Oxfordshire to benefit from environmentally responsible growth in future years

Residents of Oxfordshire can look forward to a future of good, environmentally responsible growth in the years ahead to 2050.

The Oxfordshire Strategic Vision for Long Term Sustainable Development is a landmark document for Oxfordshire led by the Oxfordshire Growth Board and being voted on this spring by its constituent members including the county and district councils.

Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet approved the vision with some amendments at its meeting on Tuesday, April 20. The document sets out specifically the concept of “good growth” based on enhanced social, environmental and economic wellbeing. This means that by 2050 amongst other goals that Oxfordshire will:

• Be healthy and inclusive, with all development addressing inequalities and contributing positively to the overall health and wellbeing of Oxfordshire's communities, environment and economy.

• Support diverse, accessible employment, generating a highly productive and inclusive economy based on our world-class research, innovation and technology.

• Build resilience to change, with growth planned in ways that: build on strengths and assets to support communities during periods of change; support economic diversity and can accommodate changes in technology; recognise changes in the way that people live and work and changing demographics; and respond to worldwide impacts, particularly from climate and economic changes.

These goals will form the basis of county council-specific plans for growth including the Local Transport and Connectivity Plan (LTCP), the Oxfordshire Infrastructure Strategy (OXIS) and the future Nature Recovery Network Strategy.

In addition, the vision includes working towards a County target of 2040 for net zero carbon. This emphasises a shared commitment for county-wide net zero target of 2040 in alignment with district councils within 10 years of our own Carbon Reduction Framework target of 2050.

As a partner of the Oxfordshire Growth Board, the county council has been part of the commissioning and development of a new Oxfordshire Strategic Vision for Long-Term Sustainable Development. The Growth Board published a draft Vision document for engagement in November which was considered by Cabinet on 15 December.

The Strategic Vision was endorsed by the Oxfordshire Growth Board in March. The vision is being considered for endorsement by all local authorities in Oxfordshire this spring.. This will then allow the Vision to play its appropriate role in helping shape the next stage of the Oxfordshire Plan for 2050.