The Future Oxfordshire Partnership Oxfordshire Plan 2050 Advisory Group


HELD on Thursday 16 December 2021 at 3.00 pm

Virtual via MS Teams





Members: Councillors Emily Smith (Chair), Jeff Haine, Debby Hallett and

Alex Hollingsworth


Observer Member: Councillor Duncan Enright


Officers: Giles Hughes (West Oxfordshire District Council, Kevin Jacob, (Future Oxfordshire Partnership) Philip Wadsworth, (Oxfordshire Plan Team)




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


Apologies for absence were submitted by Councillor Colin Clarke, Cherwell District Council.


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




45         Notes of the previous meeting


The notes of the meeting held on 18 November 2021 were agreed as a correct summary.




46         Update on analysis of Regulation 18 Part 2 consultation feedback


Phil Wadsworth, Plan Lead for the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 and Giles Hughes, Chief Executive West Oxfordshire District Council, provided an update on the ongoing analysis of the responses arising from the Regulation 18 Part 2 consultation. Good progress had now been made and over 400 individuals and organisations had submitted responses from what was felt to be a broad cross section of society.


The advisory group was informed that it was anticipated that high level analysis of the consultation feedback and potential next steps would be completed by the end of December. The intention would be to bring this report to the advisory group in January prior to submission of the report to individual Oxfordshire councils for public consideration by their scrutiny committees and cabinets. Scheduling of this was being investigated, but it was anticipated consideration of the reports by councils could begin as early as February 2022.


In discussion, members raised the importance of engaging with individual council scrutiny committees as soon as possible and also the Future Oxfordshire Partnership Scrutiny Panel. Feedback from previous individual scrutiny committee consideration at earlier stages of the Plan process had been that they had felt constrained in suggesting substantive amendments due to the constraints of the report approval process and that a solution to this should be investigated. Officers indicated that in addition to engagement through formal committees, consideration was also being given to providing informal workshop style opportunities for councillors across the county.


A general discussion also took place regarding the balance of matters and policies most appropriately addressed within the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 as a strategic level document and those matters best covered within individual council local plans.  A range of views was expressed, but it was mutually recognised that as the Plan development moved towards the Regulation 19 stage, these matters needed to be finalised and a consensus arrived at. It was likely that some matters would be relatively simple to define as either Oxfordshire Plan 2050 or Local Plan issues, but the classification of other matters would inevitably be a matter of discussion, balanced judgements, and agreement.




47         Initial observations on responses to the consultation ‘call for ideas' from developers


Phil Wadsworth, Plan Lead for the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 set out an update on responses to the ‘call for ideas’ which had formed part of the Regulation 18 Part 2 public consultation.


An additional 77 sites had been submitted by developers or landowners in addition to the 260 suggested in the previous Oxfordshire Plan 2050 consultations. This was considered to be an encouraging level of response, with a good range of typology. The suggestions would be carefully assessed, particularly in respect of which sites could be considered to be of strategic scale, and then mapped to show broad potential locations of growth. The advisory group was reminded that that the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 would not allocate specific sites but assessing and mapping sites suggested through the Call for Ideas helped provide evidence which could be called upon in the drafting of the Plan.




48         General Oxfordshire Plan 2050 Team update and feedback from discussions with the Planning Inspectorate


The advisory group was updated on a meeting between senior members of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 Team and a representative of the Planning Inspectorate service. It was explained that this informal advisory meeting was to discuss progress to date and no concerns had been raised with the current approach. It was noted that the Planning Inspector undertaking the future examination of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 would be different to ensure objectivity.




49         Work programme update


The Chair asked officers to broadly outline next steps and the work programme of the advisory group in the first part of 2022. Officers indicated that it was intended to bring a report to the January meeting of the advisory group on the broad outcomes of the Regulation 18 Part 2 consultation, an update on other pertinent issues and next steps.


In discussion, members of the advisory group indicated a number of issues they felt should be included in the report which officers indicated they would carefully consider for inclusion.


It was noted that an informal joint workshop had been arranged between the advisory group and members of the Housing Advisory Group to discuss and share ideas around affordable housing in the context of the development of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 given the importance of affordable housing to Oxfordshire. It was expected that further joint workshops with other advisory groups could potentially be scheduled. Officers were asked to consider further workshops as part of the overall advisory group work programme and members were asked to consider potential issues for discussion.




50         Future meetings


Future meetings of the advisory group as set out in the Agenda were noted. 





The meeting closed at 4.55 pm