Oxfordshire organisations provide exciting visions for county’s future

“A vibrant and ecologically sustainable community where everyone can get a house and a suitable job.”

This was among the exciting visions for the future of the county outlined by representatives of a variety of organisations at an event for the Oxfordshire Plan 2050.

The event was hosted by Councillor James Mills, leader of West Oxfordshire District Council and Chair of the Plan Member Sub-Group, and Giles Hughes, Head of Planning at West Oxfordshire District Council and Oxfordshire Plan Project Sponsor.

More than 70 delegates from groups spanning the environment, technology, business, planning and government bodies – as well as Oxfordshire Growth Board Scrutiny Committee members – took part in the session on December 18 that examined what the county’s future should and could look like.

Among the questions posed were “what is it that makes Oxfordshire great today?”, “what are Oxfordshire’s largest challenges today?”, “what are Oxfordshire’s greatest opportunities and threats for the future?” and “what do you want Oxfordshire to look like in 2050?”.

Hundreds of responses were received across the interactive session, tackling issues such as addressing the housing shortage amid a growing population, maintaining access to green spaces, mitigating climate change and improving transport connectivity.

They have now all been collated and will be used to help shape the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 – a joint statutory spatial plan for the county.

The plan is part of the £215m Housing & Growth Deal secured by the Oxfordshire Growth Board with the Government.

It will look to examine the aspirations for the county for the next 30 years and set out how they can be achieved in a sustainable way that results in a better quality of life for all.

This will include new affordable housing, transport infrastructure and connectivity, as well as social infrastructure – with an emphasis on health and wellbeing in communities.

There are currently two documents that members of the public can comment on as part of the plan-making process.

The consultation on the draft Statement of Community Involvement, which sets out how the plan-making team will engage with the community, closes on Friday (January 11).

And a six-week consultation has opened today (January 7) for the draft Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report, which identifies the scope and level of detail to be included in the plan’s Sustainability Appraisal.

You can have your say on these document via the consultation website.