Housing plans for Oxfordshire rejected by council leader

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image captionOxford needs another 15,000 homes to cope with increasing demand

Plans to build thousands of homes to deal with Oxford's housing crisis have been rejected by a district council leader.

South Oxfordshire was earmarked to build nearly 5,000 of 15,000 homes needed for the city by 2031.

John Cotton, the leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said the plans were "an ambition too far".

Campaigners meanwhile have demanded the public be given more of a say.

'Not convinced'

The Oxfordshire Growth Board, made up of council leaders, met to approve plans to deal with the city's housing need identified in a 2014 report.

The Oxfordshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment said neighbouring councils needed to provide 14,850 houses to help Oxford cope with its increasing demand.

Oxford would look to build another 550 houses, while Cherwell would contribute 4,400, Vale of White Horse 2,200, West Oxfordshire 2,750, and South Oxfordshire would build 4,950.

All voted to approve the plans except South Oxfordshire, whose leader said the number was too high and questioned Oxford's efforts.

"We are not convinced the city has done all it can to meet its own need," Mr Cotton said.

Campaigners have accused the board of ploughing ahead with "undemocratic" plans.

David Illingworth, from North Abingdon Local Plan Group, said: "We believe there is an alternative vision for the future of our county, not based on forced economic growth at all costs but focusing on meeting local people's real needs."

Negotiations are set to continue to try to agree a figure for South Oxfordshire.

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