Landowners in key Oxfordshire district council areas being identified
Date of Article
Jun 11 2013

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12 June 2013, Housing development pressures and a policy loophole mean that some Oxfordshire landowners are being approached by developers in areas of the county where the district council is unable to demonstrate a five year Housing Land Supply, according to Carter Jonas, the property consultancy.

Across the county's five district councils, the housing supply figures range from 6.6 years in Oxford City to 3.1 years in Cherwell District, with the latter and Vale of White Horse both unable to demonstrate five year housing land supply and being in the process of renewing and updating their plans.

Where the housing land supply figure is below five years, it is giving landowners and developers the policy framework and impetus to use inadequate housing allocations as grounds to secure residential planning permission on sites previously considered unsuitable. On this basis, they are challenging and winning planning permission at appeal.

Oxfordshire's Housing Land Supply

District Council Housing land supply position Source

Oxford City

6.6 years

AMR 12/12

South Oxfordshire

5.5 years

Assessment 04/12

West Oxfordshire

5.4 years

AMR 12/11

Vale of White House

3.3 years

Statement 07/12

Cherwell

3.1 years

Briefing Note 08/12

Source: Carter Jonas Research

James Bainbridge, head of planning and development at Carter Jonas in Oxford said:
"Landowners who have land on the edge of a village or town in those district council areas identified as having a less than adequate housing land allocation are increasingly being directly approached by developers. Whilst this can be a good thing for landowners and developers, with opportunities to secure quick planning consents for new housing developments, it goes against the spirit of the Government's commitment to a plan-led planning system.

With persistent delays in the adoption of local plans and reliance on proposed large housing releases, many district councils may see further erosion of their ability to demonstrate a five year land supply position over the next 12 to 18 months"

"These issues are not confined to Oxfordshire but many other local authority areas have issues with their housing land supply including in Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire. The number of challenges across the country is gaining momentum. However, many local authorities in key growth areas of the country are now making progress with their local plans and so we forecast that in the next 18 to 24 months, we will see a decline in the number of residential planning applications and appeals based on these housing land supply arguments.

"More and more we are seeing landowners, especially in the two Oxfordshire district councils where land supply is below five years, being directly approached by developers. Often the landowners are in need of expert advice to make sure that they receive a true understanding of advantages and disadvantages while making the most of the opportunity."