Requiring sustainable development; protecting and enhancing our countryside; setting higher energy efficiency standards for new buildings; and prioritising more sustainable transport options – these are all benefits planned for South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse, and everyone is being invited to join the conversation.
Innovative draft policies to address local challenges and unlock future opportunities across the two districts have been published for community feedback, as part of the councils’ work to deliver their Joint Local Plan 2041.
The six-week consultation launches today 10 January and will run until 11.59pm on 21 February 2024. Visit southandvale.gov.uk/JLP to find out more and have your say.
Among many topics the Joint Local Plan covers are some updated, new and innovative approaches such as:
- More of the housing built in the districts to be affordable housing to help those struggling to get on the property ladder.
- Setting ambitious targets, beyond the national standards, to ensure developments positively contribute to the local environment and wildlife, and deliver on climate action.
- New policies to identify and enhance our most tranquil places, and protect our dark skies by minimising light pollution for both residents and wildlife.
The two councils are working together to deliver the Joint Local Plan, which will set out what development should be allowed and where, help guide decision-making for planning applications, and set standards for environmental protection, sustainability, water quality and much more, for the years until 2041.
Councillor Anne-Marie Simpson, Cabinet Member for Planning at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “The Joint Local Plan is one of the most important documents we deliver as a council and has a lasting impact on our community. That’s why we need everyone across the districts to join the conversation and actively participate in this process to help shape our future.
“We had a great response to our first Joint Local Plan consultation, so I’m excited to share our proposed approaches with the community, highlight how your previous feedback has shaped our work, and showcase our plans to benefit our community, economy, and environment."
Councillor Andy Foulsham, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, Policy and Programmes at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “Using your previous feedback and a range of new research, we’ve developed these innovative policies to take action on your most important priorities, like protecting our countryside and climate action.
“A local plan takes years to develop and so it’s important we regularly check in with residents and local businesses throughout the process to make sure we’re delivering a Plan that truly represents our community. We really welcome comments on what our Joint Local Plan to 2041 should contain.”
Using the interactive online hub, users can navigate through the Joint Local Plan topics that matter most to them; view proposed approaches, draft policies and supporting evidence documents, and explore interactive maps to see site allocations, where policies apply and more.
There are two ways for people to share their feedback online depending on how much detail they want to get into:
- The Joint Local Plan in a Nutshell survey features short summaries of the councils’ proposed options across key topics to help make it quick and easy to take part.
- There’s also a Preferred Options document survey for those wanting to comment on specific policy areas and delve into the details of the draft policies to provide a more in-depth response.
The councils will also be out and about across the districts during January and February, with a host of local events. People can come and find out more about the plan, chat with council officers and members, ask questions and find out how to give feedback.
There will also be paper copies of consultation documents around the districts’ libraries, as well as at Abbey House, Abingdon, the Beacon, Wantage, and Cornerstone Arts Centre and Great Western Park District Neighbourhood Community Centre in Didcot, giving residents less comfortable with the internet the chance to take part as well.
Councillor Simpson said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for you to share your thoughts, so whether you prefer online or print, we can’t wait to hear your views.”
Councillor Andy Foulsham added: “We also encourage you to share the consultation with your friends, family, and neighbours to spread the word and get as many voices as possible to join the conversation.”
Drop in to one of our in-person events to chat with us, ask questions and join the conversation. Find out more on the consultation webpage: