Headington Neighbourhood Plan – Referendum

On Thursday 4 May 2017, there was a referendum on the neighbourhood development plan for Headington.

The question asked in the referendum was:

Do you want Oxford City Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Headington to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?

Results were announced late on Thursday 4 May 2017 and are shown below:

Yes: 3,310
No: 543
Turnout: 38%

As is required by the legislation the City Executive Board (in June) and full Council (in July) will consider making (approving) the plan.

Plan Referendum 4th May 2017

At their meeting on March 9th 2017 the City Council Executive Board warmly endorsed the Headington Neighbourhood Plan and approved its progress to a referendum to be held on May 4th 2017 coinciding with the local elections.

Members complimented the Neighbourhood Plan Forum for its achievement in being the first in Oxford to produce a Plan.

Chair, Mike Ratcliffe and Vice Chair, Patrick Coulter were present and answered questions from members including the development of a successor body to the Forum.

See the Forum’s stall at the Headington Market, Saturday 29th April.

See the whole Plan and leave comments here.

Headington Neighbourhood Plan – What’s next?

After the rounds of consultations, the City Council have had the Plan examined – a check by an independent planning professional to ensure that it meets the legislative requirements. The examiner’s report has now been received and, working with the City, the Steering Committee (SC) have been looking at some changes to meet his recommendations. The SC will be reporting on this at our Forum meeting on 8 February.

The City Council, as planning authority, will then make a decision whether the plan can go forward to a referendum. If the timing all works out, then it should be in time to have this coincide with the County Council elections in May 2017. Although not as exciting as some referendums we’ve had recently, it will give people on the electoral register in the Plan area the final say on whether the plan is adopted. If that passes, then the Plan will have to be taken into account in planning matters, but also in other City and County strategies.

Oxford City Consultation on Draft Plan

Oxford City Council’s public consultation on the Draft Neighbourhood Plan (required by legislation) has now finished (on 7th October 2016).
The Consultation website can be accessed at oxford.gov.uk/headingtonplan

The mainly text version of the Draft Plan submitted to the Council is available here.

A more user-friendly pictorial version is available here.
(Note: minor edits on 26/09/16 and 06/10/16).

Oxford City Council has now appointed an examiner to consider the submissions to the consultation and will report in the near future – the date to be announced.

The Examiner and City have identified various amendments, to be reported to the Forum on 8th Feb 2017.

Draft Plan Approved for Consultation

At their meeting this evening the City Council Executive Board approved the draft Headington Neighbourhood Plan for formal consultation. Following the six week public consultation the Council in association with the Forum will make any necessary amendments and arrange for an independent external inspector to examine the draft Plan. If the inspector confirms that the Plan is satisfactory it will be the subject of a public referendum programmed for May 2017.

At the meeting Councillor Alex Hollingsworth who is the Board member responsible for Planning warmly commended the work of all those in Headington involved in preparation of the Plan. This was echoed by Councillor Bob Price (Leader) who praised the quality of the draft Plan and supporting documents. The Draft Plan was commended by City Councillor Mohammed Altaf-Khan while County Councillor Roz Smith attended in support.

Vice Chair of the Forum, Patrick Coulter, who attended for the Forum, took the opportunity to thank the officers for their support over the past two years and the Board for arranging the special meeting so that we could meet the May referendum deadline.

Draft Plan – discussions with Oxford City Council Planners

Our Draft Plan has now been sent to the Council by the HNF Chairman Mike Ratcliffe. This is a preliminary draft for comment by the City Planning Department prior to formal submission.
The Steering Committee (SC) approved this draft after considering feedback from statutory bodies and making amendments that agrees with the sense of policy direction from our consultation and meet, where possible, the views of those bodies.
There remain, at a time of change within national planning policy frameworks, areas which may be fluid over the next period, but the SC believe that this draft plan reflects the views of those who the SC has extensively consulted.
The SC is grateful for the informal feedback it has received from the City Council and look forward to the next stage of formal engagement with the City as the plan progresses.

HNF Update

Feedback on Character Assessments available here.

We had completed the consultation and policy formation phases – whereby we have taken the views of people who live, work and study in Headington to shape a plan with policies to meet our vision and objectives – before Christmas.  We are now in a phase of formal consultation with organisations specified in law as requiring an engagement.  These include bodies such as Natural England and Thames Water and also some, such as Oxford University Hospitals Trust, who have had an engagement already (thankfully it was decided that we could skip the marine management organisation and the coal authority).  At the same time we have been engaging with the City Council, who, as the planning authority, are responsible for ensuring we follow the process, but who are also the owners of many of the local policies we are working with.

We are, therefore, collating comments from these various groups and the Steering Committee’s job is to maintain, wherever possible, the ideas that everyone had balancing that with what we are allowed to do.  Much of the feedback has been really useful, helping us to shape what we have proposed in a way that it can be implemented.  In a couple of areas it’s clear there are points of difference, and we will be going to the Forum to confirm what to do – should we stick with the policy or alter it?  We’ll put the plan version that goes out to the Forum on our website, and then put up our last internal version after the Forum signs it off.

These consultative phases are important, but also a bit behind the scenes, so it might look like not much is going on.   There will be a City Council consultation, consideration by the Executive Board, then an inspection and finally a referendum – so no one will be short of an opportunity to engage with the plan.


Draft Plan Consultation

The consultation is now completed.  Many thanks to all the many people who took part. The Steering Committee have analysed the feedback and held discussions with interested parties in order to amend the Draft Plan.  The results were brought to the Forum Annual General Meeting on October 2nd.

2nd October 2015 HNF Posterv2

The Headington Neighbourhood Forum’s Draft Plan  was published on Sunday 31 May 2015.  It can be viewed and discussed at the Headington Hub (125 London Road) on the next six Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm (until July 11th).

The Character Assessments of Headington done in conjunction with the Draft Plan can be found here.

All aspects of the draft plan are up for discussion on on any of these days but there will be a focus on one particular area of the draft plan, as follows:
∗  6th June  Amenities & Green Spaces
∗ 13th June Character & Identity
∗ 20th June Housing
∗ 27th June Education
∗ 4th July    Business & Retail
∗ 11th July  Transport