The Oxfordshire Growth Needs Assessment (OGNA) forms the basis for the preparation of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 (Oxon2050). It is vital that it is soundly constructed. An independent, impartial review commissioned by CDWA questions the soundness of the OGNA as a basis for the development of Oxon2050.
From its first preparation last year we had significant reservations about the methodology behind the OGNA. Our calls for a peer review have so far been ignored by the Future Oxfordshire Partnership (FOP) (See Note 1). We have therefore commissioned an independent review of the OGNA by a specialist in Housing Market Assessments (Opinion Research Services - see Note 2 ). Their report can be downloaded below. It has been written to be as clear as possible to a lay person. We chose this consultant because they work mostly for local authorities and as such can be trusted to be impartial.
ORS conclude that: "The unjustified use of adjustments made to official projections and the Standard Method together with the lack of a conventional central economic forecast
call into question the soundness of this document as supporting evidence for the development of the Oxfordshire Plan".
We urge you to read the summary at pages 4 to 6 (reproduced at Note 3) where you will find the shortcomings of the OGNA, previously hidden behind its complexity, exposed and explained.
The OGNA is not a standard, benign housing assessment which follows prescribed Government methodology. Instead it predicts much higher population growth than recent Office for National Statistics projections for the County and especially the City of Oxford.
Growth is a choice. This must surely be made clear - with all its implications - to the Oxfordshire electorate.