The Future Oxfordshire Partnership Oxfordshire Plan 2050 Advisory Group


HELD on Thursday 18 November 2021 at 10.00 am

Virtual via MS Teams





Councillors Emily Smith (Chair), Colin Clarke, Duncan Enright, Jeff Haine, Debby Hallett, Alex Hollingsworth and Anne-Marie Simpson


Officers: Adrian Colwell (Oxfordshire Plan Team), Giles Hughes (West Oxfordshire District Council), Kevin Jacob (Future Oxfordshire Partnership), Michelle Smith, Oxfordshire Plan 2050 Team) and Philip Wadsworth (Oxfordshire Plan Team)




37         Apologies for absence and notifications of substitutions; declarations of interest; Chair's announcements


There were no apologies for absence.


There were no declarations of interest or Chair’s announcements.




38         Notes of the previous meeting


The notes of the meeting held on 14 October 2021 were agreed as a correct summary.




39         Introduction to Philip Wadsworth, new Oxfordshire Plan lead


Philip Wadsworth, the incoming Programme Lead for the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 introduced himself to the members of the advisory group and set out a summary of his professional planning and spatial planning experience.




40         Oxfordshire Plan 2050 Regulation 18 consultation responses and outcomes


Andrew Thompson, Principal Planner Oxfordshire Plan 2050, provided a presentation setting out high level, initial and interim observations arising from responses to the public Regulation 18 Part 2 consultation. It was stressed that the responses received continued to be considered carefully and that a full and detailed report setting out a complete analysis of the responses would be provided in the New Year. This report would be considered by the advisory group and ways to take the report through the public overview and scrutiny committees of the partner councils so as to inform and involve as many councillors as possible were also being investigated.


With regard to responses, it was noted that some 300 participants had taken part in six webinar events and to date, there had been approximately 3830 questionnaire responses from 420 individuals and organisations.


In discussion, members of the advisory group acknowledged the interim nature of the findings, noting that detailed analysis was required given the importance of the responses in the development of the Regulation 19 process. Members referred to the importance of providing as part of the final report an analysis of the source of responses in terms of geographic information, demographics, type of organisation, (i.e., interest group, developer group etc). It was felt that this would be important in understanding key findings from the consultation and understanding the richness and context of the responses, not just a snapshot of numerical data.


The updated was noted.




41         Next Steps in the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 process


Giles Hughes, Chief Executive, West Oxfordshire District Council and Philip Wadsworth, Programme Lead for the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 led a discussion around next steps in the development of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 following the conclusion of the Regulation 18 consultation process.


The advisory group was informed that as the incoming Programme Lead, Mr Wadworth had been asked to reflect on the Plan’s work programme, considering the importance of correct sequencing leading up the decisions of the councils to approve a draft plan and authorise the Regulation 19 consultation process. The opportunity would also be taken to reflect upon the totality of the response to the Regulation 18 consultation and if appropriate, further work undertaken on different aspects of the draft Plan including policies and growth options. 


Officers commented that they recognised that in order to get to a common position which could be supported by all Oxfordshire councils, a substantial amount of work needed to be undertaken beforehand. This would include the development of options and engagement about those options with the advisory group, council leaders and councillors within the partner councils generally.


In discussion, members acknowledged that as the Plan moved from consultation on a range of potential policy options as part of the Regulation 18 process towards the formal Regulation 19 consultation stage with specific recommended proposals there would be some challenging issues to work through and difficult choices to be made. It was felt therefore, that there was a case for some face to face meetings of the advisory group in the New Year.


Members also made comments relating to the following:


·           The importance of considering the impact of employment locations as part of the overall analysis of growth and spatial options.

·           The need to consider affordable housing as part of the overall analysis of growth and spatial options.

·           The need to consider behavioural changes, for example the increase in working from home as part of the consideration of spatial options, alongside consideration of matters such as spatial transport corridors.

·           Planning for required NHS infrastructure provision

·           The ongoing consideration of matters best dealt with strategically at an Oxfordshire level as part of the Plan, and those matters which would best remain as the Local Plan level.

·           The impact of second homes on housing provision within the county.

·           Issues around the definition of ‘affordable housing and whether a common definition across the county would be useful.




42         Future joint advisory group workshops and meetings


The advisory group discussed the potential for joint workshops with other advisory groups in the lead into the publication of the Plan at Regulation 19 stage and specifically with the members of the Housing Advisory Group to discuss issues relating to affordable housing and the Plan. This was supported and officers agreed to explore the options around dates and timings.




43         Future meetings


The advisory group noted its future meeting dates as set out in the agenda with the potential addition of a joint workshop with the Housing Advisory Group.


The Chair requested that if possible, updated information on the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 work programme and next steps be brought to the next meeting.





The meeting closed at 11.30 am