The Joint Henley and Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan was adopted by South Oxfordshire District Council in April 2016. This was the result of several years work by numerous residents and set out development sites in the two parishes. As South Oxfordshire District Council is now working on a revised Local Plan, it is necessary for the Joint Henley and Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan to be reviewed. This is an opportunity to consider where it is possible to improve upon the existing Neighbourhood Plan.

The Localism Act 2011 gave local communities the statutory power to produce Neighbourhood Plans. This provides the community with the chance to create policies that will affect the location of future development.

The Neighbourhood Plan Committee is updating the 2016 Joint Henley and Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan. This will let local people have a further say in how Henley and Harpsden are going to develop over the next 20 years or so. 

​Neighbourhood plans play an important role in deciding whether planning applications should be approved or refused. 


The National Planning Policy Framework (para 33 NPPF February 2019) states that policies in local plans and spatial development strategies should be reviewed to assess whether they need updating at least once every five years. Reviews at least every five years are a legal requirement for all local plans (Regulation 10A of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012). Neighbourhood plans should support the delivery of strategic policies contained in local plans or spatial development strategies; and should shape and direct development that is outside of these strategic policies. (para 13 NPPF February 2019)

South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) has produced the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2034. This has completed a public consultation period and is planned to be submitted for inspection in Spring 2019. Together with the other five local authorities in Oxfordshire, South Oxfordshire District Council have committed to providing 100,000 homes as part of the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal with the government. SODC plan to meet 775 homes a year for South Oxfordshire’s need during the plan period. This is divided between the towns and parishes within SODC. Signing up to the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal means that controversial planning applications are tested against a 3 year land supply rather than a 5 year land supply and gives greater opportunity to define where we do and don’t want development.

However, as a result of the Growth Deal and the age of the existing Local Plan, South Oxfordshire District Council requires towns and parishes to update their neighbourhood plans to deliver more housing up to 2035 in line with the Growth Deal, in addition to allocating land for industrial and retail use.

This provides the impetus to revisit the existing Joint Henley and Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan and look at what can be improved upon.

For further information, see the Local Plan Briefing Note here: http://www.southoxon.gov.uk/sites/default/files/South%20Oxfordshire%20Local%20Plan%202034%20-%20briefing%20note_1.pdf


Ken Arlett – Henley Town Councillor & Chairman

Laurence Plant – Henley Town Councillor & Vice Chairman 

Ian Clark – Henley Town Councillor

Glen Lambert – Henley Town Councillor

Michelle Thomas – Henley Town Councillor

Kester George – Chairman of Harpsden Parish Council

Sara Langton – Harpsden Parish Councillor 

Don Barraclough – resident

Rebecca Chandler Wilde – resident

Joan Clark – resident

Patrick Fleming – Greener Henley 

Geoff Luckett – resident

Jim Munro – resident

Jackie Walker – resident

David Whitehead – resident​


There are five stages to the Neighbourhood Planning process, here shown with anticipated timings for Henley and Harpsden’s Neighbourhood Plan Review:

  • Gather evidence – April 2018 to September 2020 
  • Consult residents and other stakeholders on their views –  July -September 2020
  • Prepare a draft Neighbourhood Plan based on the views of residents and stakeholders and the evidence gathered – August 2020 – January 2021
  • Consult residents and other stakeholders on the draft plan – February 2021
  • Submit the Plan to South Oxfordshire District Council for consultation and independent examination –  May 2021
  • Referendum on the submitted Plan (assuming it passes examination with minimal changes) – Summer 2021

​Once the Plan has passed referendum it can then be brought into force and used in assessing planning applications etc.


It is really important that local residents, businesses and organisations are involved in this process.

Between April and September the committee will be approaching the community to relay the information gathered so far and to gain input. In the meantime we welcome contributions and suggestions by email to following address: