Appendix 1



Question for Scrutiny Panel from Cllr David Turner 15 March 2022


‘Councillor David Turner asked whether any research has been undertaken on where people moving into new build housing in Oxfordshire were originating from, for example existing locations within the county or from outside the county? Councillor Turner commented that the belief expressed to him was that that many people were moving into new build housing in areas like Thame from outside of the county, particularly the London area and who then commuted back to the capital. It was felt that this information might help in the strategic planning of future housing’.


A series of discussions with planning policy managers from across Oxfordshire confirmed that no councils collect such data.


For affordable housing, all councils or Registered Providers hold such data on the occupants, as having a local connection is invariably one of the criteria on councils’ housing register that applicants must meet to secure an allocation.


For private sales of new-build properties, there is no publicly available data which the Councils can access. Private developers might hold such information related to their schemes, but councils have not asked that question and are sceptical about whether it would be available to us if it was indeed sought.


Instead, some councils have used other routes to get a sense of the place of origin of new build housing occupants.


One council confirmed that historically they did attempt to capture information about the origins of occupants of new housing via a small survey of developments, but the practice has been ceased as its statistical accuracy was never that high and in the light of the budgetary need to make service reductions.


Other sources would be census data or that collected through the Office for National statistics (ONS). ONS monitors movements of people between local authorities on an annual basis, using data principally derived from when people re-register with a different doctor and some data on student moves. This data informs our housing needs assessments. However, it doesn’t split out new-build from moves to existing housing stock.


It may that in due course the latest Census 2021 results could show households’ moving trends, although once again that would probably encompass existing stock as well as new builds.