COUNCIL chiefs are seeking legal advice after four major planning applications were given the go-ahead on appeal.

Cherwell District Council has hit out at the decision to approve almost 400 homes it had thrown out.

Developers have won appeals over 145 homes east of Bloxham Road, near Salt Way, Banbury, and 70 off Bourne Lane, Hook Norton.

Two further applications for 75 homes off Barford Road, Bloxham and 85 near Milton Road, Bloxham were also approved. Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government, last week ruled the homes could be built.

The council is not getting enough homes built to meet demand for the next five years, he said.

None of the sites are included in the council’s local plan of where major estates will go.

Lead member for planning Michael Gibbard said: “This flies completely in the face of both localism and the plan making process.

“Cherwell District Council is now taking expert legal advice and, if appropriate, will take action to counter these appalling decisions.”

He said: “We are confident that we now have the necessary five-year land supply following approval of other major planning applications.

“However, some of these developments have yet to be completed and this is what developers are challenging. As a council we have considered the views of local people, and we have done what is asked of us by approving development in areas that we believe are sustainable.”