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Growth Board expresses disappointment over Government housing land supply decision
26 March, 2021

The Oxfordshire Growth Board has expressed its disappointment after the Government confirmed it was ending Oxfordshire’s three-year housing land supply flexibility.

The provision meant the county’s five local planning authorities only had to demonstrate three years’ worth of housing land supply, rather than the usual five years.

It was agreed on the basis of the Growth Board’s commitment to producing the Oxfordshire Plan 2050, as part of the Housing and Growth Deal.

While the Plan’s expected completion date has unfortunately had to be pushed back, the Government decided to not extend the land supply flexibility accordingly.

Councillor Michele Mead, vice-chair of the Growth Board, said: “Like all Leaders, I am very disappointed that the Government have not extended this provision alongside the extension of the dates for completing the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 which the variation from the national five-year land supply provisions was intended to support.

“This provision has provided valuable certainty to local communities while we have been developing our longer term plans in Oxfordshire. 

“The risk is that the need to refocus on short term housing land supply considerations will divert resources away from this longer term planning.” 

A short statement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government confirming the decision was published today (March 25) on the UK Parliament website.

In it, Christopher Pincher MP, Minister of State for Housing, wrote: “Since 2018, Oxfordshire have not finalised and adopted their Joint Statutory Spatial Plan. Therefore, in the best interests of housing delivery in the region, my Department have extended the time afforded to Oxfordshire for the delivery of this plan to 2023. This extension however will not be subject to the original land supply flexibilities. From today, Oxfordshire will need to maintain a five year housing land supply in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework.”

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