THE DEADLINE for residents to give their views on a plan about where 10,000 new homes could be built in Oxford has arrived.

Oxford City Council's newest Local Plan sets out where 10,884 new homes could be built in the city before 2036.

It was examined by two government inspectors in December, who have laid out a series of changes the council must make for the plan to be approved.

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The changes, known as main modifications, are mainly technical and legal and are aimed at making sure that the Local Plan is in line with government planning policies.

This Friday, a public consultation on the changes will come to an end.

But some have called on the city council to make 'last minute changes' to the plan to 'house as many of the city's own residents as possible'.

When the recommended changes to the Local Plan were first published in January, Oxford City Council heralded them as a vindication of its plans.

The inspectors said the council had proved there were 'exceptional circumstances' for building on green belt land within the boundaries of the city.

The city council has also set aside areas of brownfield land, which has previously been built on, for housing.

There are also plans to build on green belt land around Oxford in areas which fall within the boundaries of the four surrounding district councils.

In some areas, this agreement to meet Oxford's unmet housing need has been controversial.

Campaign to Protect Rural England's Oxfordshire trustee Michael Tyce, suggested the city council should look to build houses at a higher density within the city and ease the burden on surrounding rural areas.

Oxford Mail:

Michael Tyce.

Mr Tyce said:“The city needs a clear policy that any employment sites becoming available for re-development should be used for housing, unless there are overwhelming reasons not to do so.”

He compared Oxford's new Local Plan with the London Plan, which defines higher density residential developments as those with a density of at least 350 dwellings per hectare.

By comparison Oxford City's highest proposed density is 100 dwellings per hectare.

Mr Tyce said: “Obviously London and Oxford are not the same in terms of setting or character.

“As well as making better use of scarce land, higher density settlements are much more efficient in terms of public transport and access to services and infrastructure and can lead to greater productivity.’

Alex Hollingsworth, Oxford City Council's cabinet member for planning, said the arguments made by CPRE had already been refuted.

Mr Hollingsworth said: "It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that CPRE continue to make the same false claims and flawed arguments that they have been making for many years, and which have been rejected repeatedly at public enquiries into Local Plans across Oxfordshire. "

He added: "The City Council will wait for the Inspector's final report into the 2036 Local Plan, due in early May, including any amendments that the inspector may recommend as part of this final consultation stage. The Council will then consider whether or not to adopt the Local Plan in its final form."

The final consultation is currently is scheduled for early June, depending on how the coronavirus crisis impacts on how and when the City Council is able to take formal decisions.

The Government has said it will publish new guidance on holding meetings virtually, and Mr Hollingsworth said the council will of follow the guidance closely.

Oxford Mail:

Oxford Stadium.

Within the Local Plan there is also a scheme to bring back dog racing and motorcycle speedway racing to Oxford Stadium at Sandy Lane in Cowley.

It also includes plans to build affordable homes on part of the stadium site.

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This has also been approved by the inspectors, who said in their main modifications that another use should be found for the land if speedway and dog racing are not viable.

Visit to take part in the consultation before it closes.