Oxford’s ability to maintain and expand its position as a ‘world city’ is constrained by chronic housing shortages. The overall aim of the Spatial Options Assessment was to provide a criteria-based analysis of the spatial options for meeting Oxford’s unmet housing need, estimated to be in the order of 15,000 new homes, providing guidance and evidence to inform decisions on how this unmet need can best be distributed across the county. A key component of this assessment was the analysis of the viability and deliverability issues of each site, which BBP undertook as part of this study led by Land Use Consultants.
BBP Regeneration developed the deliverability and viability assessment criteria based on NPPF principles and guidance on Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments. This considered market demand and housing need factors as well as viability and deliverability factors reflecting the barriers to development, which will need to be overcome and how are these are likely to affect delivery and viability. We carried out detailed assessments for each site using existing market and economic evidence supporting the Local Plans such as Community Infrastructure Levy policies and supporting Infrastructure Delivery Plans, the Oxfordshire SHMA and individual authorities’ SHLAA work. We also reviewed high level information available in relation to physical and social infrastructure and considered the likelihood of securing funding.
This assessment, based on sustainability and delivery principles, would give credibility to the outcome and reflect sound planning principles to allow the Oxfordshire local authorities to move forward in the plan-led process with consensual direction and allocate specific development sites through respective Local Plans.