a close eye on up and coming developments in the area.

The document will next need to be formally approved at a full council meeting to be held on July 20.