“Oxfordshire 2050” goes the same way as GESP

Councils ditch £2.5m Oxfordshire 2050 housing plan

A £2.5m plan that Oxfordshire councils had hoped would shape how much new housing would be built for decades has been abandoned.

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Oxford City Council and four district councils signed up in 2018 to work together on Oxfordshire 2050.

But there is disagreement amongst them as some, including the city council, want more homes to accommodate growth and others want fewer.

The councils will now use their own plans to decide their housing numbers.

Only Labour-led Oxford City Council and Conservative-led Cherwell District Council, which are in favour of accommodating more homes, are controlled by the same political parties which led them in 2018.

Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Councils, which are led by the Liberal Democrats and a Lib Dem-Green coalition respectively, have opposed housing targets. Both were previously led by the Conservatives.

West Oxfordshire District Council was also led by the Conservatives in 2018 but are now led by a Lib Dem-Labour-Green coalition.

In a statement, the authorities said it was “with regret” they were “unable to reach agreement on the approach to planning for future housing needs”.

“The Oxfordshire Plan 2050 work programme will end and we will now transition to a process focused on Local Plans. The issues of housing needs will now be addressed through individual Local Plans for each of the city and districts,” they said.

“The councils will cooperate with each other and with other key bodies as they prepare their Local Plans.”