County council leader calls on South Oxfordshire councillors to approve their local plan


In response to a question at today’s county council meeting about the future of government housing infrastructure funding (HIF), council leader Ian Hudspeth called on South Oxfordshire district councillors to adopt their local plan next month. He highlighted the implications for infrastructure funding across the county of not doing so.

“We have been successful in bringing in government funding of £535 million for infrastructure, which is really good news. But there is a problem in South Oxfordshire related to the our first, successful housing infrastructure fund bid for Didcot garden town. To go ahead, the government require that there is positive progress made with the Local Plan.

“If councillors in South Oxfordshire take the decision on 10 October not to approve the submitted local plan, then immediately the garden town project stalls and we risk £218mof vital funding. If we do not succeed with the first housing infrastructure project, the government has made it clear we are unlikely to succeed with the second bid for improvements to the A40 worth £102m. That in turn throws into question the projects already funded through our growth deal, which would need to be revised.

“If they take the decision not to approve the local plan in its current form, they will be risking a total of £535m of much-need infrastructure for Oxfordshire. That can’t be right, because residents want this infrastructure. So the decision taken by South Oxfordshire councillors is not just about South Oxfordshire – it’s about the whole of Oxfordshire.

“That’s why I am urging South Oxfordshire councillors to consider the wider implications when they make their decision next month.”