The Minister of State for Housing has confirmed that Oxfordshire, which, since 2018, only needed to demonstrate having a 3 year housing land supply, would now need to maintain a 5 year supply.
In a Ministerial Statement issued on 25th March 2021, Christopher Pincher, the Minister of State for Housing, confirmed that Oxfordshire would now need to maintain a 5 year housing land supply.
The Councils affected by this change are Cherwell District Council, Oxford City Council, South Oxfordshire District Council, Vale of White Horse District Council and West Oxfordshire District Council.
Currently, all of the Councils, except Cherwell, can demonstrate 5 year housing supplies, but only by thin margins. Vale of White Horse is only just exhibiting a 5-year supply, Oxford City 5.3, West Oxfordshire 5.4, and South Oxfordshire 5.3-5.6.
Whilst the Councils will now need to demonstrate a 5 year housing supply, the deadline for Oxfordshire to finalise and adopt their Joint Statutory Spatial Plan has been extended to 2023, in the best interests of housing supply delivery in the area.
Whilst all but one of the Council’s can demonstrate a 5 year housing supply, it is likely that some if not all authorities will (upon detailed analysis of supply) fail to demonstrate a deliverable 5 year supply. As such, it is likely that the presumption in favour of sustainable development will be triggered within those authority areas struggling to deliver sufficient housing land.
At Evans Jones we continue to monitor opportunities for housing development. Sites which may well have been discounted (on the basis of the 3 year supply) should now be reassessed in light of the ministerial statement.
Mark Campbell – Head of Planning at Evans Jones commented:
"The discontinuation of the 3 year housing land supply dispensation had been anticipated this year, however until, such time as the cancellation of the 3 year dispensation had been formalised it was not appropriate to promote sites. That has no all changed an opportunities to promote sites within the area should be reconsidered”.
If you have a land or development opportunity, the planning team at Evans Jones would be happy to review and provide guidance as to the most appropriate means of promoting.
Please contact Mark Campbell, Head of Planning to discuss your requirements.