South Oxfordshire Scrutiny suggest withdrawl of Local Plan and resubmission with Lower Housing numbers?

Oxford Mail – Scrutiny last Tues in clear exactly what is going on but comm enter suggested they recommended option 3 – withdraw plan and resubmit.

SOUTH Oxfordshire district councillors advised that the authority formally amends its controversial Local Plan.

Its scrutiny committee was asked to recommend a way forward for the council after dissatisfaction amongst councillors following the local elections in May.

The council is now run by Liberal Democrats and Greens, who took control after the Conservatives suffered heavy losses two months ago.

Its cabinet will meet next Wednesday to discuss the recommendation and will decide whether it should ask the council to formally adopt that policy at a meeting later this month.

One thought on “South Oxfordshire Scrutiny suggest withdrawl of Local Plan and resubmission with Lower Housing numbers?

  1. Scrutiny recommended Option 3, withdraw the Plan and go back to Reg 19 pre-submission for amendment and consultation. Clueless as to whether this will change allocations but they have to respond to what is going on with Oxford City’s Plan. SODC are part of the same Growth Deal, underpinned by ancient data within a creaky SHMA but unlike City they didn’t even attempt to update the underlying demographic trend / market data.
    Option 2, suggest main modifications would have just been pointed to the fact the Council believed the Plan was unsound at the point at which it was submitted, which is a simple invitation for the Inspectors to invite withdrawal in line with the 2004 Act.
    Interesting that the Officer’s report laid it on thick that Option 3 was a risky option, second only to withdrawing the Plan and starting again. Possibly a bit too thick. The Officer pointed out among other things that the SoS has the power to call in the Plan and hand it over to a consultancy to finish, without pointing out that these powers have yet to be used even against the worst heel-dragging councils. With so many of the new Lib-Dem/Green Councillors campaigning against the Growth Deal – and being voted in – it would be viewed as an assault on democracy if the SoS ever showed the least bit of interest in doing so in South Oxfordshire.
    It looks like the Lib/Dem Green coalition in choosing to withdraw the Plan but keep the spatial strategy the same (Option 3) are signalling they still want to be part of the Growth Deal and not upset the associated funding and Housing Infrastructure Funds for Culham, Science Vale, etc. With the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 suspended for 6 months pending a review of its strategy and direction this gives good time for SODC to convince Government they are still broadly “on board”. Assuming it all goes well they might be on for adopting the shortest-living Plan in history as the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 will be superseding it as it is being examined. Junking the Plan and leapfrogging to the Oxfordshire 2050 Plan might have been a better way forward, perhaps the coalition are looking for an approach from Government on this one.

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