Oxford hearing over plans for new houses

Plans to build 8,000 new homes in Oxford are being discussed at a four-day public hearing at the town hall.

Inspectors will analyse the city council's core strategy, which sets out where the homes should be built over the next 16 years.

If the overall strategy is backed it would influence all planning decisions made by the council up until 2026.

Campaigners say the strategy should be thrown out because of traffic congestion and the loss of countryside.

The group Engage Oxford was set up to contest plans to build a business park near Oxford's Peartree roundabout.

Chairman Jonathan Gittos said: "It's right that they get the right plan for the city and not one that turns it into a concrete urban sprawl."

Oxford City Council leader Bob Price said ideally more than 8,000 homes would be built to cope with the increasing population.

"Given the tightness of our boundaries and the fact that large parts of the city simply can't be built on because they're green spaces, we can't get any more than eight to 9,000 houses," he added.

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