THOUSANDS of new homes across south Oxfordshire are expected to be given the go-ahead when a council publishes the final draft of its local plan.

South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) is currently wading through the thousands of responses it has received to the draft local plan – the blueprint for development in the area – since it was published in March.

Councillors will then meet to discuss the responses at a series of meetings before a final draft is published on October 11.

The local plan outlines provisions to meet the urgent need for housing across the region up to 2033.

It includes plans for major new building sites in Culham and Chalgrove Airfield, bringing more than 6,500 homes and tens of thousands of people to the area.

Councillor John Cotton, leader of the district council, said: “Making sure we get this right is a great responsibility and one we take very seriously.

"There’s no silver bullet solution when talking about building thousands of houses in a rural district, but we are very confident our local plan represents the best possible balance of homes in effective, sustainable locations, supported by the right infrastructure and in a way that protects and enhances what’s best about south Oxfordshire.”

The public will have another chance to comment on the final draft of the plan after it is published and these responses will be passed to the government, along with the draft plan, at the end of the year.

All the documents will then be considered by the planning inspectorate who will conduct a public examination to decide whether the plan is sound or not.

Campaigners have previously raised concerns that the Culham development will encroach on green belt land and ruin the identity of the village.

Historic England also objected to a major new Thames bridge that would link the Culham site with Didcot because of the planned route's proximity to historic sites.

The district council has previously said that without the bridge the number of new houses that could be built on the site would be limited to 750.

In response to some of the objections raised, the council is expected to reduce the number of houses allocated to some areas in earlier versions of the plan.

But it remains convinced that the huge new developments are the best way to tackle the urgent need for houses in South Oxfordshire.

In total 22,500 homes will be built in the region over the 22 year period although most of these have been granted permission or are already in construction.

As well as setting out new housing sites, the local plan explains how the new homes would be supported by roads, schools, shops, parks, leisure centres, community facilities and other infrastructure.