Help us get support for Community-Led Housing into Local Plan

You have until 25th August to DO something. If you have some energy and 10 or 20 minutes for this, read on and find out what you can do.


The Local Plan Preferred Options is long and complex but this is democracy at work and we need to invest some time if we want to help the planners get it right for us to be able to deliver more community-led homes. We’ve tried to make it easy for you so you really can do something quickly.


Here’s HOW:

The greatest impact will come from specifically responding to the preferred options in the Local Plan at the link below. You will need to register. Click on link below and scroll down to small green box button ‘Respond by filling in the online questionnaire’ :

(If you really can’t bear to do this then write a letter or email to the planners but bear in mind we want to win them over and not bury them under a mound of correspondence!).


Here’s WHAT:

Many people have responded already and some such as the Oxford Civic Society at great length and we are delighted by that. But if, like me, you are bamboozled by the sheer length and complexity of it here are some key messages you might want to cut and paste into the online document.


1. We need a specific policy that promotes, supports and privileges Community Led Housing (CLH). 

CLH meets not only housing objectives but also EVERY other key city objective: it’s innovative, it builds diversity and sustainability, it builds community and creates wellbeing.  No other form of housing can offer this. There is no specific place to say this so be creative in how you get the point over. We (Homes for Oxford/OCLT/Cohousing/Kindling/OFHN etc) are working on a policy that we plan to submit so help us out by asking for that. If you need more details then contact Fran (


2. There are particular housing options in the Preferred Options that you can respond to and here are the ones we think are most important for CLH:


Option 10 Determining the priority types of Affordable Housing:

10A: We support this. 

However, an 80/20 split on all sites does not provide enough intermediate housing for people who are not in the social-rent category, but who cannot afford to pay full market rents, particularly care assistants and others on low incomes who are essential for our society to function.

10B: We support this

This is an important modification to 10A and we would like to explicitly include community-led developments offering affordable housing in perpetuity.

We suggest including: “Locally approved non-registered providers such as Community Land Trusts (CLT) and other community-led housing organisations that meet agreed criteria”.


Option 12 Meeting intermediate housing or employment sector specific needs based on local affordability approaches:

12A: We’d like CLH organisations to be included here:

We suggest some additional words to enable CLH sector organisations to make use of this policy, such as:  “On specified sites, allow schemes that are up to 100% intermediate housing, with reduced or no element of social rent housing required. This could apply to University and Hospital Trust sites to support key staff; school campus sites, other staff accommodation schemes or sites developed by a not-for-profit community-led housing organization such as a land trust or cohousing group.”

And we want the Council to do everything in its power to keep all affordable housing permanently affordable such as through a Community Land Trust.


Option 12B: We support this but would add:

Community Land Trusts and other CLH schemes offer a mechanism to lock in affordability in perpetuity and can deliver affordable housing particularly intermediate (between social rent and market value).

We consider there is merit in widening the choices for people unable to buy or rent a home they need. However the Council is prioritising rental properties which closes the door on those aspiring to own their own home who can’t quite achieve it. The Council shouldn’t rule out shared ownership held by an RSL or locally approved community-led housing organization especially where there is no right to staircase to the full amount. Similarly starter homes could be pegged at a maximum of 80% of open market value in perpetuity (or preferably a lower % if a local definition of affordability is agreed) with subsequent sales to be agreed by the council, RSL or community-led housing organization. This could also include a requirement for sale to a person with a local connection to Oxford.


Option 12C: We support this:

An Oxford Living Rent offers a good starting point for developing a locally appropriate affordability policy.