To:                              Future Oxfordshire Partnership

Title of Report:        Draft Oxfordshire Strategic Planning Advisory Group Terms                               of Reference and appointment of Chair

Date:                          23 January 2023

Report of:                 Giles Hughes, Senior Responsible Officer

Status:                       Open

Executive Summary and Purpose:
 To consider draft Terms of Reference for a strategic planning advisory group to replace those of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 advisory group. 
 How this report contributes to the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision Outcomes:
 Planning has a key role to play in delivering well-designed infrastructure and homes, sufficient in numbers, location, type, size, tenure, and affordability to meet the needs of our county, as set out in the Strategic Vision here.
 Recommendations: That the Future Oxfordshire Partnership:
 1. Agree the title of the advisory group as the FOP ‘Oxfordshire Strategic Planning Advisory Group’ or agree an alternative title.
 2. Agree the Terms of Reference of the advisory group as set out in Appendix 1, (to follow). 
 3. Delegate authority to the Future Oxfordshire Partnership Director to make minor or typographical amendments to the Terms of Reference in consultation with the Chair of the advisory group. 
 4. Appoint a Chair of the Advisory Group for the remainder of the 2022/2023 year
 Appendix 1 Draft Terms of Reference – to follow



1.     The Future Oxfordshire Partnership at its meeting on 27 September 2022, noted that following the ending of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 programme, Local Plans for the City and District Councils would provide the future framework for long term planning in Oxfordshire and supported principles set out in the report as to how such an approach could be taken forward. Officers were requested to undertake a review of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 Advisory Group’s name and terms of reference.




2.     The supported principles for future joint working on strategic planning were as follows:


·           That we collectively seek to deliver the outcomes of the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision

·           That we ensure a smooth transition from the Oxfordshire Plan back to Local Plans

·           That we continue to satisfy the requirements of the Duty to Cooperate

·           That we continue to work cooperatively and constructively in developing our respective Local Plans and other strategies, assisted by Statement(s) of Common Ground or memoranda of understanding where appropriate.

·           That we continue to work together on the Oxfordshire Infrastructure Strategy. 

·           That the understanding achieved of countywide and district issues and priorities, are utilised, where appropriate, to support the preparation of these plans and strategies.

·           That the benefits and learning gained by the Oxfordshire authorities, through their long history of joint working and collaboration on planning and infrastructure matters, continue to be valued in seeking to achieve both common and individual goals.


3.     Draft Terms of Reference for the advisory group have been drafted in response to these principles and paragraph 1.4 of the Future Oxfordshire Partnership Terms of reference which state that the Partnership will ‘support the development of local planning policy that meets the UK Government’s stated aim of net zero carbon by 2050 and contributes towardsbiodiversity gain whilstembracing the changes needed for a low carbon world.’  


4.     Consultation with partner council Officers is currently in progress prior to the publication of a final draft. This includes members of the professional officer group that will support the new advisory group.

Financial Implications

5.     Support for the advisory group will be provided within existing resources previously allocated to the Future Oxfordshire Partnership and its advisory groups.


Legal Implications

6.     The final draft Terms of Reference will be submitted to the Oxfordshire County Council Monitoring Officer as the responsible authority and any comments reported to the Partnership at its meeting.  


Other Implications

7.     The adoption of a constructive approach from the Oxfordshire Councils to engaging with each other, and with other partners, on strategic planning matters can help deliver the spatial ambitions of the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision and reduce any impacts from the ending of the Oxfordshire Plan work programme.



8.     Terms of Reference for the new Group have been drafted and the Future Oxfordshire Partnership is asked to consider these.


Background Papers

9.     Update on the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 Programme – report to the Partnership 27 September 2022 here.


Report Author: Kevin Jacob, Senior Democratic Services Officer, and Beth Wilks, Future Oxfordshire Manager – on behalf of Giles Hughes, Senior Responsible Officer 
 Contact information: