Community leaders have high hopes for a neighbourhood plan which would enable residents to have more of a say on development in Headington.
The plan, which will allow a forum group to speak up about the allocation of land for development and how they would like homes to look like, is under a six week consultation.
Residents are also being asked to get involved in discussions to define a new boundary area for Headington and can have their say on both issues up until Friday, March 28.
Councillor Ruth Wilkinson explained: “The consultation is an important step in the process as local people will have the chance to comment on the boundaries of the proposed Headington area. This is an exciting time.
“Volunteers will hold public meetings and community events to come up with a plan for Headington’s future.
“There will be lively discussions and choices to be made about what new buildings should look like, where new homes and shops and schools should be built, promoting renewable energy projects, protecting and creating open spaces, tree planting and historic buildings.
Once the Neighbourhood Area is designated, the real work – and spirited debate – will start. I can’t wait.”
The neighbourhood plan project is run by steering group chairman Mike Ratcliffe, who hopes, once the plan has been ratified, to set up consultation groups with students at Oxford Brookes.
Mr Ratcliffe, of Bickerton Road, said: “For a very long time, there has not been a clear boundary to show what Headington is. The plan we have proposed which is now on the council website sets out what we would like Headington to be for the purpose of town planning. We think Headington should be set out as a neighbourhood as a whole.”
The steering group running the project includes Liz Grosvenor and John Nealon of Headington Action. The map was finalised following consultation with the community. Other steering group members met with other local residents’ associations and institutions for research and in order to take all views on board.
Headington Action chairman Patrick Coulter hopes the neighbourhood plan will allow the community to establish a strong identity for local residents.
Mr Coulter said: “The Boundary Plan will ensure that for the first time Headington is a clearly identifiable area – rather like a small town the size of Kidlington in area and population but with several major hospitals and university campuses. This will help improve the already strong community.
“Headington Action is going to advertise very shortly for a project manager to work on the Neighbourhood Plan for the coming year in order to drive it forward. This will ensure we meet our deadline for a referendum on election day 2015.”
Full details of the plan can be found online at oxford.gov.uk/neighbourhoodplanning Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org