Planning & Development

Planning Services are provided by the County of Oxford, Community and Strategic Planning Office.

All development applications within the County of Oxford require an application to be submitted either to your local area municipal office or the County of Oxford offices in Woodstock.

Planning Staff are available to answer questions regarding your proposal and it is advised that you speak with them prior to submitting your application. Please refer to the information sheet attached to the application forms for information required when submitting your application.

The Oxford County Official Plan is the policy document that establishes the overall land use strategy for both the County and the eight area municipalities that comprise the County.

The policies and land use schedules contained in the Official Plan establish locational and development review requirements for various land uses (residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, parks, etc.), set out how agricultural land and other natural features and cultural heritage resources are to be protected and provide direction on how environmental constraints are to be addressed. The Official Plan also helps to guide municipal decisions with respect to infrastructure, public services and other investments.

For more information on the Oxford County Official plan, please visit the Oxford County website.

In the Province of Ontario, the Planning Act authorizes municipalities to employ Site Plan Control as a land use tool to ensure the appropriate location of a development on a site and to ensure the safety, attractiveness and compatibility with the surrounding land.

Section 1 - To inform potential developers and the public about the use of Site Plan Control, the requirements for Site Plan approval, and to provide guidelines for site plan preparation and review.

Section 2 - An overview of the Township’s Site Plan Approval process.

Section 3 - Identifies the submission requirements for Site Plan application and approval. 

Section 4 - Objectives for each matter which is subject to Site Plan Control, as well as the guidelines, criteria and standards

The provisions and schedules of By-law  No.. 07-2003-Z control the use of land in the Area Municipality

The Township of Norwich Zoning By-Law controls the use of land by dividing the municipality into different land use zones with detailed maps, specifying the uses permitted in each zone, specifying where buildings and other structures can be located, stating the types of buildings that are permitted and how they may be used, as well as specifying lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, building heights and setbacks from the street.

The contents of the Zoning By-Law reflect consolidations of zoning by-law amendments. For up to date information on a specific property, please contact the Planner for the area municipality.

Find out more information Zoning By-Law No. 07-2003-Z

If you wish to sever your property, an application for Consent or Consent and Minor Variance (on-line form) must be submitted to the Land Division Committee for the County of Oxford. When reviewing severance applications, Planning staff visit the sites and prepare reports on the planning acceptability of these applications. The Land Division Committee then approves or denies the application at a public hearing and may attach various conditions to an approval.

For more information on the severance process, you can also visit: Oxford County - Land Severances

All Forms are available in the Applications and Licences Section.
Minor Variance, Rezone and Site Plan applications can be submitted to the Township of Norwich, and Consent applications are submitted to Oxford County for consideration by the Oxford County Land Division Committee.

A minor variance is a minor change to a performance standard under the Zoning By-law, granted by the Committee of Adjustment.

A Minor Variance can change:

  • Maximum building height;
  • Minimum lot area or width;
  • Distance between the lot line and the building;
  • Minimum Distance Separation requirements;
  • Maximum lot coverage

The Committee of Adjustment is a quasi-judicial administrative tribunal comprised of members of Council. The Committee derives its jurisdiction from the Planning Act. Hearings are held prior to Council meetings, as required.

After submission of a complete application and payment, the applicant will be provided with a Public Notice sign to be posted on the property. All property owners within 60 metres will receive notification of the application.

At the Public Meeting the Committee will hear the Planners report and may ask the applicant to explain the proposal and answer any questions. Others in attendance will be allowed to speak in support of, or in opposition to the application.

The Committee’s decision may be appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal within 20 days of the date of decision.


This application is required when applying for specific relief from one or more of the Zoning By-Law provisions e.g. yard setbacks, parking etc. on a property.

Contact Us

Oxford County Staff

Heather St. Clair is responsible for providing planning advice and recommendations on all proposals and applications.

She is available in our office at the Township of Norwich, 285767 Airport Road, Norwich, on Tuesday and Thursday of each week from 8:30 - 4:30 and can be reached at 519-468-2410  or daily at hstclair@oxfordcounty.ca


She can also be reached at the County of Oxford 519-539-9800 ext 3206.