Oxfordshire Plan 2050 and Business

‘Oxfordshire Plan 2050 – why the business voice needs to be heard’

Recently, the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 team worked with the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) to hold a special, live online Q&A for businesses.

‘Oxfordshire Plan 2050 – why the business voice needs to be heard’ featured a number of high-profile Oxfordshire business leaders who outlined why it’s vital that the county’s business community engages with the Oxfordshire Plan 2050, to help shape a future economy that is viable for many and creates opportunities for all communities – whether local, national or international.

The event took the form of a Q&A session with a range of business representatives answering questions.

The event is available via the OxLEP YouTube channel post-event. You can find more information on the OxLEP website.

Businesspeople walking at modern office. Group of business employees at coworking center. Motion blur. Concept work process.

Why does it matter for Oxfordshire businesses?

Our business community has a critical role to play in the formation of Oxfordshire Plan 2050.

Oxfordshire has a dynamic and creative economy which leads the world in science, technology and innovation, which creates jobs across Oxfordshire and the rest of the UK. It is complemented by strong business sectors in healthcare, engineering and education and also has attractions, heritage and cultural assets which are internationally recognised and sustains thousands of jobs and small businesses in every part of the county.

It is vital that we put in place the right infrastructure (both physical and digital), create the right environment to retain and attract talent and encourage our young people and entrepreneurial minds to flourish, as well as embracing and leveraging the opportunities that a zero-carbon future will create for everyone in Oxfordshire.

It’s critical, therefore, for businesses to understand and shape the Plan, ensuring they have confidence to invest in Oxfordshire’s future which will generate good well-paid jobs, whilst also maintaining the county’s rich environmental landscape and improve the well-being of local residents and communities.

What’s in the Plan?

The public consultation (Regulation 18 Part 2) for the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 was open for 10 weeks until Friday 8th October. The consultation document contained suggested policies focusing on five main themes:

Creating jobs and providing homes

Oxfordshire is ambitious for its economy and is forwards looking. The Oxfordshire Plan seeks to help Oxfordshire to position to meet global challenges and secure new economic opportunities. With significant sector strengths in life sciences, high-performance engineering and R&D, local opportunities include ensuring we are reducing inequalities and ensuring all citizens have an opportunity to access new local jobs as well as advanced skills and education. Over the 30-year duration of this Plan, new affordable housing in Oxfordshire will both reduce the need to travel long distances to work, and through the provision of a wider range of house types help to ensure that the workforce of Oxfordshire companies can live in the County and economic success is not held back. Equally, new and renewed business premises will extend the capacity available of floorspace, employment and in Oxfordshire.

Planning for sustainable travel and connectivity
The transport network across Oxfordshire is critical for residents to be able to access services, facilities and employment, as well as being needed for delivery of freight and goods. However, there are continued pressures on the use of this network associated with travel demand that needs to be managed and leads to wider impacts. This includes environmental impacts associated with use of vehicles including air quality and carbon emissions.
Addressing climate change
The Oxfordshire Plan aims to deliver against its climate change ambitions through a range of approaches including a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (improved building standards, increased renewable energy generation) and minimising vulnerability to and improving the resilience of communities and the natural environment (Natural Capital, Nature Recovery, Water Environment and biodiversity net gain).
Creating strong and healthy communities

The Oxfordshire Plan could set out a range of policies or principles that will help to plan for and shape communities that are strong, healthy, and cohesive. These could include high standards for developments to adhere to such as ensuring all new developments meet Garden Town and Garden Village standards, implementing healthy place-shaping principals for strategic-scale development, and also requiring Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) to be undertaken for certain new development.

Improving environmental quality
Oxfordshire’s natural, historic and built environments are what makes Oxfordshire distinct and special, attracting people to live and stay in Oxfordshire and underpinning the health and wellbeing, quality of life and sense of identity of Oxfordshire’s communities. Protection and enhancement of all-natural assets is needed to build resilience in nature and within our communities and it therefore needs to be central to plan-making in Oxfordshire.

The document also considered where sustainable development should be delivered to best meet the needs of Oxfordshire and make the most of the opportunities it brings.

People were invited to give their view on the Plan document overall as well as give their feedback on individual policies.

How can I get involved?

You can find out more about the consultation, and sign up to our mailing list on our consultation page.