Oxford can meet only a third of housing need, council study shows

Oxford can only accommodate as little as a third of its housing need, according to a study by the city's council, which has called for an urban extension on green belt to help meet the shortfall.

Oxford. Pic: anataman, Flickr
Oxford. Pic: anataman, Flickr

A strategic housing land availability assessment (SHLAA) commissioned by Oxford City Council, found that land within the local authority boundaries could only take between 32 and 43 per cent of the city’s housing need up to 2031.

According to the SHLAA, Oxford’s land could provide about 10,200 new homes, leaving a shortfall of up to 21,800 further homes to meet the overall need.

In a statement, the council said the SHLAA identified two green belt sites for development, at the northern and southern edges of the city for 150 and 180 homes respectively.

It added: "The study provides irrefutable evidence of the need for a sustainable urban extension to meet Oxford’s housing needs."

Bob Price, city council leader, said the city’s housing need was "enormous", between 24,000 and 32,000 homes up to 2031.

Price said the SHLAA "leaves us with no doubt that a strategic review of the Oxford Green Belt, to allow us to plan for a sustainable urban extension, is urgently needed".

The council statement added that the SHLAA "should form the basis for agreeing with its neighbouring districts the level of Oxford’s unmet housing needs … to be accommodated outside of the city’s boundaries".

Through the Oxfordshire Growth Board, all Oxfordshire councils have signed up in principle to accommodating the city’s unmet housing needs between them, it added.

The Oxford Land Availability and Unmet Need Assessment, which has had input from the county’s other district councils and Oxfordshire County Council, can be found on the council’s website here.


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