Policy Option 29 – Urban Renewal

Policy Option 29 – Urban Renewal

This policy aims to enable forward planning of urban renewal schemes and will include the reuse of brownfield land and an intensification of land use in our market towns, the City of Oxford and at the former MoD bases and sites where the largest holdings of brownfield land are located. Urban renewal brings new vitality to areas and helps secure more sustainable locations, with investment in new services, new employment and improved health outcomes from urban re-design. The modernisation of housing and replacement of housing seeks to achieve higher residential densities, as well as more energy efficient, healthier living in higher quality housing.

New development can help secure gains and opportunities for the area being invested in, such as environmental gains, habitat creation and improved access to the countryside and improved walking and cycling opportunities. New affordable housing can be secured using Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) to secure significant energy gains for residents and reduced building costs.

Urban renewal is already taking place in a number of locations including the redevelopment of parts of Didcot and in the west end of Oxford around the rail station, whereas innovative approaches to custom build housing are being pursued at Graven Hill, Bicester. Urban renewal is expensive, and it takes time to prepare schemes with impact, so this is a policy that is intended to enable schemes to be developed with planning authority support through the life of the Oxfordshire Plan.

The policy will draw on brownfield land registers and support the forward programmes of redevelopment that are prepared by local planning authorities to bring new use to areas where private sector led schemes have been delayed. Joint ventures between the public, private, voluntary sector and other bodies such as Universities and other institutions will be supported.

Policy Options

The preferred policy option for the Oxfordshire Plan is to put in place a framework policy to guide the development of options to renew areas over the next 20 to 30 years.

One alternative policy option is to leave these considerations to future local plans, but our recommendation is to put a framework policy in place to enable forward planning by developers in conjunction with the local planning authority and the local community and Parish/Town Council affected.

Preferred Policy Proposal

Policy Option 29 – Urban Renewal

Urban renewal schemes and the reuse of brownfield and 'underutilised land' to achieve a more efficient use of land and to help minimise the use of new greenfield land across Oxfordshire will be supported.

This policy would include:

Support for proposals that include a package of measures to renew and replace existing buildings (i.e. those that are under-utilised, energy inefficient or are degraded or derelict), with more modern higher quality housing to achieve higher densities where appropriate, as well as being designed to be more energy efficient and support healthier living.

Mixed use schemes will be encouraged, with the colocation of employment and residential provision to improve the sustainability of the location.Support opportunities for investment in redevelopment and development to remediate despoiled, degraded, derelict, contaminated or unstable land where appropriate.

The identification of appropriate areas for regeneration with a clear boundary within the market towns and the City of Oxford as well as major brownfield locations such as former MoD sites and areas of former MoD housing.

Sensitivity to local context particularly where there are heritage assets.

Support for the use of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), including custom build, to secure energy gains for residents and reduced building costs.

Support for opportunities for urban renewal and brownfield land development to achieve net environmental gains and recognise and utilise the function brownfield land often has in for example, wildlife, flood risk mitigation, and carbon storage.

Appropriate land will be identified through Brownfield land registers as well as programmes established for urban settings, through Council housing companies, Housing Associations and others.

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