South Oxfordshire Kicks Local Plan Can Down Road to Ask to Keep Growth Deal Money and Reduce Housing Numbers (ROFL)

Oxford Times

South Oxfordshire district councillors will tonight be asked to request whether it would be possible to keep £218m of government funding and change its controversial Local Plan.

The council’s former Conservative administration backed building on Green Belt land, including at Grenoble Road, south of Oxford.

But the Conservatives lost control of the authority in May. Since then, a Liberal Democrat-Green coalition has urged caution on approving thousands of new homes which they have said are unnecessary.

An insider candidly claimed the authority is seeking to ‘kick the can down the road’ so Lib Dems and Greens can decide on more palatable housing sites over coming months, while keeping government money.

But it is unclear what any delay to South Oxfordshire’s Local Plan would mean for the Growth Deal. Some officers have said they worry the government could ditch it entirely if conditions are not met.

If they decide on a new site outside the GreenBelt the inspector is likely to favour South of Grenoble Road and they will get the new settlement anyway in the joint plan – just like Strateford on Avon District which got two for its pains of dithering.

One thought on “South Oxfordshire Kicks Local Plan Can Down Road to Ask to Keep Growth Deal Money and Reduce Housing Numbers (ROFL)

  1. There is a list of the recommendations to Cabinet posted through the following link – I cannot attest to the accuracy of them.
    If the genuine article, it’s interesting that the recommendations from their Cabinet to Full Council only covers change driven by environmental concern, and the Housing Infrastructure Funds (which surely relates only to development within the existing Core Strategy?).
    The £218 million is purely HIF. The Growth Deal is not mentioned within Cabinet’s recommendations. That’s an interesting omittance.

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