Referendum May 4th 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 mainly text version of the Plan agreed by the City Council here (a more pictorial version is being corrected and will appear here soon) or just see the draft Policies.

Please leave comments below.


Our Vision

Headington Neighbourhood Plan celebrates the diversity and identity of Headington.  Working with our partners and neighbours, we plan to balance the opportunities in Headington in order to provide a healthy, positive and vibrant environment for people to live, work and study in.

Our Objectives

The Plan has three overarching objectives which guide policy making throughout the process of developing the Plan. These are:

  1. Improving the quality of life for residents, workers and students.
  2. Establishing and promoting an identity which embraces the diverse nature of Headington.
  3. Fostering beneficial development.


The Plan’s Development

During its development the Draft Plan has gone through various iterations as a consequence of

  • the original “Issues & Options” consultation via information posted through every door in the HNF Area (2014),
  • the Forum’s consultation (2015),
  • the formal City Council Consultation (2016) and
  • the Examiner’s Report amendments. (2016/17). 

These iterations are available in the Archive.


What is the relationship between the Neighbourhood Plan and the City Council’s Local Plan?

Neighbourhood Plans are mainly concerned with planning policy and they must also be complementary to existing Local Plans. Plans may also include projects to improve particular aspects of a neighbourhood.

While Local Plans lay out a vision of future development for a whole area, the needs of individual districts within that area can vary. Neighbourhood Plans are optional documents that detail further development priorities for individual communities. They are community-led and can be written by town or parish councils, or where there is no town or parish council by a specially-created neighbourhood forum.

Taking part in the writing of a Neighbourhood Plan helps you have a say in the future use of land and buildings in your neighbourhood.

Oxford City Council’s current Local Plan and those aspects particular to Headington can be viewed on the Headington website.

6 thoughts on “Plan

  1. Can I ask what effect the result of the referendum will have? If “No” wins, does it mean the whole plan is disregarded and might as well be thrown away? If “Yes” wins, does it mean the plan will be used for reference for all future developments? – until when? I feel it should be consultative, like the EU referendum should have been, and not binding. Why should a good thing be thrown away because it is not recognised as such by the majority?

    • Thank you for you comment. It has been passed to the Forum chair, Mike Ratcliffe, and Vice Chair, Patrick Coulter, for a reply – BELOW.

      Your question has been passed onto me.
      At present, as an unadopted plan, our draft can be used as a reference point. It will remain as such until the City Council have to make a decision on the plan, which they will do after six weeks have elapsed after the referendum for it to be challenged. If it is then adopted, it will be used to help decide planning decisions, nominally in force until 2032 – although it will eventually lose relevance as changes to both local plans and national policy render parts of it void. The Government hadn’t really thought through how a plan will change…

      If more people vote ‘no’ then it simply won’t be used in planning. We haven’t done much work on what would happen in those circumstances, it could still be used as a reference point, but the City would need to determine what the issues were and where the Forum would need to start again.
      We’re trying not to draw too many parallels with other referenda…
      Mike Ratcliffe
      Chair, Headington Neighbourhood Forum

      • Further to my earlier answer, if there is a ‘yes’ vote today, the City Council is planning to make the plan (ie approve it) on 20 July.

  2. As someone who has lived in Headington for several decades, I have seen a fair few changes in the area. Two areas of concern for me have been the loss of green spaces due to house building and the decline in the variety of shops in the centre of Headington. These are due to commercial and social pressures which are only going to increase. The Headington Neighbourhood Plan has lot of good ideas to protect and enhance the Headington area in the coming years. It gets my vote.

  3. What a load of old waffle, made by people who don’t live in Headington I can only presume. PARKING, PARKING, PARKING needs to be addressed ie at least 2 hours free parking in car parks. My road is a residential road used as a ‘car park’. made even worse for the fact we have Sainsburys and Tesco for people to pop in to! There should be NO parking at the top of Kennett Road, its the only way out for a lot of residents and causes complete chaos. Sort this out and you might attract shoppers to the abysmal shops.

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