Was hoping last week to blog on the South Oxfordshire Local Plan direction however a <1k speed in the desert location where I am working blocked me.
Following South Oxfordshire District Council Cabinet’s decision on 3 October to recommend withdrawing the emerging South Oxfordshire Local Plan (“the Plan”), I am considering whether to give a direction to South Oxfordshire District Council in relation to the Plan under section 21 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (“the 2004 Act”).
The government remains committed to making sure every community has an up-to-date and sufficiently ambitious Local Plan. Withdrawing the Plan at this stage is instead likely to create uncertainty and expose communities to speculative planning applications.
Therefore, in exercise of the powers under section 21A of the 2004 Act (inserted by section 145(5) of the Housing and Planning Act 2016), I hereby direct South Oxfordshire District Council not to take any step in connection with the adoption of the Plan, while I consider the matter further. This direction will remain in force until I withdraw it or give a direction under section 21 of the 2004 Act in relation to the Plan.
I would like to work constructively with you to ensure that South Oxfordshire is able to deliver the high-quality homes and infrastructure required to support jobs and growth in the local community. As I set out in my letter to you on 26 August 2019, progressing the Plan is an essential step to delivering the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal. I have therefore asked my officials to get in touch with your officers to discuss next steps and will keep you updated
while I consider this matter further.
A local little bird told me that the local administration is taking it as a sign that the government wants to negotiation on its target, else otherwise why didnt it just step in. They couldn’t be more wrong.
The SOS could intervene under section 21 of the act at any time (the kind of intervention long mooted at Castlepoint) however the SOS was faced with the imminent withdrawal of the current highly advanced (in process) local plan forcing him go back to stage 1.
Of course the result is the process is now frozen. Leading SODC to (with a straight face) claim the government is holding up the local plan (the same local plan they want to scrap).
IF the SOS took over the local plan dont expect them to revise down the governments own OAN number. What is more now they have delayed submission past the date of the completion of the London Plan panel report the SOS needs to find an extra 13,000 ‘land contained ‘overspill houses per annum, across ROSE. As ever SODC cllrs through pride and tunnel vision made the worst possible decision in terms of their concerns and impact on the local community.
This is now a test for Jenryck and Esther ‘Gobshite’ Mc Vey, will they have the balls to intervene here and in Castlepoint and Amber Valley.