District planning team expands to target housing

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 11 Jan 2016

Burford High Street

A local authority is expanding its planning policy team by one member of staff to help its efforts to allocate more land for housing.

West Oxfordshire District Council planning policy manager Chris Hargraves said that the move was intended to help address criticisms made by the inspector last month in his preliminary findings on the examination of their local plan.

“The main issue with the local plan was a concern from the inspector that our housing requirement was too low and out of sync with the Oxfordshire strategic housing market assessment," he said. "Further work and changes will therefore be needed to make the plan sound.”

West Oxfordshire District Council wants to appoint a new planning officer to its existing planning policy team to take the staff count from four to five. Within the whole planning department there are about 15 chartered town planners.

“The role of the new planner will depend on their skillset but it is likely to involve a variety of work on the local plan itself, plus the preparation of background supporting evidence and analysis,” said Hargraves, whose team's remit covers towns such as Burford (pictured), Charlbury and Witney.

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