Oxfordshire needs 106,500 homes by 2031, report says

A pod in the garden of a north Oxford house An idea mooted in Oxford is to build tiny "pod" homes as a solution to the city's lack of housing

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At least 106,500 homes are needed across Oxfordshire by 2031, a report has recommended.

The county's Strategic Market Housing Assessment (SMHA) echoes a long-standing issue among the six local authorities to build more homes.

Some councils say they will now revise their housing strategy, while others say the report does not reflect the problem of finding space to build on.

A more detailed study will be published in the coming weeks.

'Limited building locations'

Housing needed per year (2011-31) in local authorities

• Cherwell: 1,090-1,190

• Oxford: 1,200 - 1,600

• South Oxon: 725-825

• Vale of White Horse: 1,028

• West Oxon: 635-685

• Oxfordshire: 4,678 - 5,328

The report has identified a greater housing need than some of the councils had allowed for in their local plans.

Councillor Warwick Robinson, of West Oxfordshire District Council, said it was "an important part of the evidence base" for its Local Plan, but did "not take into account limitations on development" from "environmental constraints or issues related to congestion and local infrastructure".

While Councillor Mike Murray, of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: "We need a new Local Plan in place as soon as we can. This housing market assessment has provided us with the up-to-date evidence we need to help us achieve that."

South Oxfordshire District Council said it would "canvass local opinion" before making any housing number decisions.

Cherwell District Council said the report proposed "additional growth" for the area and that it would commission an additional assessment before dealing with building extra housing "over the next 20 years in a very limited number of locations".

The SMHA is a technical study intended to help the Oxfordshire local planning authorities understand how many homes will be needed in the period 2011 to 2031.

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