Cllr Sue Cooper, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, spoke to Oxfordshire County Councillors on 11 February ahead of their decision to accept a possible government invitation to progress the emerging South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2034.
Following the county council’s decision, Cllr Cooper said: “I regret the decision made by the county council today, and would like to thank those who came to the meeting to support the principle of local democracy and decision-making. We wish to continue working constructively with the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government and Oxfordshire County Council to keep local plan making with South Oxfordshire.
“We would like to know more about the Secretary of State’s suggestion to propose changes to the plan through the examination process, with the aim of putting our plan at the forefront of the latest bold and far-reaching thinking on the climate emergency rather than being the last of the environmentally damaging plans.
“Our preference remains to discuss the mechanism to propose such changes in a face-to-face meeting with the Secretary of State, as he agreed in parliament in response to a question from Layla Moran MP. We are yet to hear back from the Secretary of State on our request to hold this meeting.
“If we are prevented from withdrawing this plan and working on a new one ourselves, we must at least be able to uphold the principle of local democracy by proposing improvements.”