ET Planning have this week opened new offices in the heart of Oxford, to help facilitate the growth of the business whilst helping to keep the company at the heart of the community it serves.
The new office, based at One St Aldates in the city centre, will be the Head Office for the new Planning & Economics Team as well as expanding our base for working with private clients. This team are able to advise on strategic as well as minor residential and commercial projects in Oxfordshire, having advised on many projects in numerous market towns in the region.
The Team, who have specialist planning knowledge of Viability Assessments and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) are ideally placed to help developers navigate through the often complex planning process in Oxfordshire. They understand the charged political backdrop to decision making in the region (as witnessed by the challenges faced by South Oxfordshire and Cherwell’s emerging Local Plan process) and can advise developers on the implications of the emerging Oxfordshire Plan 2050 and its ambitious proposals to bring new jobs, homes and infrastructure to the region.
In the last few years, the planning landscape in Oxfordshire has had a number of notable changes.
In March 2018, the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal was signed introducing £218 million of new funding to the area to support the planning and delivery of 100,000 homes by 2031.
In September 2018, a bespoke Written Ministerial Statement gave Oxfordshire authorities certain short term planning flexibilities to support the delivery of the local plans for the area. This included relaxing the five-year housing land supply on a temporary basis. ET Planning are well placed to advise on the evolving transitional arrangements for when this five year requirement kicks back in (advising on the recent Sutton Courtney appeal decision), and the potential opportunities this will provide for developers in the region.
The Oxfordshire Plan 2050 is ambitious in its scope and will ensure that the region plays a key economic role in the South East. In March 2019, the ‘Joint Declaration of Ambition between Government and the Arc’ was published regarding the Cambridgeshire-Milton Keynes-Oxford Arc. This was followed in January 2020, when the Government announced its preferred route as part of the third and final stage of the East-West rail link; one of the key pieces of infrastructure to significantly enhance connectivity within the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.
ET Planning can also advise you on the emerging long term spatial framework to support strategic planning in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, which will be a huge opportunity area in the coming years. The complexities of the political environment in Oxfordshire and the effect this has on place making means that it’s vital that developers seek support from planning specialists in order to navigate through the planning process.
If you have a vision for a development project in Oxford and the surrounding areas, our team would be happy to support you and discuss the planning options available to you. Please contact us and a member of our team would be happy to speak with you.