COUNCILLORS last night agreed to start discussions with a college over major development in the Green Belt south-east of Oxford.

Oxford City Council has long-held ambitions to develop the land south of Grenoble Road which it owns, together with Magdalen College. But the site, which could accommodate up to 4,000 homes, sits in the Green Belt and in South Oxfordshire.

The city council’s executive board last night agreed to start discussions with the college about forming a partnership to bring the development forward.

David Edward, the council’s executive director for regeneration and housing, said: “Recent discussions have confirmed in principle that the partners wish to progress an urban extension in this area.

"The partners now propose to develop a formal agreement which would share the costs, risks, financial benefits and set out a programme.”

South Oxfordshire District Council is currently updating its local plan following a housing study which found that the district needs 15,500 homes by 2031 – with Oxford needing 28,000 by the same year.

The city council hopes to make a submission to SODC’s local plan which will allow the scheme to go ahead.

The site, mostly owned by Magdalen College, could be used for an extension of Oxford Science Park which the college owns.

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