The Government’s ‘Housing Growth Deal’ for Oxfordshire, clinched in 2017, has been amended by Housing Minister Christopher Pincher after the county failed to deliver its Joint Oxfordshire 2050 plan on time.
In March 2017, Oxfordshire authorities committed to building 100,000 new homes between 2011 and 2031 in return for a £215 million funding package and a requirement to deliver the Oxfordshire 2050 strategic plan by March 2021.
As part of the deal, the Oxfordshire authorities were only required to demonstrate a three-year housing supply, rather than the five-year supply expected to be held by authorities nationwide.
Following the Prime Minister’s plea to the development industry to ‘build, build, build’, the LPDF wrote to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick in July 2020.
We urged the Government to step-in and revise the Housing Growth Deal to relinquish the three-year housing land target and re-impose a ‘level playing field’. This was on the grounds that development was being held back and the programme for delivering the Oxfordshire 2050 Strategic Plan was not being met which could, in turn, undermine the 100,000 homes target. The Oxfordshire Plan has now been delayed until 2023.
John Acres, LPDF policy director, said: “The minister’s formal written statement is a welcome step which will create a stronger incentive for Oxfordshire authorities to deliver on their strategic plan and, above all, to bring forward more housing sites to address the acute need for market and affordable housing in one of the least affordable counties in the country.”