Housing Land Supply Tracker: West Oxfordshire claims 5-year supply position

Housing development
27th November 2023

As part of our Housing Land Supply Tracker, we’re monitoring housing land supplies across Oxfordshire – and in this update, we’re focusing on news from West Oxfordshire District Council. 

For the last 18 months, West Oxfordshire District Council could not demonstrate sufficient housing land supply with planning inspectors identifying substantial shortfalls against the Government’s 5-year supply requirements.  This has enabled a number of speculative housing developments to gain approval to address the shortfalls.

The Council has now identified a 5.4-year supply – a significant improvement. However, this has not been achieved through permitting more sites for housing.

Local Plan housing target – out of date

The Local Plan 2031 is now five years old. This has triggered the Council to undertake a review and conclude that the current Local Plan housing target is out of date.

The housing target of the Local Plan 2031 is rooted in an assessment of housing needs which was conducted in 2014 for the whole of Oxfordshire. The 2014 assessment proposed levels of new housing to enable growth in the economy and a growing workforce. This provided the foundations for the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal and a significant influx of central Government funding for affordable housing, road and infrastructure improvements. This was adopted into the Local Plan 2031 and the Council also accepted a proportion of Oxford’s overspill of housing.

As the Local Plan 2031 is now 5 years old, the Council is now able to use the Government’s standard method for housing need. This has halved the Council’s housing requirement and enabled sufficient supply to be regained. However, it does not include any provision for Oxford’s unmet housing need.

What does this mean for housing in the area?

As a result of this news, the Council is less likely to support speculative large new housing proposals on the edge of settlements.

Although the Council is now claiming over a 5-year supply, there is only a surplus supply of 258 homes. Much of the future housing supply is tied up in large allocated sites which are already very delayed. Consequently, a further delay in these sites could result in a shortfall once again.

We’re currently monitoring a number of appeals on sites resisted by the Council and where the housing land supply position could be reset again.

Watch this space!

We work closely with both landowners and developers to gain consent for housing sites to address housing shortfalls in the area. Get in contact via enquiries@edgarslimited.co.uk or call 01865 731700 if you have a potential housing site and we’ll be happy to advise you.

You might also be interested in reading: Local Plan Tracker: A busy Autumn in Oxfordshire

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*Note, this information is accurate on the date it was published: 27 November 2023
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