Appendix 3: Risks associated with the next stages of the Oxfordshire Plan




Level of risk


Further changes to national planning policy and guidance

·      Could require an early review of the plan 

·      Uncertainty over role, status and timing of the Cambridge Oxford Arc Spatial Framework

·      Consistency with national planning policy is a soundness test (Oxfordshire may be required to meet unmet needs from neighbouring authorities) 


·      Agree on transitional arrangements 

·      Written agreement about the consistency of the plan with the spatial framework

·      Undertake self-soundness test.

Ensuring close alignment and integration with Local Plan reviews

·      Conformity issue - the Oxfordshire Plan needs to be produced in a timely manner to help inform and run alongside Local Plan reviews

·      Enable Local Plans to support the delivery of the Oxfordshire Plan


·      Agree on work programme and the commissioning of joint evidence

·      Update the Local Development Scheme to help inform/steer Local Plan review timescales when appropriate  

Ensuring the duty to cooperate is demonstrated throughout the production of the plan


·      Need to ensure compliance with the statutory duty

·      Need to ensure effective plan making


·        Need to maintain a close working relationship with neighbouring authorities and other prescribed bodies.

·      Ensure prescribed bodies are continuously involved (as outlined in the Statement of Community Involvement)

·      Prepare statements of common ground and a duty to cooperate statement

Resourcing due to changes to personnel and/or increased workload in response to  consultation responses and changes to policy or legal requirements

·      Availability of qualified and skilled planning officers with the required specialist knowledge

·      Maintaining a fully resourced team

·       Risk of overspend - costs of commissioning new technical evidence

·       Risk of timetable slippage


·      Sharing costs of preparing evidence

·      Consider use of consultants if financial resources allow

·      Keep the timetable up to date and under regular review  

Unknown impact of covid-19 pandemic, including future restrictions 


·      Staff sickness / loss of support

·      Team morale

·      Lack of face-to-face engagement

·      Risk of timetable slippage


·      The team are set up to work from home, and most activities can be successfully carried out from home

·      Stakeholder engagement will be carried out online wherever possible but in accordance with the Statement of Community Involvement

·      New and innovative ways of engagement will be employed.

Continuous and ongoing member and stakeholder engagement to secure sufficient buy-in

·      Need to ensure effective, coordinated and timely oversight and governance among the six Oxfordshire authorities LPAs, in view of long lead-in times

·      Need to achieve agreement of key partners at all key stages and on plan strategy and content


·      Regular updates on progress to Future Oxfordshire Partnership

·      Coordination of meetings

·      Innovative use of online tools

·      Hold joint collaborative workshops as part of ongoing engagement

·      Effective duty to cooperate discussions


Maintaining an up-to-date evidence base 


·      Interdependencies and sequencing - evidence feeds into other technical work (e.g. modelling)

·      Relationship with Local Plans and other development plans documents

·      Complexity of technical work

·      Ensuring compliance with statutory requirements


·      Evidence needs specialist advice from consultants

·      Set up consultant summits to discuss sequencing of evidence

·      Prepare background papers

Risk of timetable delays

·      Operational delay / management of the plan making process (e.g. governance arrangements)

·      Achieving the agreement of the five councils

·      Ensuring a sound and legally compliant plan before progressing to examination

·      Risk of examination delays (e.g. appointment of planning inspector)

·      Unexpectedly high volume of representations



·      Management structures and oversight

·      Close working among partner organisations

·      Regular reports to Future Oxfordshire Partnership and any amendments made to the timetable agreed with the

Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC)

·      Agree the examination timetable with the Planning Inspectorate and appoint a programme officer to support the administration of the examination as early as possible