One of the main aims of the South Oxfordshire District Council’s (SODC) Local Plan is to ensure that housing development only happens where it’s suitable and sustainable.
As you may be aware, the Government requires the council to demonstrate that it has allocated enough housing land in the district to support development for five years. This is known as the Five-Year Housing Land Supply. If the council is not able to show this, then developers are more likely to submit speculative applications which are often unsuitable, and even if SODC rejects them, planning inspectors would often allow them on appeal.
That is why it is important to be able to demonstrate a five year land supply. Using the Government’s current standard method to calculate land supply, SODC can demonstrate that it has enough land in South Oxfordshire for housing for the next 9.15 years.
However, as part of the emerging South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035, which is currently at the hearing stage, the calculation that has to be used is different (a different requirement and supply). This different process results in SODC having a 5.35 year supply, although this would only apply if and when the emerging Local Plan is adopted. This is still above the required level to protect against speculative development, and would be likely to go up as time goes by.
In summary, SODC currently has a very high land supply figure. If the Local Plan is adopted, a different method is used to calculate the land supply, and while it would mean the figure is lower, it would still be enough to avoid unsuitable development coming forward.
For more information see the SODC website.