Consultation starts at the end of September on an options paper for the new Local Plan for the Cherwell district.

The council’s executive approved a recommendation to publish the paper at its September 6 meeting.

Consultation will start on September 29 and last for six weeks. The new Local Plan will cover the period to 2040.

Cllr Colin Clarke, lead member for planning, said: “This options paper doesn’t propose new sites for development or set targets for the number of homes that may be needed.

“Instead, it asks people to have their say on what the key themes of future planning policies should be.”

The council’s current Local Plan is now five years old but the council says the review offers a chance to develop new policies for matters including the climate emergency, a built environment that promotes heathy lifestyles, achieving net increases in biodiversity, supporting town centres and rural housing.

The council also intends its new Local Plan will help the district’s recovery from pandemic restrictions.

The paper will look at individual towns including Banbury, Bicester, Kidlington, Upper Heyford and rural areas.

Cllr Clarke added: “We are still at a very early stage of the plan-making process. The council anticipates consulting on a draft Local Plan in 2022 and then submitting it to the Planning Inspectorate for examination in 2023.

“This may all seem a long way off, but the Local Plan is a key document that will have a big effect on our area.”

Image: Former RAF Upper Heyford. Thomas Nugent, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

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